Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Polish Your Photos Series: Quick Tip #4 Macro Mode

Sometimes the way to fix your photos isn't with Photoshop, but the trick is to change a setting on your camera so that it is taking the right kinds of photos.  It is really important to have close up detail images of the work that you are trying to sell in your Etsy shop.  I often see that those close up shots are blurry and completely out of focus, but that can be easy to fix!

Take a look at the buttons on the back of your camera and see if you can find a picture of a tulip.
This tulip is the icon for "Macro Mode".  When I push that button on my camera, it lets me switch between regular and macro mode.

Try switching modes and taking your close up photos in "macro mode".  Macro mode tells the camera that you are trying to take a close up shot of something and it re-adjusts the way it focuses.  Here are a couple of examples.  These are basically exactly the same photo (same lighting, same distance, same camera settings) except one is in regular mode (left) and one is set to macro mode (right).  (Oops!  You can even see the dog hair in macro mode.)

Not every camera is going to have a macro mode, but it is a very common feature.  Sometimes you will find the tulip icon on a button or dial on the back or top of the camera.  Sometimes you might need to dig through the menus to find it.  If in doubt, check your owners manual.

After a brief hiatus, the Polish your Photos Series is back! Click here to see the rest of the series.  About the author: Becka is a geek for fiber art and technology.  She is the co-Captain of the SASsy mentors team.


Maro Morales said...

Thanks for the tips!

Shawn @SIDONIEYANG said...

That's a great tip for those just starting out and not really used to taking close-up shots of things.

Here are my two cents:

Make sure to half-press the shutter button in order to focus (you'll know when the camera actually focuses), and it helps if you hold your breath! Try to be as still as possible... don't move an inch while taking your photo!

Becka said...

Those are great tips! I often prop my camera up on a book or the back of a chair to help hold it steady.

Glaudius said...

In my etsy "adventure" it turns out that photography is one of the toughest parts. My new camera doesn't have a macro mode. I thought since it has lots of Mega pixels I would be able to zoom with photoshop. It is not that simple.
I recently learned that a good way to "eyeball" how performant a camera is going to be is to look at how big the lens is. More precisely how wide is the attachment of the lens to the camera body. I will try that next time.