Macro Photography

The photos shown on this website are the actual results of using the Macro and Wide angle lens from the 3-in-1 kit together on an iPhone XR.

What makes good macro photography?

Macro photography is all about showcasing a subject larger than it is in real life — an extreme close-up of something small.

According to a blog post by Adobe about macro photography, the world you know is gone, and a new one emerges.

“I think the hardest thing about macro photography is actually previsualization — learning to recognize what a good macro subject might be,” says photographer and teacher Ben Long who is interviewed in the Adobe article. “Because when you’re going into macro distances, things just look completely different than what you see in the real world. You might be sitting in front of a great macro subject and have no idea.”

Keep your eye on the details

As you move closer to any object, the fine details and tiny imperfections that are invisible from a distance become clear. When you’re magnifying as much as you will in macro photography, you may be looking at stray hairs that appear as big as pool noodles.

Long explains. “You’ve got to clean like crazy. And if it’s something fragile, you can’t just get a can of compressed air and blow it. You’ve got to get in with tweezers and little brushes to try to clean everything off.”

Plan what you want to capture

“Macro photography is dependent on the photographer and what it is that they want to enlarge for people to see,” photographer Stephen Klise says in the Adobe article.

Working with smaller subjects means your depth of field shrinks, making it very important to go into macro shoots with a plan for what photos you want to get. “When you’re working with macro photography, you have such a narrow plane of focus that little adjustments will throw the whole thing right off,” Klise says.

Shed some light on your subject

Much like detail is amplified in a macro shot, so too are the effects of light and shadow — and these are things you can control in some macro shoots, much to your advantage.

“I used to bring along a tiny, handheld battery-powered light — it was essentially like a flashlight,” wedding photographer Khara Plicanic explains about her practice of employing macro photography to capture artistic shots of newly married couples’ wedding rings. “I like to use that in my ring shots sometimes, just to add some dimension and drama to the scene.”

Consider your scene

Beyond lighting and photo-ruining dust motes, your background is another area to pay attention to. With your focus so dialed in on your tiny subject, it can be easy to forget to check your background.

“I made this little scene with toy dinosaurs and all that,” photographer Jeff Carlson says of a shoot he did. “I was about to send it to my editor, but my wife looked at it and said, ‘There’s no way you’re sending that. There are dirty dishes in the background.’”

Beware of movement

Motion always has the potential to add blur to a photo, and much like all aspects of macro photography, that issue increases with small subjects and scenes. A good setup is key to keep the camera steady.

“If you’re working at magnification, then camera shake becomes very critical,” Long says. “Particularly if you’re using a slower shutter speed, because macro shots are so dark, you have to use a one- or two-second shutter speed. You may find that you have to leave the room and use the remote control to do that. I live on the top floor of an old building, and if I walk around I get too much camera shake.”

Awareness may be the tip that sums it all up. Macro photography happens at a different scale, but the same practices apply: make sure your subject is in focus, your contrast is good, and it’s clear where you want the audience to look. In macro, with such a different perspective, there’s not necessarily more to look out for, but there’s definitely a need to train your eye for what to look out for.

As always, practice makes perfect, so get yourself in that Ant-Man mindset and start thinking — and shooting — small.

Read the full article at