Macro photography ideas: 16 small things that look great BIG
Matthew James Oxlade
Being stuck at home isn’t the end of the world when you have so much subject matter around you begging to be photographed. Here are 16 macro photography ideas around the home that look great under a macro lens.
Macro photography ideas
Everyone has berries in their fridge or growing on a tree nearby (don’t eat those), so if you’re a healthy human specimen, making a small bunch of berries look HUGE with macro photography is an easy start to getting a subject that lends itself to a lot of colour and detail.
Rocks have all kinds of interesting layers and patterns to them. Whether they are smooth or rough, they have so many interesting things to see when you blow them up with close up photography.
Leaves and flowers
Leaves and flowers were the first things I photographed when I got my camera, and my first macro photography subject. Leaves and flowers don’t move much unless it’s a windy day, making them great subjects for macro photos.
Hear me out on this one. Rice looks pretty bland, but if you shoot it with a super macro lens like the Canon 65mm MP-E, you get something very interesting. So many grooves and other things in it that is interesting when you see it blown big.
The texture on a pet’s paw or the finer hairs that coat them are perfect for macro photography. You can even turn them quite lo-fi in the editing process and get some interesting black-and-white tones.
Aged areas around the home (peeling paint)
That wall you haven’t painted yet, or that railing that you need to sand is waiting for your camera. Anything aged looks amazing under a macro lens. There’s so many intricacies and patterns there and the best part is, it doesn’t move!
Insects are probably the hardest thing to photograph, but are my favourite. It’s kind of like hunting – you move slowly to try and not be noticed and get the cleanest shot you can with so many objects in front of you. The best part is you don’t kill the thing you’re hunting. I just love macro photography of insects and bees.
Lay some pencils out on a piece of paper or stand them up in the pencil box and focus on the tip of the pencil. The graphite that makes up a pencil is quite textured and the sharp lines make it a simple thing to photograph.
Cut open a fruit and inside there are so many lines, textures and bright colours for you to take advantage of.
Don’t hate me, but I despise lego photos. They just seem so corny. But you can’t deny that they are a good macro photography idea for something to shoot around the house. You do you, boo.
If you’re like me, for some reason you have some shells around the home from some walk on the beach you did 10 years ago. Dig out that shell and take advantage of the long lines, patterns and sandy colours.
Burned candles or incense
The way candles look when they’re burned away, or the smoke circling off an incense stick (like above) is something that looks boring from eye-level, but when you make it huge with the right lighting, it looks quite cool.
Ok, so the photo above isn’t actually bubbles, it’s dew on a spiderweb. But it’s the closest I could find to bubbles that I had taken, and it gives you the idea. Run yourself a nice bubble bath and before you jump in, take some photos of the bubbles.
Go full detective-mode and photograph the finer grooves on a finger. You’ll need a super-macro lens for this, like the Canon 65mm MP-E I mentioned earlier.
Sometimes I find feathers around my apartment, and you can make it look even better by dripping some water on the feather and seeing how the drops rest on it like the photo above.
I’ve mentioned this before, but a single dew drop can do a lot in macro photography. Get a spray bottle and spray the grass if there hasn’t been any recent rain.
Got extra macro photography ideas to capture around the home? Hit the comments below!