I particularly love macro shots. I believe it is one area of photography that I learned first before I even began learning all about the “rule of thirds,” etc. 🙂
My favorite would be this macro shot of Made in Candy‘s “I Love You” candy which is about 2 centimeters big in diameter. I only use a regular 32mm lens and if there is one item in my birthday wishlist that I would like to have, that would be a telephoto zoom lens. *wishful thinking* 😉
I oftentimes use manual focus because I get to choose which part of the subject I like to highlight as well as the areas where I would put more emphasis on. Bokeh is also a favorite photography tip of mine when taking macro shots. It doesn’t completely blur the background and your background still has texture and patterns on it. Although a “clean” background does have its benefits too especially in pictorials and if you wanted to give extra focus on particular details of the subject like the texture of the fabric, intricate design of a piece of jewelry or to highlight the makeup of the model.
Just like in the photo below, I wanted to achieve a smooth progression of my subject and the background. The subject (keys) are detailed enough so to highlight them I opted for a soft blur contrary to a bokeh background. Always use your camera’s f-stop feature to change aperture settings and achieve a blurry background. I tend to do this manually as well.
But as for me, I don’t really follow rules in photography. And neither am I a professional photographer. I simply point and shoot and rely on my eye for the aesthetics. 😉 I cross-process my photos though using Photoshop but I only use it for color enhancements. And I watch tutorials re tips in capturing challenging photos i.e. moving objects, waterfalls, long exposures, etc. Keep in mind as well reminders from professional photographers you randomly meet during pictorials and events or even from a friend who is more experienced in this field.
If you love photography or just starting to love it, I suggest just go with what you enjoy taking photos of. In time, your shots will become better. Just keep on taking photos, keep on learning and keep on exploring. 🙂