Macro Phone Photography

2021-11-27_07-21-19

Macro phone photography is one of the most fun uses for our phone's camera. It uses the advantage of the small distance between the sensor and the lens in our phones to help us capture photos that are as large or larger than life showing us the details that we normally don't see in the world all around us. From tiny flowers to the faces of insects macro phone photography is a fun and exciting way to get the most from our phone photography skills.

If you want to take macro phone photographs you will want to buy a few things. First, you'll want to pick up a clip-on macro lens. These lenses can be found on Amazon and at a lot of other retailers for not a lot of money. Once you've gotten a macro lens for your phone you can begin to amazing explore the world of macro phone photography.  I'll list some of the other accessories that can take your macro phone photography to the next level below. First let's talk more about what macro photography is and how to do it.

What is Macro Photography?

Macro photography is taking photos of a subject at life-size or even greater magnification. Macro photography allows us to see small details in our world that we don't ordinarily pay attention to such as the veins in leaves or wings of a bee or butterfly. Macro photography runs from life-size to around 10 times magnification. Anything beyond that requires a microscope.

Life Sized

We say that macro captures things at life size but what does that mean exactly? Life sized means that if you were taking a macro photograph of a flat object the size it takes up on your phone's sensor is the same length it is in real life. Macro lets us focus on tiny details like a single feather or a few seeds on the head of a sunflower.

Where to Take Macro Photos

macro phone photographyOne of the things that I love about macro photography is that you can take macro photos anywhere. Even if it's a rainy day you can practice taking macro photos at home. Because macro photography is all about the details we can find almost anything with an interesting texture or shape to take photos of. If the weather or temperature has you stuck inside but you're really wanting to play with your camera and get creative you can do so with a macro lens and nearly anything you can find sitting around the house.

While macro is great when the creative bug bites you on a bad weather day I think the most fun you can with macro have is outside. Flowers, bugs, leaves, rocks, bark, there are so many things out there to create beautiful macro photos of with our phone.

Macro Phone Accessories

To take great macro photos with your phone pick up a clip-on macro lens. There are a lot of different options but as with most things the more expensive the lens the better it should be. That said you can get nice macro lenses for as little as $15. Check out these lenses at B&H, Adorama, and Amazon. A good lens will not leave strange color casts in bright spots. This is called chromatic abrasion. It happens when different wavelengths of light don't match up perfectly as is most evident in the brightest parts of our pictures. It will usually appear purple-ish or blue-ish.

Aside from your lens other macro accessories include small tripods that can help you hold you phone steady. This is really important for macro photography because the small slice of the world that you're able to get in focus with a macro photo. With a tripod you can move your phone just a tiny bit at a time and can free your hands if you need to hold the subject that you're taking a photo of.

You might find yourself taking macro photos in an area where there's not a lot of light. Bringing some additional lights with you can help your photos to really stand out. The flash that is included on our phone is not very powerful but a small led lamp or even a flashlight can help you add light and to adjust it in interesting ways that can really make your photos look extra special.

Find Out More

Find out more about macro phone photography by joining me for a class on macro photography this Jan at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. You can also join my mailing list where I send out all sorts of helpful tips and tricks about photography.  Of course I'm always happy to hear from you if you've got specific questions or comments so please feel free to reach out via my contact page. You can also have a look at some of my phone photography and specifically my phone macro photos over on Flickr.

November 27, 2021 | Don Orkoskey
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