Macro Photography

Taking a closer look... Literally!

icon3 min read

Over the years I've gone through phases of experimenting with various types of photography - from model and architecture to levitation and underwater, every week I would try something new. One of the easiest and most fun is, you guessed it, macro photography.

The good news is nowadays this can be done on the cheap. No need for a R10000 DSLR with a R6000 macro lens - nope, you can do it with a camera you already use every day - your phone and a clip-on lens available online or at cellphone accessory stores.

I got my first one online for just R150 and while it served the purpose well, it featured plastic lenses which delivered images of rather low quality. I later invested in an Olloclip. Olloclip lenses are a bit more expensive but are made from aircraft grade aluminium and precision-ground, coated glass optics (oooh fancy!). The 15x magnification lens produces significantly clearer and overall better quality photos.

What to shoot?

The staple subjects for macro photography is without a doubt flowers and insects. Ev-er-y-one does it, and admittedly it was the first few things I shot too. Flowers are always great for extreme close ups, and the same goes for insects, albeit it's easier said than done. The only downside is for a 15x macro shot with a clip-on lens, you literally have to be about a centimetre away from your subject - and when you're that close, insects just don't sit still and smile while you take a photo. Furthermore, apart from being close, the camera also has to be incredibly steady since even the slightest movement shifts the subject out of focus. Although fun, shooting insects can be frustrating af.

I experimented quite a bit and discovered anything with minute details normally not visible by the naked eye make for great subjects. Fabrics, zips, skin, tree bark, creatures, organic or inorganic objects - they're all fun to see from a magnified point of view. Macro photography is definitely one of the easiest types of photography to pick up and get really creative with!