Capturing stunning macro photography backgrounds is of utmost importance.
You see, a good background will take your macro photos to the next level, while a bad background will cause them to fall flat.
But don’t worry. Because it’s not actually hard to create amazing macro backgrounds. You just have to know a few tricks–which I’ll share with you in this article.
Find the Simplest Backgrounds for Beautiful Macro Shots
Step one of creating amazing macro photography backgrounds:
Make sure that the background is simple.
Because the simplest photography backdrops emphasize the main subject. They make it stand out.
And in macro photography, you want your main subject to stand out.
What counts as a simple background?
First, the simplest backgrounds have no distracting elements. There are no stray branches, no unwanted leaves, and absolutely no human-made objects, such as garden trellises.
Now, it’s not hard to eliminate these items from your background. The key is to take a moment after you’ve composed your shot–and think about whether everything that exists in the frame should be there.
If you notice any unwanted elements, you should either remove them from the frame or change your composition to exclude them.
Second, simple photography backdrops are as uniform as possible. There are no unwanted splashes of color. There are no rapid transitions from green to brown and back again.
If possible, you should make your background into a single wash of color, like this:
Notice how the color stays solid the entire time. This is essential–because colors can take away from your photo, same as stray branches or distracting leaves.
That’s what you want to create.
Finding uniform backgrounds like this doesn’t have to be hard. It just involves a bit of deliberate composing before you set up for a shot. Once I’ve found the main subject, I look all around the scene.
The goal is to find spots of consistent color behind my subjects, such as a deep green tree or a patch of golden wheat. I then try to position my subject directly in front of these background areas.
But as you can see, I haven’t just made a background that’s uniform in color. I’ve created a background that features a nice blur. This further enhances the background simplicity.
After all, the fewer details you can see, the less the background distracts–and the more it emphasizes the main subject.
Use a Wide Aperture and Large Subject-Background Distance for the Best Backdrop Blur
In macro photography, background blur is beautiful.
Because background blur emphasizes the subject. And, if you’re careful, you can even manage to enhance the subject with your blur. Do so by creating stunning background effects, such as the bokeh in this photo below.
To get that background, I used something I like to call the Broken Backlighting Technique, which I explain in detail below. But it all starts with a nice blurred background!
First, you should use the widest aperture that your lens offers. You see, your aperture is a hole in the lens, which opens wider and closes down depending on your camera settings.
The wider the aperture, the narrower the area that is actually in focus.