Are you wondering How to take Pictures of Wedding Rings without a Macro Lens – learn how to use a normal lens as macro – macro photography without a macro lens can be tricky but can be done!
How to take Pictures of Wedding Rings without a Macro Lens
Hi everyone! I’m Amelia, owner and photographer of Amelia Renee Photography! I’m based out of Des Moines, Iowa but I love traveling. So far, my favorite destinations have been visiting Mongolia and Barcelona, Spain. I would love to get to know you, so feel free to follow me on my website, Instagram, and Facebook, and leave a comment telling me about yourself!
When I started photographing weddings, while still living in my parent’s house in Cedar Falls, I was pretty clueless on how to shoot detail photos. In fact, I would say that until about a year ago, ring/detail photos was the portion of the wedding timeline I dreaded most! However, this past year, I’ve been studying, practicing, and playing with detail photos. It turns out, ring and detail photos are really fun! Details are now one of my favorite portions of the wedding timeline.
For this blog post, I’ll be specifically detailing (haha, pun unintended!) on how to photograph wedding rings without a macro lens. I love my macro– I just got it this year!– but if you don’t own one (or forget yours), here are some tips!
Learn how to use a normal lens as macro
1- Utilize decoration from the wedding reception.
For this image, I took some books and the scrabble letters the bride had chosen for her table centerpieces, found a spot of grass in the sunlight, and photographed their rings on it! This technique not only shows off the wedding rings, but also tells a little bit about the couple!
2- Good light!
Wedding rings (especially those diamond ones!) are made to sparkle and shine in the light. When I started photographing weddings, I often forgot to take pictures of the rings until the end of the day. Now, I do everything I can to photograph them during the details, at the start of the wedding day. Take them outside, find a spot with good, even light, or use a video light for consistent luminance. This image was shot with my 50mm lens. That allowed me to include details from the air bnb where the bride was getting ready (the dark wooden chair made a great backdrop) and pull in some details (her shoes and veil).
Macro Photography Without a Macro Lens
3. Pose to Show off the Rings!
The following image is from an engagement session, but this idea works just as well! Pose the couples in such a way as to show off the ring(s). You can always crop the image in even more, during editing, to get a closer view of the rings!
4. Placing the rings on the bride’s bouquet is one of the most classic “ring shots” in the book.
The fun things is, you can rarely do it wrong! If you don’t have a macro lens, try using a wide angle lens, like a 35mm lens, because they usually let you focus closer to the lens than, say, a 50mm lens. Or, use a longer lens (like a 70-200mm) to create a more compressed photo, similar to the style you’d get with a macro lens. I would always make sure to photograph in the largest RAW file size, and then crop in closer to the rings during post. Make sure that you are catching the rings in focus!
5. Freelensing is a unique way to create a closer view of the wedding rings!
It’s pretty challenging, and I suggest only freelensing if you have a light-weight lens (like a 50mm 1.8) and are out of any wind. To freelens, you detach the lens from the camera body. That’s why it’s dangerous–dust can get in your sensor, or you could drop a lens! Use extra caution with this method. This method emulates what a tilt-shift lens might look like, and allows you to bend the plane of focus to your liking. It does take a lot of time and practice to achieve well!
There you have a few of my ideas! I’d love to hear from you… what lenses do you use, or techniques, to take ring photos without a macro lens? Leave a note in the comments, or email me with your own photos. I would love to see what you come up with!
Canon Macro Lens
I love my 100mm 2.8 macro for canon cameras, because it allows me to focus both up close and personal to wedding rings, earrings, eyelashes, or other details during a wedding day. It also is a great portrait lens, creating gorgeous bokeh behind a subject (bride, senior, or other)! It focuses beautifully, and I can’t believe I hadn’t used this lens until a year ago!
Just remember you won’t get the same look for wedding rings with a macro lens but you can still capture beauty without a macro lens!
John Mike says