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Photography lesson: 5 tips for shooting macro with your iPhone

Fat Mum Slim /

Each month in the FMS Photo A Day challenge we’ve been exploring new photography techniques. I’ve loved trying out new ways of shooting, and it seems that loads of people are too. It’s nice to stretch outside the comfort zone, even if it makes me a bit nervous.

The photography technique this month is macro. In a nutshell it means shooting an object up really close. For a fancier definition, this is what Wikipedia has to say:

Macro photography, invented by Fritz Goro, is extreme close-up photography, usually of very small subjects, in which the size of the subject in the photograph is greater than life size.

For professional or really keen photographers, shooting macro might mean spending a bit of money on lenses and special equipment – which is great if you have the funds and desire. But for us happy-snappers, we’ll have to explore it all with what we have. This shouldn’t be a problem though. We obviously won’t get the clarity or effects that professionals do, but let’s explore anyway. Shall we?

5 tips for shooting macro with your iPhone

1. Get close to your subject, but not too close

The thing we really want to avoid when shooting macro is blur. Let’s pretend we’re planning on shooting a flower, the pollen in the centre of the flower. We want to get close, but not too close. If we put the photo just a few centimetres away, the iPhone will get confused and won’t be able to focus properly. So have your iPhone about 5-10cm away from your subject and let the focus settle on part of the flower {or whatever subject you’re shooting}.

2. Keep a steady hand

Don’t get too shaky otherwise the photo will definitely be blurry. Keep a steady hand, perhaps even supporting it on something or with your other hand.

3. Fill your frame with the subject matter

When shooting macro you want your frame {or the photo} to be almost completely filled with the subject matter. If you’re going to share on Instagram, take into consideration that you’ll have to crop it down into a square.

4. Use your autofocus

When your subject matter is on your iPhone’s screen, simply press the screen on the centre of the subject and let it focus in. This will result in a sharper photo. Take your photo when it’s focused.

5. Explore an App

For taking photos, I’m still having a love affair with Camera+. It costs $1.99 but I use it for every photo I take {totally worth the spend!}! For shooting Macro on Camera+ I’d suggest turning on the stabilizer, adding a little clarity when editing and avoid using filters.

If you do find that shooting Macro is something you adore, you can always get a lens for your iPhone for around $20. Photojojo sell them if you’re interested. Otherwise I grabbed a set of 3 lenses on eBay for $10 including postage, just search for them.

Now, here are some macro examples to get your creative juices flowing:

photo credit: helgabj


photo credit: Vanessa Pike-Russell

photo credit: ruurmo

Edited to add:

Here’s my photo that I shared. I took it using the cheap eBay Macro lens, a steady hand and getting in really close to the flower.


Are you enjoying trying out new photography techniques?