The 10 BEST Camera & Flash Settings for Dazzling Macro Photographs (VIDEO)

Macro photography is always a lot of fun, whether you’re shooting budding flowers in spring, the creepy crawlies of summer, colorful leaves in autumn, or the magical snowflakes of winter. Capturing great close-ups doesn’t require much in the way of specialized gear, but it’s important to know what you’re doing. And that’s what this tutorial is all about.

Micael Widell is an accomplished Swedish pro specializing in images of flowers and other macro subjects. We often turn to Widell for his expert advice, and in the 12-minute primer below he explains the 10 best camera and flash settings for achieving dazzling results.

Widell isn’t one for surprises, which is one reason he always shoots close-ups using a camera’s Manual mode. After explaining that, “I do this so I can be sure the camera isn’t doing something stupid,” he illustrates the manual settings he prefers. While Widell uses Fujifilm and Sony cameras throughout the tutorial, the same settings he demonstrates are available with just about any camera you may own.

In his discussion about exposure Widell reveals the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture settings he recommends. You’ll see how different combinations of these three variables can be used for creative effects, depending upon the look you envision.

Supplemental flash isn’t always necessary for photographing macro subjects, but it can sometimes make a huge impact on your results, depending upon the subject and prevailing light. And Widell covers the necessary camera and flash settings for using flash to brighten a scene and open up shadows.

Other important topics include focusing modes, white balance settings, the advantage of shooting Raw, and more. After watching the video you can find more helpful videos on Widell’s YouTube channel. And be sure to watch another tutorial of his we posted, detailing five macro myths you should ignore.