photography tips

5 DSLR Macro Photography Tips For Beginners

dslr macro photography, macro bee

Just call me a Canon-ista!  

When I got invited to go on a Canon Collective Photographic Walking Tour at the Melbourne Flower & Garden Show, I was like – “Heck yeah!!!!”

canon collective walking tour

We got to play with a Canon 70D and a 100mm macro lens { and adorn a highly trendy Canon Collective top! }.

It was my first time trying out a macro lens on a DSLR and oh boy, it was a real eye-opener to see things in such small intricate detail.

Here are some beginner’s DSLR macro photography tips I picked up :-

1.  Go manual.  Turn your dial from Auto to M so you can have full control over the settings you want.

tulips from Melbourne Flower & Garden Show

2.  Set your aperture settings first.  I found that the best aperture setting for my macro shots were between f11 to f14 as it helped pick up the intricate details.

3.  Then choose your shutter speed and exposure.  If you increase your shutter speed, there is less light so you have to increase your exposure – which is the ISO.  For example, when I was taking pictures of the bees, it didn’t sit still and let me do my thang so I had a quicker shutter speed and a higher ISO.  And then when I took pictures of cactus – which are static, I slowed down my shutter speed and decreased my ISO.

macro photography

4.  Get up close to your subject.  Usually bees scare the living daylights out of me, but wielding a big long lens made me totally fearless and I preferred the shots that I took of them when I was up close.

macro cactus, black and white cactus

5.  Look for patterns and textures to photograph.  They also look amazing in black and white.

And here’s a bonus tip – take lots of photos because practice makes perfect!

FYI – if you want more photography tips, check out my post on flat lay photography.

macro bee

After the tour, we got an A3 print of our favourite photo.  This was my favourite macro photo that I took!  I love the pretty details of the bee’s wings and the vivid colours from the purple flower.

What do you think of my photo?  Not bad for my first time?? #fishingforacompliment

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us at the Canon Collective Melbourne Walking Tour

And while we were waiting for my photo to print, I took an obligatory selfie with Mr LOL.  He was drooling over those Canon printers!  { He works in a printing company! }  I was drooling over all the Canon gear.  And Bunty…?  Well, she was drooling in Snoozeland in her comfy wee pram.

Thanks to Steve, Emma and Kirsty for looking after me and the family at the Canon Collective Walking Tour.  For more Canon Collective events, check this out.

Are you a macro photography fan?  Share your macro photography tips in the comments.

I received a free ticket to attend the tour.  This is not a sponsored post.  I was under no obligation to blog about it but I chose to do so because I genuinely loved it.

Memoirs Of A DSLR Noob

So I bought my first { and only! } DSLR 2.5 years ago because I wanted to improve my photography for my beauty blog.

macbook and canon dslr

It’s a Canon 650D – which isn’t even sold in shops anymore as it was replaced by the Canon 700D.

I didn’t do any research whatsoever.  I just wanted the newest Canon DSLR camera – ‘new’ always means the ‘best’, right?

It cost something ridiculous like $1500 but I was getting the newest Canon DSLR, two lenses from the twin lens kit, a camera bag, some UV filters – so surely that was a bargain?!!!

Got home, charged the battery, attached the lens onto the camera, turned it on and took photos.

I expected to turn into some photo-taking goddess with breathtaking, high quality, prize-winning photos as I wielded this rather heavy bulging bundle of DSLR goodness…BUT NO!

beauty blogging product photography

The first set of photos I took from my DSLR were awful.  And so did the next lot.  And the next.

In fact, I felt that the photos I took with my iPhone looked even better than the ones I took on my DSLR.

UGH!

How can that be???!!!  Surely, all you need to take better photos is an expensive DSLR?!

I asked my friends who owned DSLRs.  They all talked in photography jargon which I did not understand!!!

DO NOT USE AUTO!  GO MANUAL!  Exposure.  Wide.  Aperture.  Manual.  AV.  Focal length.  Shoot RAW.  And the numbers.

Oh the numbers.  WHAT DID THEY MEAN??

I was SO CONFUSED.

Then one of my guy friends said – Look, just use AV and you’ll be fine.

So I did.

beauty blogging photography

And eventually, my photos started to look half-decent and acceptable.

I did the ‘rule of thirds’ thing and I had ‘bokeh’ in some photos.  But they just didn’t have that ‘thing’ about them.

Secretly, I was still convinced that my Canon 650D was CRAP and that I needed the Canon 5D Mark 3 because that was THE BEST.  That’s what all the professionals used, duhhh!

This went on till…hmm…maybe  months ago…when one day, I had an epiphany.  All the photography stuff slowly started to make some sense.

I changed from AV to M – manual mode.  And BAM!!!

No, I wish I changed into the best photographer in the world by doing that one step alone, but I didn’t.

better beauty blog photography

Instead, I started to get a better idea of what I was doing.  I was IN CONTROL of creating the photo that I wanted.  And I was so excited!  For real!

I’m still a photography noob and my photos are still awful, oh yes, but here are 3 beginners tips which I think helped me a lot :-

1.  Take your DSLR everywhere and take photos of everything in all different lights and locations.  If you don’t practise, you will never learn anything.

2.  Forget about shooting RAW and post-processing editing.  That’s a whole new ballgame.  Just learn the necessary basics instead of going so pro.

3.  Read your entire camera manual so you learn the ins and outs of your camera.  And don’t covet a new camera until you know everything about what your camera does.  Besides, it’s more about the camera lens than the body!

black and white photography

Anyway, I thought I’d mention that I still take photos for my beauty blog { and they’re still need a lot of improvement because I don’t have amazing lighting after work #blamethelightingyes } but my favourite subject to photograph these days is….yep, you’ve guessed it…Bunty Boo!!!!

Oh and I still do that DSLR nooby thing where I try and take a photo but the camera lens cap is still on!!!!  HAHA!!!!

Anyway, do you have a DSLR?  What are your photo tips?  Share, share, share!

How To Take Flat Lay Photos Like A Boss – 10 Tips

How to take flay lay photos.  Lighting, tips and tricks you need to get the perfect flat lay photo.  More on www.lingoutloud.com

One of my goals this year was to become a fit exercise-loving mum improve my photography especially for my beauty blog so I’ve been poring through plenty of photography books trying to understand all the jargon, pushing all the buttons on my cameras and scrolling through Instagram every hour.

If you haven’t noticed, flat lays are the new black!

All flat lays are equal, but some flat lays are more perfect than others.

If you want to learn to how to take flat lay photos like a boss, then read on for my 10 tips :-

lighting for flat lay photos

1.  Lighting

This will help create a clear photo highlighting all the details.  Set up your flat lay near a big window where natural light will shine through and don’t forget to position yourself to avoid lurking shadows in the photo.

2.  Background

Plain backgrounds work best as a bold backgrounds can drown out the items you are trying to highlight.  If you don’t want to go for the same old solid white backgrounds, try using wallpaper, wooden floorboards, bed covers or your partner’s bare back!  { << just joking and making sure you’re paying attention! }

3.  Use Blu Tack

Tack down the items that have a tendency to roll away, e.g. lipstick

4.  Make it pretty

Use your common visualising senses here.  For example – think carefully of product positioning, don’t post up dirty stained clothes, don’t use too many clashy colourful items, do think of negative space, sometimes less is more and sometimes more is less… { and sometimes I don’t even understand what I just wrote!!! }

flat lay tips, flat lay photography, flat lay tutorial

5.  Square format

If you’re uploading your flat lay onto Instagram, then remember they like square format photos so you may want to set up your items in a square { or if you have an iPhone, select the Square option }.

However, if you haven’t shot square then don’t panic because just download the free Whitagram app as it adds a white border to your rectangular photo to make it square.  Or just crop it till you’re happy with it.

6.  Camera

Nowadays, smartphones can take great photos…but if you want to go one up, use an actual  camera.  A lot of cameras these days are Wifi enabled which means you can snap the photo, send it to your email and then download onto your phone to upload onto Instagram.  { Unfortunately, none of my cameras have this Wifi function… *hint hint* to the Camera Giving Gods }

7.  Props

Get prop happy to add a special touch to your photos, e.g. flowers, candles, inspirational quote prints, MacBook, magazines

8.  Steady hands

Nobody likes a blurry eyeball-hurting shot.  Hold your breath as you take the photo.  Or if it is possible, use a tripod.

9.  Practice makes perfect

Nobody is a flat-lay-born pro!  Just keep practising and take a number of shots till you get it right.

how to take flatlays, flatlay photo tips, flat lay photography

10.  Get flat lay inspiration

Search the hashtag #flatlays on Instagram and follow the people that catch your eye.  Obviously, don’t be a copycat but identify what you like about their style and find different ways to incorporate that into your own flat lay photos.

Read my 5 favourite flat lay Instagrammers you should follow now for inspiration.

I hope these 10 tips have been helpful.  Now, go forth and flat lay like a boss!

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P.S.  If you aren’t following me on my Instagram account @LingOutLoud { beauty / food / baby / life photos }, you are dead to me!!! 😛

Do you have any more flat laying tips?  If so, pop them down in the comments because sharing is caring!