Do you struggle with auto focus when you're shooting macro? Switch it off. Use manual focus for precise control over how your final image looks.
Compare these 4 images, where the focus point only changes 2cm from the first to the last
3 reasons to use a tripod: 1. tiny apertures or light painting (ie. long shutter speeds); 2. precision; 3. you need an extra pair of hands. That's a lot of photos you can't take if you don't know how to stabilise your camera. (And you don't need an actual tripod for any of this if you have a pile of books or a bag of rice.)
This week, one of my A Year With My Camera students described in our Facebook group how he aspires to take high key flower photographs like Mandy Disher. Amateur Photography magazine published a fantastic piece from Mandy where she describes her set up, lighting and gives plenty of tips (click here to read the post). My student was not getting the results he wanted, so I had a go at following the tutorial, and have found a couple of steps missing - mostly at the editing stage.