The Complete Macro Photography Guide for Beginners [2021]

Are you a beginner in the photography industry? Interested in macro photography? Well, you will learn all about macro photography today. I prepared a list for you, and the file begins with details of what macro photography is, then what are the macro photography ideas, and magnification on a macro lens, and finally the best option for taking macro photography.

Follow my route, the beginning is always essential, and you will learn the details of macro photography today. So, keep calm, take a long breath, read the trail one by one, remove confusion. Let’s learn more…

What is Macro Photography? 

Do you ever wonder about seeing a small Grasshopper through a lens? How will it look like? It is fascinating to see a small object like a big one through a microscope. Macro photography takes a close-up snapshot of small objects like a water drop, flower, feathers, and so many. Either indoor or outdoor, whatever the location is, a macro photographer, a lot of macro photography ideas are available to do.

Identically, when you are capturing an image of a small object to show it as big or “life-size” that we called macro photography.

Hence, every camera lens has a camera sensor, and the sensors are specified to a specific measurement. If you are taking a picture of an object which is similar to your camera sensor measurement or smaller, then it is called macro photography.

Macro Photography Guide for Beginners

Sometimes you will hear that photographers are calling an image “macro,” whereas the object is a little bit larger than usual; they are saying because of the measurement of the camera lens.

Macro Photography Guide for Beginners

As a beginner, you need to follow the essential steps that I am stating below: 

  1. Deeply understand the meaning of macro photography.
  2. Choose the right macro photography kits.
  3. Give a deep dive at the field depth.
  4. Learn about the most crucial part of your subject and focus there.
  5. Keep your camera and flash settings ready always.
  6. Know how different insects behave.
  7. Put together and capture your image.

What is the Magnification of a True Camera Lens?

Magnification of a True Camera Len

Do you want to capture an image of a fly? It is crucial to understand how do you want to show your subject in a macro picture. The formula of magnification is the camera sensor versus the large or small number of your subject size.

A “life-size” magnification macro photography has a one-to-one ratio. Let’s say, your camera sensor is 2 centimeters, and the length of your subject is also 2 centimeters, then it is called a life-size subject.

Usually, DSLR or a Mirrorless camera sensors range starts from 17 millimeters and ends at 36 millimeters. So, a subject that is 1 centimeter in length, is quite significant in size comparing to the sensor range. The subject will cover a substantial percentage of your image. If you want to take a print out of this, that insignificant subject will seem gigantic – theoretically billboard size.

Let’s not talk about “life-size” or “half life-size.” Let me speak with the ratio size to give you a clear definition. 1:1 size magnification is called life-size, and 1:2 size magnification is called half life-size. As soon as you can know about one-tenth of life-size, you disputably are not capturing close-up or macro shooting at all.

Photography Lenses

Now, how will you know that a lens is an excellent macro lens? Typically, a unique macro lens has 1:1 magnification. However, a 1:2 magnification lens is also an excellent macro lens, and sometimes you will find even fewer magnification lenses in the store. Do you want to know my recommendation? You should go with a maximum of 1:2 magnification. Logically 1:1 is the best one that provides you flexibility while capturing a photograph.

Macro Photography Ideas

Macro Photography Tips & Ideas

You will find a lot of subjects both outside or inside of your home. So, below are my 25 macro photography ideas to start your photography career.


Geologists love stone and rock a lot. They work on different macro photography projects. You can join with them to enhance your career and together you can learn a lot about patterns. You will wonder that the two stones pattern is not the same, always. Even, each stone has a different size, shape, and color.

Fruits and Vegetables:

You don’t need to go outside as fruits and vegetables are indoor macro photography ideas. You can save your time as well by choosing these subjects. A new world will reveal to you if you look at them closely. Fruits and vegetables will show you different colors, contrast, shapes, textures, etc.

Peeling Paint:

Peeling paint will give you an experience of time. In an image, you cannot show the movement of time easily. Peeling paints carries undertones of the past. Close up shot of an old coin or a torn outbuilding will bring you to the past.


You know, nature is a great creator. You will never find the same pattern, effects, or shapes in life and its creation. This is the main reason; macro photographer looks for the subject in nature. Features can be captured in such a way that will display their fantastic shapes and colors.


Do you ever imagine how your outfits will look in macro photography? Your daily towels, napkins, tablecloths, and other accessories will seem fantastic in close up shots. Even, you can create your patterns, creases, and textures by using fabric. Different colors in different clothes are a great source for any photographer.

Household Accessories:

To continue your macro practice, you don’t need to buy expensive flowers or any other accessories as a lot of accessories are available at your home. Walk along with your camera and think which could be the most interesting one if you look so close. You can create a landscape or an aerial photograph with available items at your home.


Leaves change their color in different seasons. Even after falling from trees, their colors, shapes, textures get changed. Each leaf is different; also, if they are from the same tree, they are unique. This is an easy subject to take over as a project.

Food Photography:

Is there anyone who doesn’t love to look at a well-decorated food plate? Well-Captured macro food photography helped to increase the customer also. The best part of food photography is, you can taste the food. In macro food photography, change background color is inevitable because mixing up the background color and the food color will distract your viewer and customer both.

Bugs or Insects:

Insects are significantly small in size and dance rapidly. It is one of the most challenging subjects to do macro because of their dancing. Wildlife photographers are tremendously experts in capturing bugs or insects macro. They often use laser movement sensors to catch an amazingly beautiful image. But don’t think that if you don’t own this kind of sensor, you can capture a macro. You have to give it a try to get success.


You will not find a single photographer who did not do macro photography of a flower at its beginning stage. A flower shows several colors, shapes, patterns from buds to a flower. You will overwhelm to look at the colors, shapes, and patterns of a flower through a macro lens. Easily you can create the right image. You will never feel bored capturing flower images because a wide range is available.

Water drops or droplets:

Do you ever look at a water drop to know its color? I am sure, and you are not looking at it. Yet taking a snapshot of a water drop or any splashes is not an easy task, but once you captured, you will see the magic inside them. A very well speed camera setting and accurate timing are significantly needed to obtain a water drop. You need to be remarkably patient and hard work to be a macro photographer for water drops.


A human may look big to be a subject of macro photography. The eyes are the most valuable part of the human body. Our eyes talk as per our emotions. You will find different colors and looks that will provide you with many numbers of macro ideas. The most important thing about the eyes is, human eyes are unlimited, and each eye is unique in color and pattern.

Oily Water:

You don’t need to go outside for macro photography ideas. Mix oil and water is a perfect substance to create the best indoor macro photography ideas. Put some colored lights under the crystal plate to get a better macro image.


If it goes outside? Don’t worry, use bubbles as your subject. Make sure to arrange a new lighting setup to get a fantastic macro image. It is recommended to use colorful macro light to create a lively intangible photo that provides a pleasant texture as well.

Water Glass:

Water glass is an excellent source of macro photography. Do experiments with water glass. Break glass to create lines and patterns; you can get an image with splendid intangible outlines and textures. Another remarkable macro photography ideas around the house are to fill the glass with different colored water.

You can quickly become a macro photography master within a few months. Subjects are all available both outside and indoors. You need to pick one and start practicing until you reveal the beauty of amazing macro photography.

Post Processing of a Macro Photograph

Are you not able to do post-processing to create a fantastic macro photograph? Are you struggling with post-processing? I am excited to share the steps to create stunning and creative macro photography. 

Post Processing of a Macro Photographs

Capture Image in RAW:

Generally, every camera has two file formats. JPEG and RAW. JPEG saves an image in a compressed file; on the other hand, RAW saves an uncompressed file. Images can easily be post-processed in RAW file formats because there is a chance of discarding information of a picture if you keep it in JPEG format.

But RAW files contain all the information related to an image. That means you can re-process your image in RAW format. For example, a photographer can change the white balance to highlight the shadows of an image in RAW formats easily, whereas a lot of work required to do the same work in a JPEG format.

Balance the Exposure:

Do you ever think of starting your work with exposure first? If it is No, then you should do this from your next post-processing work without fail. You will not get a proper sense of an image if you don’t correct the exposure. Also, it will help you to determine your next step during post-processing.

Every post-processing software has an exposure slider to help you to change the brightness of your image to create a close-up photography idea. During post-processing, ask yourself, does the image require more highlight in the shadows? If not, move to the next level. Also, check the highlights and adjust them if needed.

Setup the White Balance:

White balance plays a vital role in a macro photo. Your image will give you a smooth and warm look with proper white balance. White balance is inevitable because a macro with unusual color is terrible, and an appropriate choice of colors will improve the mood of your image. Do work with the temperature slider to finalize the white balance. Go with the old end first and check till mid-range temperature to confirm a warm picture.

Compose Your Image with Crop:

The crop tool is essential to create a bold, warm, and robust image. It is necessary to aim to generate a structure that genuinely segregates your focus and makes it impressive. Also, don’t go too close to the subject, crop the image to fine-tune the image. It is inevitable to follow the “Rule of Thirds” while cropping an image. To straighten up a copy, confirm Rule of Thirds rules is maintained.

Except for the above options, you can change the contrast level, use the clipping path for vector portrait, reduce noise to keep your photo clear, etc. can enhance the beauty of your macro photography ideas. All options are available in Photoshop.

Final Words on Macro Photography

Taking macro images is quite tricky, and it is different from regular photography. A lot of practice is a must to fulfill your dream. Don’t lose your heart. Remember, “Practice Makes a Man Perfect.”

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