What Is Macro Photography?

There are many forms of creative photography to try out, macro photography being among the most popular and fascinating. Macro photography involves capturing extreme close up photos of very small subjects, such as flowers and insects. These images are then blown up and the amount of detail that you can see is simply amazing. The smallest of insects can look as large as a dinosaur in a good macro shot.

When it comes to the scale, a ratio of 1:2 is quite popular as it means that the negative will be half of the size of the item that you’re photographing. Another popular ratio is 1:1. A ratio of 1:1 means that the object that’s in the photo is life size. Therefore, a 1:4 ratio image means the object is one quarter of its actual size.


Many of today’s digital cameras come with a setting for macro photography, making it quite easy. But for many enthusiasts, they prefer to do things the manual way by using SLR (single lens reflex) cameras and exchangeable lenses.

In macro photography, there are specific lenses that can be used. These will result in better contrast and sharpness when you get closer to your subject. The very best types of macro lenses can actually focus to about two centimetres. However, you don’t have to use special macro lenses to get some excellent close-up shots.

You can even use a method called reverse-lens technique for taking macro shots. To do this you add another lens to your camera, but reverse it and then attach it to your original lens. You can purchase reversal rings which will keep the lenses attached and in place. The reversed lens will magnify the small object and the original lens will shrink it enough to fit in the frame.

Basically, just about any lens can be used as a macro lens. The reversed lens can actually magnify very small objects. Micro and close-up lenses are also ideal for macro photography as are teleconverters and extension tubes. Macro lenses are often called close-up lenses, but a close-up lens is typically a lens attachment which used for taking close-up photos. They aren’t usually capable of focusing to infinity though. You’ll also find that some camera companies will call the macro lens a micro lens. They’re made for macro photography and are available in various focal lengths.

A 100 mm macro lens will be able to produce a 1:1 ratio image just like a 50mm macro lens can. However, with the 100mm lens, you don’t have to be as close to the subject when taking the shot. You can find the lenses in an assortment of apertures and they’re available in both auto focus and manual models. You may find that it’s a bit difficult when focusing in macro photography because you’ll have less depth of the field the closer you get to your subject. In addition, the lighting could be a little tricky and you might need to utilize a hand-held flash unit.

Macro photography is quite common across the globe in forensic and medical situations, but it’s also still one of the most popular forms of photography, especially with nature enthusiasts.