I have to admit that I have never really been into macro photography. The only time I ever used the macro lens is when I have been doing close up shots of wedding rings. However as we are restrictions in our daily lives at the moment, I thought I would give it a go and see what I could create. If nothing else it provides some content for a blog!
I have a couple of inexpensive macro lens. I have sigma 50mm f2.8 1:1 macro that I think I paid about £100 for a couple of years ago and a sigma 70-300mm, f4-f56 1:2 which again I believe cost around £80. Both were from e-bay. The good news is that you don't need to shell out on a specific macro lens. You can get extension tubes for all makes of camera mounts from either e-bay or amazon and they are not expensive at all. A set of 3 will cost you about £30 from amazon. They connect to your camera and then your lens mounts to them. They don't extend the focal length of your camera, they reduce it! Don't ask me how or why as I have no idea - I just know that you can't then focus to infinity but can focus on much closer objects - in essence you have created macro lens.
What you do need to be aware of is the depth of field. Take the image above. I have a cherry tree in my back garden which looks amazing at the moment as all of the blossom is out. As you can image each piece of blossom is no more than a couple of cm's across. Yet despite using an aperture of f4 only the water droplet and anything else that is on that focal plane is in focus. You will get the idea when you try this at home.
I haven't used any other light sources other than the natural light that was provided by the windows. Camera was obviously on a tripod and I used live view to focus in on the water droplet. The blossom is floating on water in a brown bowl which I believes provides a much better tonal range than if it was in a pure white bowl. The other camera settings were ISO 100 and a 100th second shutter speed. Camera body is a 5dsr and I used the 50mm macro lens,
If you are going to use a flash then it is important to be able to direct the light directly onto the object that you are photographing. Again you can buy all sorts of expensive equipment to aid in this, however I do know that if you have a Pringles tube and a speed light flash then you can cut a hole in the side of the tube near the bottom that will allow the top of the flash to go through it and then with a bit of tape to keep things in place - bingo you have something to direct the light perfectly. I will be looking to buy a some when I go out for the daily provisions later! I believe this will then illuminate only your subject matter with the rest of the image being black - who knows, as I have said this is as total new area for me.
As ever, YouTube will provide you with much more detailed instruction than I ever could and you will also find finds of ideas.
Good luck, stay safe and I would love to see what you come up with. Don't forget to share this post with anyone who you think might enjoy it and remember to bookmark the blog.