macro photography ideas

Macro photography ideas

Hello my awesome readers hope you’re doing well. In this article I will show you some macro photography ideas and how to create stunning pictures. Even if you are a beginner or expert in macro photography, this will boost your creativity in shooting macro.

What is macro photography?


First of all, let me explain what macro means in the terms of photography. Macro is when you take pictures in extreme close up of small objects, insects or surfaces that has tiny pores. For this you will need a special macro lens or extension tubes.

As you can see in the picture above there are three rings with which you can increase magnification. More rings means much closer to the subject which will show more details on the specific subject.

>>MEIKE Extension Tubes<<

When you take pictures of a subject in extreme close up the subject in the image will come out greater than life size. It magnifies and shows the details of the subject which you can’t see with naked eyes. This is why I like taking macro pictures the most.

Quick tips on how to take stunning macro photos


Always check the lighting when you prepare to shot a subject in close up. Otherwise, they will come out way too bright or too dark. The best lighting for macro is the outdoor light, natural.

Increase the ISO only in low light, otherwise your pictures will come out noisy. ISOs are the round numbers from 50 to 6400, higher numbers are used when it’s dark outside or if the subject is in a dark spot. In other cases, set the ISO to 100 or 200.

Set the shutter speed only when you are shooting flying or moving insects. Set it to faster shutter speed, in the 1/1000 to 1/2000 range for flying insects, 1/500 for flowers in wind and 1/250 for crawling insects.

Use manual focus. The auto-focus mode tends to focus the most on the part of the subject that is closer to the lens. With manual, you can focus on the whole subject.

If you have the extension tubes attached to the camera, use a tripod because the tubes will deactivate the stabilizer of the camera even if you leave it on.

 

These are the basic settings to take stunning macro photos. Now let’s get to the awesome ideas to boost your creativity on shooting macro images.

11 Macro Photography Ideas


Prepare your camera, lens and tripod cause were gonna dive into some creative ways to shoot macro images. Here are eleven macro ideas which you can try out.

1. Water running from tap

Tap water

Taking pictures of water running from tap or river will come out abstract and metallic. You can play with saturation to make it black and white, it gives more metallic look, more precisely liquid metal look. When you are preparing to take pictures of running water don’t forget to set the your camera to a faster shutter speed to make the subject of the image come out sharp. Otherwise, the water from your image will end up with a silky look (this is called long exposure). And that’s not what you want.

2. Tree leaves

Walnut leaf

In the image above is an extreme close up of a walnut leaf. You can take pictures of any leaves you want but you have to be careful with the depth of field because leaves are not always in a straight position. And it will come out blurry.

You can go in the park or in the nearest forest where are plenty of trees of different species and put your creativity in action.

3. Pictures of insects

Taking pictures of insects in extreme close up is art. You can see all the details on their wings, eyes and body hair in one picture, which you cannot see with naked eyes. I assume that you have seen at least once those pictures of flies or bees eyes magnified where you can see their compound eyes made up of thousands of individual lenses. Now that is awesome.

You can find insects everywhere, especially in the summer. You can go in your garden or the nearest park and take pictures of various insects of different species.

4. Screen cracks

screen cracks

Screen cracks or glass cracks are an awesome idea to shoot. It gives an abstract look to the subject in the picture and shows the crystallized pieces in extreme close up. To create this kind of pictures, you will need to crack the screen of an old phone of yours which you don’t want to use it anymore. If you already have a broken phone that’s great, just put your creativity in action.

This kind of images are great for background to prank your friends that they cracked the screen of your phone. (just kidding)

5. Light bulb shapes

Light spirals

If you have led lights with multiple bulbs like those above the mirror in the bathroom, you can take stunning pictures which come out different shapes, like the above image with spiral shapes. Play with the focus and zoom and you will create different shapes.

6. Air bubbles from beverages

If you like to drink fizzy drinks don’t hesitate to take some close up pictures of the bubbles in the glass. When you look at a glass of beer or coke you don’t see anything awesome in it, you just drink it and that’s it. But when you take a close up look through your lens you will be amazed how different will the air bubbles look.

It gives that abstract look to the bubbles with a stunning background. Here too you have to be careful when you shoot the picture. Choose a round glass if you want the images to come out flawlessly, otherwise, it will end up with unwanted stripes.

7. Different species of flowers

If you have a garden full of flowers, that’s great and it makes it easier for you to shoot macro images of different species of flowers. And for those who don’t have a garden, you can go in the park or other places that are arranged with flowers and start shooting.

The most beautiful images of flowers in extreme close up are roses. You can shoot a rose from different positions and it still looks stunning. On other flowers shooting from sideways is the best option, the image come out showing the details of the petals.

Yellow rose

8. Autoclave aerated concrete

Autoclaved aerated concrete

Shooting autoclave aerated concrete in extreme close up it will show the pores from the block magnified, and it will give an outer space look. If you have a nearby building that’s under construction or if you accidentally have a block at home go ahead and shoot several pictures of it from different positions for more creative images.

9. Materials

The textiles from clothes are a great source of shooting macro images. With different shapes on the material you can create cool pattern images. The best textiles are the knitted ones. On those you can find different cool shapes. Take a look in your wardrobe and put your creativity in action.

10. Water droplets

Water drops gives a cool look to everything. After a rainy day, go outside and take pictures of everything that looks amazing with water drops. In my experience, leaves, fruits and flowers look more awesome with drops.

If it hasn’t rained lately in your area, you can create water drops with a water spray bottle. In the image below, you will see a flower in a water drop, the flower is positioned behind the drops, magnified and focused only on the drop.

11. Soil

Soil from outside or soil from flowers and plants you have at home. When you shoot soil in extreme macro, will give an out of this world look, spectral or fairy tale look.

What should I do with the images


When the images are starting to stack up, you can create a photo album of them and show to your friends, family or you can upload them online.

There are websites like shutterstock, adobestock, dreamstime and so on, where you can upload images and earn some money too.

Another option is to create your own website. I know an awesome platform where you can learn how to build websites, it has all the tools and training you need. Click the link below to join.

How to build a website for free

Conclusion


Macro photography is sometimes difficult, because of lighting, equipment and other techniques. Especially when you’re trying to take pictures of insects. On the other hand, macro photography is the most amazing and awesome category of the photography industry. You can create amazing art when you take macro images of different subjects.


If you have any questions or other opinions, don’t hesitate to drop them below, and I’ll respond as soon as possible. Be safe and take care.

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6 Comments

  1. Loved this blog post.
    I am always looking for photography tips as my photography skills are non existent, despite the many photos I have taken over the years. 
    The macro effect is fabulous, the running water photo looked amazing as did the other photos. I haven’t seen a rose in close up like that before. The red looked almost as though it had been messily painted on to the petals. It was a great effect.

    1. Thank you Linda, I’m happy that you find my article useful. The red on the rose look like that because the rose is dried. I agree with you, shooting macro gives great effects to the image.

  2. Wow, taking pictures have been really fun for me and since I was very small and I have had a great love for it and it’s been something I still want to go on with and make those out of it. I have read a lot of articles about it and I have really loved every bit of it. Till I finally get the best out of it, I still wouldn’t stop learning about it.

    1. Hello Justin, you will always have something to learn from it. Every bug behaves different, every flower is different, every object is different. You will always have to play with the settings. I agree with you, taking pictures is fun and sometimes challenging. 

  3. Wow, these are some very fantastic ideas that I should be able to give a shot at myself because I have never thought that I would be able to shoot macro shoots too. I have seen some top level creativity with macro shoots too ranging from photographers buying miniature products and taking cool shots to taking shots from small holes too. The former is something I’d like to try.

    1. Hi Suz, everyone can shoot macro photos, it only depends on how you manipulate the camera. Once you have learned how aperture and shutter speed works, it only remains to be creative on the subject you shoot. And yes, you can take macro photos literally of everything. I’m glad that you found my article helpful.

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