What is macro photography?


noun: macro-photography
photography producing photographs of small items larger than life-size.
Eye of a Tokay Gecko, by Alan M. Image via wired
"Macro Photography is commonly defined as close-up photography of tiny insects or objects with images that result in the subject being life-size or larger."

What is Macro Photography?

A great part of nature photography and even scientific research, macro photography provides a vast learning field for photographers and a chance for the viewers to discover the tiny world around us.

For both the author and the public, macro represents an absorbing activity, which has us delving into a whole universe that is not visible to the naked eye, capturing it and bringing it back on a larger scale for us to observe and be in awe of. Whether it’s small insects, mineral specimens or miniature plants, the macro method allows us to see even the tiniest detail and texture[1].

Renée Campbell – Alone with you


This is what essentially differentiates it from close-up photography, which uses different kinds of lenses and techniques. Through macro photography, we can see as much as the hairs on an insect’s face or the pattern in its eye, sometimes for the sake of biology, sometimes as documentation and sometimes fascinating, even abstract, forms of art. These shots can be taken inside the studio or outdoors, where photographers can spend hours in search of the perfect subject and shot.

This genre is the perfect example of when the camera encourages us not just to capture what we see, but to also really look around us.


Left: Evan Leeson – The Light Fantastic / Right: Evan Leeson – Heart of Life. Images via Flickr



  1. Saxby, G., The Science of Imaging: An Introduction (2nd ed.), CRC Press 2010
  2. Widewalls

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