Aperture Club blog

Sharon Hickey reveals what lies behind her passion for Macro and Close-up Photography

4th October 2017

It’s that time of the year when Sydney and surrounding areas are blessed with colour, smells and abundant native flora! I have personally pulled out my macro and close-up lenses and have headed to the garden to capture close up, the world of our exotic native wildflowers.


Sunburst Symphony. Image by Sharon Hickey, The Aperture Club
Sunburst Symphony. Image by Sharon Hickey, The Aperture Club


I love the eccentricity of Australian native and exotic plants and flowers. The close up secret lives of these buds and stamens become a portal into other earthly worlds as their shapes and brilliant colours take on a life of their own.
For me, my flowers become stories, layered within my imagination. By giving them an alluring name, they take on their own personal uniqueness as a wonderful character.

Mr Squiggle by Sharon Hickey @ The Aperture Club


So if you have an interest in photographing nature’s unique world what do you need to get started?
Firstly for Macro work you will need either a dedicated macro lens or a zoom lens with a macro setting. Otherwise, use a zoom lens say a 70 – 200mm to get up close and personal with your subject. There is also a selection of close up filters and lens that are available in photographic outlets.
If you are using a compact camera, there will be a macro setting somewhere on the dial and, of course, it will have a zoom!
It is advisable to use a tripod as in macro and close-up work you will more than not be using a very shallow depth of field.


Sense of Place by Sharon Hickey @ The Aperture Club


What to consider:
1. Use a low ISO setting either 100 or 200 ISO to achieve maximum image quality.
2. Shoot RAW for max.picture information otherwise high res jpg.
3. Set the white balance to daylight
4. Don’t shoot in breezy situations
5. Decide what is your point of interest in the picture.
6. How much depth of field do you want – i.e. what degree of blur is important to the shot.
7. Remember to keep your backgrounds simple.
8. Don’t discount using your wide-angle lens to photograph masses of flowers, experiment from low or high angles.
9. Remember to observe where the light is and where it is falling on the subject
10. Experiment with different camera angles and observe the light – are you back lighting, front lighting or side lighting your flowers?

Art of Macro by Sharon Hickey @ The Aperture Club


Remember the main objective with photographing flowers and small things in nature is to have fun doing it. Enjoy.

Sharon Hickey @ The Aperture Club


2 thoughts on “Sharon Hickey reveals what lies behind her passion for Macro and Close-up Photography

  1. Thanks Sharon your has inspired me to get my macro lens out and take some shots. I do get frustrated with the shallow depth of field and have tried focus stacking but found it takes the fun out of it too much post production on the computer.

    1. Hi Mark
      Thanks for your email and great news you are inspired to start shooting macro again.
      I personally like to capture my images through the camera and avoid too much postproduction.
      if you are in Sydney we have our Art of Macro on 29th Oct where we’ll show you how to overcome the shallow depth of field frustration and some new technics to try. I’ll post more blogs about the subject in the future.

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