I did a post for the Instagram Group Brickcentral a few months ago passing along a few tips for better outdoor macro photography. I thought it might be a good idea to go over these tips again to make sure we are all on the same page as we move forward to better photography.
1) Pay attention to scale – the beauty is in the details. This is especially true with macro photography. You can reveal a new and fresh look at our world by getting up close.
2) Keep your composition simple. To place maximum attention on your subject you will want to eliminate unwanted clutter. This includes small leaves, pine needles, bits of garbage, stray grass…these seemingly little things will distract from your composition. You want to emphasize what is important, minimize everything else.
3) Take your time. Take lots of photos of the same set-up and check your view screen to make sure you got what you were looking for. Great photos can’t be rushed.
4) Keep the camera level. Ok I admit it, this is more or a suggestion. In my opinion a dutch angle(a slated horizon line) can be overused. So if you aren’t using it with intention, but leave the horizon line straight.
5) Use the “rule of thirds”to help your composition.(Please see earlier post for a full explanation.)
6) Use a tripod. Even though hand held is convenient, you can’t always maintain good focus. You will also want to use the manual focus setting on your camera. Most cameras have a very hard time finding the correct focus point much less maintaining that focus on these small figures. If you have the money, invest in a lens with Image Stabilization.
7) Change your perspective. If you’re struggling with your set up, change your point of view. Sometimes an unforeseen angle is the best one. Also try to get below your figure. When shooting these small toys, I find that shooting up at them seems to help them feel more majestic.
8) Take advantage of the “golden hour”. This is the hour right after sunrise and right before sunset. Amazing things can happen!
9) Experiment. Try different things, try things that make you uncomfortable. Don’t be afraid to push yourself.