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Winter Macro Photography

Your first instinct might be to stay warm when a cold snap hits. However, some of the most intriguing close-ups can be found when the temperature dips.

Frost highlights and contours patterns and foliage on the ground providing a wealth of decent subjects. You don't even have to venture very far - it's highly likely that you'll find a bit of natural spectacle to photograph in your own garden.

Best equipment for winter macro photography

To capture the finest details, it's generally best to opt for a DSLR or compact system camera.

There's a vast array of options available at the moment to suit every budget and experience level. A great choice for those just starting out is the Canon EOS 200D, while the Nikon D500 is a superb all-rounder for enthusiasts who like to shoot a bit of everything. When you're thinking about ultra-fine detail, the Nikon D850, with its 45 million pixel sensor is superb, while the Sony A7R III has been primed to deliver the ultimate in resolution.

A macro lens allows you to get up close in glorious detail, as well as giving lifelike clarity. Make sure you look for a lens that matches your lens mount. As an example, the Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM lens works only with its APS-C range of cameras, while the superb 100mm f/2.8L lens works with both full-frame and APS-C Canon models.

Accessories are also extremely important. In the cold weather, your battery will drain very quickly so packing a spare is always a good idea. A tripod is handy for getting close to the subject - look for one that allows you to get low to the ground if possible. A remote release is useful for keeping your hands away from the camera, while fingerless gloves and hand warmers are all but essential when the weather is very cold.

Quick tips for great winter macros
1. Use manual focus

Mount your camera on a tripod, and make full use of the LCD screen. Zoom in to 5x or 10x and manually focus the lens to make sure those details are pin sharp.

2. Adjust your white balance

When shooting in snowy conditions, your camera's balance may be thrown off by the abundance of white in the scene. You can counteract this by taking a custom reading.

3. Pick the best aperture, shutter speed and ISO

For macro work, you'll usually find you want a large depth of field. That means shooting at narrow apertures (such as f/8 or f/11). To help your camera get the extra light it needs, shooting at longer shutter speeds, such as 1/10 or 1/5 can help, but make use of a tripod to help keep your camera nice and steady. Keep ISOs as low as possible to maximise the reproduction of detail.

4. Bump up exposure compensation

On darker winter days, your camera may also struggle to get exposures perfect. Keep an eye on your histogram and look for an even spread across the frame. Dial in a little exposure compensation as necessary to make your photos lovely and bright.

5. Shoot in RAW

Although it's always best to get the shot right in camera, by shooting in RAW format, you'll be able to make adjustments in post-production. So, if your white balance is slightly off or your exposure needs tweaking, you can rescue a shot quite easily.

We'd love to see your winter macros! Share your best shots with us over on our social channels - - Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.