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Photography Lesson: Macro for your phone or camera

Fat Mum Slim /

Brought to you by Olympus OM-D E-M10.

Macro Photography Lesson - Phone or Camera // Macro is so fun and slightly addictive

Hello and welcome. Grab a seat and make yourself comfortable. I’ll just pop over here and dim the lights so we can begin our lesson.

As you may or may not know, each month in the Photo A Day challenge I include a photography prompt. It’s a great way to stretch and grow the old photography skills, and have a little fun along the way too. This month’s prompt is super popular, and it seems that everyone that tries it falls in love with it and wants to keep trying it. I hope that you do the same.

So the prompt for the month of February is MACRO. And here’s a little bit about it.

Macro Photography Lesson - Phone or Camera // Macro is so fun and slightly addictive

To break it down to even simpler terms; Macro means super close-up.

Macro Photography Lesson - Phone or Camera // Macro is so fun and slightly addictiveI had a play around last weekend, and wanted to show you how to achieve it with your phone or camera. Above is a non-macro photo {on the left} and a macro photo {on the right}. It’s the same object, a beautiful flower, just taken with a different technique.

Let me break it down for, with tips for your camera or phone. First, camera.

Macro Photography Lesson - Phone or Camera // Macro is so fun and slightly addictive

The tips I’m sharing are for whatever camera you use {DSLR or mirrorless}, but to be more specific, the camera I use is the Olympus OM-D E-M10. Generally I use a 45mm/1.8f lens with my camera. It’s my favourite because it lets lots of light in, and creates lots of blur. I love that stuff. That lens though, doesn’t love the macro style of shooting. Whatever camera you’re using, you can try and get as close as you can to your subject matter but it will stop focusing at a certain point.

I changed lenses to the 60mm Macro lens, and was able to get super close up and capture details in the flowers.

Macro Photography Lesson - Phone or Camera // Macro is so fun and slightly addictive

Whatever lens you’re using, try and get as close as you can to your subject matter. Try using the manual focus to get as close in as possible. You’ll definitely need a steady hand or a tripod.

Subjects that are great for macro: Flowers, bugs, eyelashes on sweet children… get around and explore and see what works for you, and your shooting style.

Macro Photography Lesson - Phone or Camera // Macro is so fun and slightly addictive

If you don’t have a fancy camera, don’t fear; macro is fun with your phone too. Now, as you probably know, I don’t have an Android phone, so I’m not sure how those devices work in regards to photography. It’s on my bucketlist to get one and try it out. These tips are for any phone, but may be more specific to iPhone.

Macro means super close photography, as I mentioned above, but it means being physically close to your subject matter {i.e. not using a zoom or something to get closer to your subject matter}. You definitely don’t want to zoom in to your subject by pinching the screen of your phone, because you’ll lose the fine details of your subject and instead create noise/grain.

Experiment with your phone, by getting up close to subjects and taking photos. You’ll definitely want to use a steady hand, work in well-lit situations {but not too bright – avoid direct sunlight}, and use your focus function on your phone. Either tap once on where you want the phone to focus in your shot, or if you’re using an iPhone, hold down the screen on the subject matter until a yellow screen pulsates {to activate the AE/AF lock}. Then shoot.

If you want to experiment a little bit more with Macro, I can highly recommend buying a lens. I have the Olloclip {for iPhone 6+} which you attach to your phone to allow it to take macro shots. The photo below is taken with my phone using the Olloclip.

Macro Photography Lesson - Phone or Camera // Macro is so fun and slightly addictive

I know that I’ll use the lenses I bought for my phone, so I invested in the more expensive types, but you can buy them for a few dollars on eBay if you want to experiment more.

And that’s it really. Get your camera out, or your phone, and start taking super close up photos. Get out in the garden, look for bugs, find flowers. Have fun!

@Fatmumslim