What is macro photography?

There are several opinions on what the exact definition of macro photography is (sometimes referred to as close-up photography). Basically macro photography involves the use of special lenses or lens accessories that are used to magnify the size of the image that is on the imaging surface that is inside of the camera (film or digital) until it is the same size or larger than the size of the object that is being photographed. The size of the object that is being photographed compared to the size of the image that is on the imaging surface that is inside the camera is known as the ratio, for example if the object that is being photographed is the same size as the image that is being projected onto the imaging surface, then the ratio is 1:1.  If the image on the imaging surface is two times larger than the object that is being photographed, then the ratio is 2:1 and so on. Macro photography can be very challenging, for instance a macro lens or macro rings increase the distance from the lens pack to the imaging surface, this will decrease the amount of light that reaches it, you have to compensate for that by using either the shutter speed, lens aperture, or lighting or a combination of all three. If you lower the shutter speed, you will probably need a tripod (which is probably a good idea anyway because magnification intensifies movement), if you change the lens aperture you will change the depth of field. A digital camera is a good choice for macro photography because you will have instant imagery, which will allow you to experiment until your heart is content.
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