What is Macro Photography?

What is Macro Photography?

There's something magical about seeing the eyes of a dragonfly up close, or the individual drops of water on a plant. 

No doubt, capturing these close-ups as a permanent Macro photo can be even more amazing. That's where Macro photography comes in. 

So, if you want to learn what is macro photography, and how you can do it yourself, stay tuned!

What is macro photography?

In simple terms, macro photography is all about extreme close-ups. These close-ups are done on very small subjects and living organisms like insects, to make them larger than life. 

By definition, the size of the subject on the image sensor should be life size or greater in a macro photograph. In technical terms, an image whose subject is reproduced to at least 1:1.

Photographers can take macro photographs of basically anything, though there are a few common subjects. These include insects, frogs, plants and water. 

Why is it called macro photography?

Given that the word macro simply translates to meaning “large-scale”, it’s used to highlight the nature of this type of photography. Close up Macro photos of tiny things allows us to see them on a much larger scale than we normally would. 

What is Macro Photography - Best Aperture


How do you do macro photography?

What is Macro Photography - Macro Mode in Photography

After learning what is macro photography, the next step in creating amazing macro photos is knowing what you need. Luckily, we have some tips:

Macro lens

What is Macro Photography - Definition of Macro

Having a good macro lens is an important part of creating successful macro photography. But, "What is a macro lens?" You might wonder. 

Well, for starters, you have to consider minimum focusing distances. In general, this will go hand in hand with the focal length of the lens. 

That means that the further away you are from your subject, the more heavy duty of a lens you'll need. A zoom lens can provide you with great close up shots that are easy to control, while a telephoto lens can get you close ups from far away. 

Typically though, the most useful macro lenses fall between 70 and 200 mm, with a sweet spot between 100 and 135 mm. This will give you the much needed balance between being close without sacrificing your field of view.

Also, don’t forget about storage! If you plan on using macro lenses, why not also have a lens filter case or tech pouch. And, make sure you have some microfiber lens cloths to keep those lenses clean. 

What is macro mode in camera?

What is Macro Photography - Snowflake

The Macro mode on your camera can also be a great tool. 

Simply put, it's a setting on your camera that helps take focused, detailed close up pictures. You can find it by shooting in manual mode (which you should be doing anyway!). 

Depending on the camera you have, the option for Macro mode will be either on the touch screen or dial wheel.

If you're still wondering what is macro photography, read on:

Stabilizing Equipment

What is Macro Photography - Closeup of Hornet

When shooting close up images of potentially fast moving creatures or objects, it’s important to nail the focus. Without stellar focus, you’ll lose the little details that make Macro photography amazing.

With that in mind, make sure you use a steady tripod, or other stabilizing equipment. 

Camera Bag

What is Macro Photography - Macro Mode - Camera Bag

The last thing you want is to be ready to go shooting, only to find that carrying all the equipment you need safely is nearly impossible. Part of being a good macro photographer is having a reliable camera bag.

We recommend The Voyager camera backpack, as it’s well-made and weatherproof. It even has a dedicated tripod strap!

This backpack packs a serious amount of gear for its size, fitting two DSLR cameras, up to seven lenses, a laptop, a tablet, and other accessories. All this storage makes it easy to pack anything and everything you’ll need for your Macro photoshoot. 

Up Next: Best Photography Techniques

Now that you know more about what is macro photography, why not learn more about other exciting photography techniques?

We’ve covered anything and everything you need to know in our Best Photography Techniques article. 

Up Next: Best Photography Techniques →

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