I was shooting everything handheld today, which is somewhat tricky for macro photography. A couple things that helped though:
- Use AI Focus or Continuous focus mode. With such a shallow depth-of-field (millimeters), you and the subject will inevitably sway towards and away from each other. AI/Continuous focus can help compensate for the constantly changing distance between you and the subject.
- Switch to manual focus when auto-focus fails you (it will at times), or as a starting point before you turn on auto-focus.
- Shoot subjects that are in direct sunlight, with shade in the background. The sunlight/shade contrast will help your subject stand out from the background. The direct sunlight will also give you the high shutter speed you need to compensate for all the little movements that can occur in the macro world.
- Don't be afraid to shoot without looking through the viewfinder. Good macro subjects are sometimes high, low, or in tight spaces. Aim the camera as best you can and give it your best shot. If your camera has a Live View feature, then definitely use it.
Here's my top five for the day. There's a little more detail in the flickr comments for each photo, so click on the image if you want to know more.
Happy shooting, one and all, large or small.