1:1 Photography
What Is 1:1 Photography?
1:1 photography (enunciated as "one-to-one" photography) is macrophotography by strict definition. It refers to shooting photographic images where the subject is the same size as the camera's image sensor or a 1:1 ratio. If the image sensor is 1-inch wide, then the subject would be 1-inch wide. There is some confusion concerning the differences between macrophotography and microphotography. This confusion has been brought about, in part, by the camera manufacturers. Click Here for a PDF presentation that resolves the issue.

Breathtakingly Detailed Images
Because the image sensor records the entire subject (very small objects like the stamens and pistils of flowers or tiny insects and other such creatures), enlarged prints reveal stunningly detailed images with startling visual impact. Looking at a photograph of a tiny caterpillar on a large garden leaf taken with a standard lens isn't very interesting or exciting. The caterpillar gets lost among the background clutter. Shooting the same caterpillar at a distance of only a few inches between the subject and a macro lens reveals an alien-looking creature in a photograph that commands intense viewer attention.

Focusing and Lighting
Macrophotography is a difficult genre. The physical limits of depth of field, light diffraction, and image blur caused by the slightest movement of the camera lens can be quite frustrating. The closer the lens to the subject, the shallower the depth of field—even at the smallest apertures. At a 1:1 magnification, the depth of field may be so thin it's impossible to get a bee's head and antennae in focus at the same time, even though they are just millimeters apart.

Thin depth of field creates another challenge: Not enough light for proper exposures. When shooting just a few inches from a subject, the camera usually blocks natural light; a flash unit, at such close proximity to the subject, may not provide enough angle to illuminate the subject; small apertures are required to get enough depth of field for focusing, but small apertures reduce light; and high shutter speeds are necessary for preventing blurs from camera movement, but high shutter speeds also reduce light.

Rewarding and Satisfying
With all its challenges and as difficult as macrophotography can be, it is a most rewarding and satisfying photography genre. When everything comes together—the patience, the meticulous focusing, the right lighting, the capturing of a truly remarkable image—there is no better satisfaction in any other genre of photography. And the rewards are many. Viewers of macro images from all walks of life, backgrounds, cultures, and educational, social, and economic status, are often amazed by the astonishing world they live in thanks to the visual revelations of macrophotography.

I invite you to explore my website and discover the fascinating world of macrophotography. Are you interested in learning how to shoot successful macro images? I have created, in cooperation with several professional macro photographers, what I believe to be the best comprehensive macrophotography course available to newbies in this photographic genre. To learn more, click on the "Workshop" tab at the top of this web page, then click on "Macrophotography" from the dropdown menu. To learn more about me and my photography background, click on "About Me" located in the left sidebar of this website.

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