Hold it steady
Heather says... To start with Ida shot handheld, but she soon found that her images were coming out blurry. With macro photography you need things to be as still and sharp as possible, so I always use a tripod when I’m shooting close-ups, to hold the camera steady and reduce camera shake. Tripods also enable you to fine tune your composition very precisely.
TA KE control
Heather says... The next thing I noticed was that Ida shot in aperture-priority mode. While this can be useful in some situations, I prefer to shoot in manual mode. It only takes a poor meter reading in a tricky lighting situation (such as the contrasty light of a tree canopy) to under- or over-expose a shot. In manual mode you can control everything for the best results.
Go DEE P
Heather says... One of the biggest challenges with macro photography is maintaining depth of field; with a macro lens at close range, it’s often so shallow that it’s hard to get a sharp shot of your subject. Shooting with the lens wide open results in a very shallow depth of field, so I urged Ida to shoot at f/10 or above to maintain focus on her subjects from front to back.