Week #17: Macro

To be shot and submitted between Sunday, Apr 19 and Sunday, Apr 26 (noon, Eastern)

“Macro photography” refers to the technique of getting really, really super-duper close to something (usually something small), and making your tiny subject appearĀ larger than life. (Technically speaking, macro photography means shooting at a magnification ratio of at least 1:1. Therefore, a ‘true’ macro lens has the ability to produce a magnification ratio of 1:1, or higher. For purposes of this challenge, we will keep the “macro” term open to anything that is relatively teeny tiny šŸ™‚

It’s also one of our favorite challenges!

There’s good reason for that. Macro photography encapsulates all the great things about photography: form, abstract, color, lines, and most of all: using the camera to reveal something that would otherwise be hidden to us, even though it’s right in front of our eyes. Macro photography gives us the power to create alien worlds out of simple textures.

So this week we challenge you to find the strange, the foreign, the unusual, the other-worldly, and the beautiful – all hiding in plain sight.

Tips and Tuts for this week:


  • We’ve put together the ultimate, all-in-one guide, for shooting amazing macro photos, with whatever gear you got! Head over to our blog and check it out!
  • Focus! Focus! Focus! One of the most important things to keep in mind when shooting macro is getting sharp focus on your subject. If your shot is coming out blurry, try again! (You may need a tripod or solid surface to rest your camera on).

Looking for more inspiration?Ā Check out theseĀ 40Ā Remarkable Examples of Macro PhotographyĀ and, of course, theĀ 52Frames Macro album from 2014.

Extra Credit:Ā “Focus-Stacking”

With most macro setups, you only get a very small sliver of focus (that is, a really shallow depth of field).Ā Focus stacking allows you to a great closeup, and keep the whole image in focus. How does it work? Simply take several images of your subject – each time with a new focal point – until you have each part of your subject in focus in at least one of your frames. Then you use a tool like Photoshop to merge together all the sharp areas from the various shots.

Again, it is not necessary to work in this Extra Credit piece. It’s extra credit!