Macro Photography: The Art of Seeing What Isn’t There

Macro photography is the act of taking pictures of small things. Easy enough, right? Just point your camera at something small and snap a shot? Not quite. Achieving a pleasing image of a small subject usually requires a lens specific to that job. It’s called a macro lens kids, and it will make your photos, well, better. Straight up.

In the photo game a good macro lens can be a GAME CHANGER. Having the ability to zoom close into tiny subjects can bring out details in the image that you didn’t know were there. Shooting subjects this close while maintaining clarity and definition can really open up a whole new creative universe and give some of your shots a personality and life that they wouldn’t have had with a standard lens.

preying mantis macro photography

For example, to the naked eye, one might just see this as a green bug on the wall. But when shot with my 60mm Macro NIKKOR lens this praying mantis seems to take on a whole new character. It almost makes you wonder what he’s thinking… Is he looking back at me? He looks upset… Is it because he didn’t sign a model release?

preying mantis macro photography

In the past I would often shoot with my standard kit lens that boasts the ability to shoot in macro.  What I would get is a beautiful flower on a beautiful day that in the end turned out to be a decent shot, perhaps requiring some work in post to get it up to snuff. But what happens when I use that powerful macro lens to explore the same shot? I see what in fact makes this flower beautiful… it’s flawless patterns that give it shape and character—textures and limbs that I would never see with my boring old eyes in boring old real life. It ends up being the type of shot that I could have never achieved with my kit lens and usually requires very little editing as all those juicy details have already been captured right there on the camera’s sensor thanks to my macro lens. 

flower macro photography

And how about video? A macro lens can easily make your tiny video projects WAY more interesting. My back yard is filled with these little critters, but I had no idea what a caterpillar looked like while chomping down on some tasty greens until I got out the ‘ol macro. I know he looks massive on screen, but this dude was only about an inch long!

So go ahead, get your hands on a macro lens and prepare to have your creative pallet expanded tenfold. Get up close and personal with your subjects and get a feel for what their tiny life is all about. Whether you’re shooting food, consumer goods, or just nature and recreational photography, let your macro lens give your compositions that refined look and bring out the detail that you never knew was there.