Larger Than Life: Macro Photography


photography producing photographs of small items larger than life size.


Macro photography is the art of taking close-up pictures that reveal details which can’t be seen with the naked eye. It captures detail in such a way that it makes the spectator feel like “Alice in Wonderland”.

The beauty about macro photography is that you have a limitless amount of subjects. All you need is a keen eye, and a bit of practice.

Here are my tips to create great macro images:

  • Magnify When an object is projected at life-size onto the sensor, it is at 1:1 magnification; 1:1 magnification is the ratio of macro photography using a full-frame DSLR camera.
  • Lens Macro lenses usually range from 50mm to 200mm, depending on subject to lens distance. For general macro work, a 50mm – 60 mm will work. But if you’re looking for a greater distance to subject, you may consider using a 100mm, all the way to a 200mm lens.
  • Focal Lengths Shorter focal lengths are good for hand holding shots; long focal lengths will create a shallower depth of field.
  • Aperture Use the smallest lens aperture to gain optimum image sharpness and depth of field. The dept[h] of field draws the eye to the subject and creates an enticing background effect.
  • Lighting Because you may find yourself close to your subject most of the time, try to avoid using flash. It will over expose your shot. Instead, try adjusting your ISO accordingly (the lower the ISO, the less sensitive the sensor is to light).

Other quick tips

  • LCD Screen To help avoid parallax error, use your LCD screen.
  • Tripods I sometimes get hit with the photographers curse…shaky hands. When that happens, I rely on my handy dandy tripod. It helps create a clearer photo.
  • Reflectors Use a small reflector to even out the lighting. You can also use a white board, or a piece of foil.

IMG_4402As with many techniques in photography, there are many technical terms for macro photography.  The most crucial is the concept of magnification. Once you understand the differences between life-sized images and 1:4 images, you will know the most crucial macro-specific terminology
that you’ll come across.

I like to think that the best images are taken when they’re shot naturally. When you feel the moment is right, and you shoot. So don’t forget to listen to your inner voice when you’re out shooting.

As always, I would love to see what you create. Please leave a comment with the link where I can follow your work.

 Click on the image to view full size

“Life should be larger than life. Size is important to escape normalization” – Karl Lagerfeld


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