Macro photography brings out the the tiniest details in the spotlight. Details few pay attention to, yet which are no less interesting than the bigger picture. When captured at the right moment they can easily surpass what surrounds them. While noticing them is one thing, photographing them is another. From macro basics to the right equipment, this guide will help you mastering mobile macro photography.
What is Macro photography?
Let’s get it out of the way, macro photography is different from close-ups. While close-ups can require to get into the subject’s personal space, macro goes further. It likes to share its subject’s intimacy. It sees what others don’t and wants them to discover those delicate small features which go unnoticed. Particularly appreciated by nature enthusiasts for its ability to bring out the hidden gems of the fauna and flora, macro can easily step out of its comfort zone and adapt to any subject.
Mobile photography is increasing because smartphone cameras on today’s flagship phones are capable of capturing awe-inspiring images and 4K video. The development of smartphone cameras and external accessories together have made smartphone macro photography possible. Here are other resources to read on mobile photography.
What to shoot?
Novices might want to start with immobile objects. Flowers, jewellery, clothing, anything with an interesting texture or detail. Once those are mastered, insects, animals and people can be next in line. Yet, there is no need to restrict oneself. Experimenting is essential for improvement. Keep shooting as much as you can and you’ll eventually figure out what works for you.
As with any type of photography, lighting plays a major role. Natural light is often privileged but timing needs to be taken into account as well. Shadows can be tricky and are easier avoided early mornings or mid-afternoons. The important thing to remember is the closer you are to the subject, the more light is required. This is why playing around with exposure can be interesting as well. Improvised light diffusers can help create different atmospheres.
The closer your subject is to the lens, the smaller the depth of field. This is not necessarily a handicap, just bear in mind that not all details you’re looking to include might get in the picture. Don’t forget to remove auto-focus on your phone to avoid it deciding for you what should be in the picture. Once again experiment. Why not try using the flash? What about adjusting settings directly on your phone?
Some extra equipment is needed for perfect macro shots made with a phone. A lens is a good start. The Macro G4 lens has a 15x zoom and a 26mm focus-distance and its universal clip attachment is compatible with phones, tablets and laptops. You could also try the 3-Pack which comes with a Fisheye lens and Wide Angle and Macro combo lenses, giving more options to test out. A tripod and a remote shutter can also come in handy, especially when the photographer or the subject cannot remain perfectly still.
Now the world of mobile macro photography is all yours. Get out of your comfort zone, explore this territory with new subjects, gear and settings. And don’t forget to share your photographs with us!