Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

5 Macro Photography Tips


Floral subjects are very popular in macro photography because the tight focus offers a unique perspective on tiny details.
Floral subjects are very popular in macro photography because the tight focus offers a unique perspective on tiny details.
ŠiStockphoto/Thinkstock

Macro photography is the art of the close-up. Not like a close-up of Marlon Brando's Don Corleone slowly acting out a scene with nothing but a powerful stare in "The Godfather." We're talking really, really close-up stills. While there's no single, specific definition as to what, exactly, constitutes a macro photograph, the term is often used to describe a shot taken at a 1:1 ratio; that is, the object appears to be the same size on a camera's sensor as it does in real life. But that's a pretty strict definition. Odds are, if you hear someone chatting about macro photography, they're just talking about getting up close and personal with their subject.

Sometimes, that subject is a cool gadget like the iPhone, photographed with a macro lens to show off tiny buttons and sleek industrial design. More often, macro photography is used on very small subjects, like flowers or bugs, to capture a dramatic shot we'd never experience with the naked eye alone. Just run a Google image search for macro photography and you'll find yourself face-to-face with a whole page of larger-than-life insects. That's a macro lens in action!

Want to take some macro photographs yourself? It's easy! Here are five tips to get you started. The first is dead simple: Get a macro lens.


More to Explore