With my macro lens, I started by keeping the aperture wide open at 2.8 (little number = large opening). The larger the opening, the more light you get, the faster your shutter speed can be - this all adds up to more blur and a shallow depth of field.
Take this photo for example. I've learned to keep my aperture at 3.5 or higher when using my macro lens (anything larger and there's barely anything in focus), but still, not much of this photo is in focus. Lesson learned - keep the number higher/smaller aperture.
Shooting with a macro lens has taught me to shoot in full manual mode - something I didn't even bother attempting before. That was the best thing for me. If you want to learn about your camera, force yourself into full manual - it's worth it.
ps. Isn't this a great photo of my dad? I love it.
This is another one of those photos that kicked my butt - definitely not enough of this little guy is in focus.
ps. I'm pretty sure I took my life into my hands when taking this photo. Have I ever told you that I don't like bugs? Like, at all. I had to crouch in a field to take this photo. That means my feet (though I was wearing tall boots) were just inches away from a bagillion bugs. This is dangerous work, folks. Don't try this at home.
I did a little better with this one. Acutally - I think the only reason his butt is out of focus is because there was a leave between me and him. Bummer. I love that you can see how he holds onto the stem. He's little stump feet are super cute.
Ah! My aperture is killing me! His legs are in focus, but his antennae are not. Dang it.
ps. Again, taking my life into my own hands here. He could have jumped at me at any second, but did I back down? No I did not.
This weed/plant/thing and all it's crazy cousins are covering our back field right now. When the light hits them just right in the evenings, it looks like the field is glowing. It's actually really beautiful.
This is the one bug picture I wasn't scared to take and I got everything in focus that I wanted to be in focus. Hmm, 1 outta 82 - not too shabby.