Monthly #capturewith challenge 10-20th July - macro photography

Updated: Jul 28

What Is Macro Photography?

Macro photography is close-up photography of small subjects. You can take close-up pictures in a studio or outdoor environment so long as you are expanding your subject satisfactorily.


You probably read or heard that macro photography only happens when you take pictures of small subjects with an increase of natural size or more. In the general meaning of macro photography, yes this is true.


Macro food Photography

However, in food photography, we can highlight the texture and colour detail that very often we don't notice or appreciate.


Here are some of the examples of my work, how macro food photography can beautifully show us all the details, the vibrancy and beauty of food.


Click below to read everything that you need to know about July's challenge.


 

I've asked a few other food photographers about macro food photography in their photography journey. Here are their answers with some tips and hints for you.


Bea Lubas

Bea is a visual storyteller, author of ‘How To Photograph Food’ and @lightroom ambassador, but also my favourite food photographer and constant inspiration. I couldn't skip her in this post.

I asked Bea why she loves macro food photography and if she could share some tips, and guess what? Bea wrote an amazing post for Adobe. In this article "How to create macro food photography that leaves you wanting more" you can find not only the answers to my questions but much more. Enjoy!



Bea's close-ups are outstanding, don't you think?



 

Sarah

Sarah is a Dublin-based Food & Drinks Photographer, obsessed with light & colour, beautiful ingredients and all things delicious!


After 15 years in the hospitality industry and the year that was 2020 (hello uncertainty!), she was motivated to take her love of food & passion for photography and turn them into a new career path. "BEST DECISION EVER!" Sarah said.


Since then, she has invested all her time & energy into everything in food photography, and never looked back. She's now able to spend her days doing what she loves.


I found Sarah's work on Instagram by looking for macro food photography. Her work is catchy and really beautiful. You can easily say, that she loves capturing close-ups.


Why do you like macro photography?

I love Macro Food Photography because it allows me to focus on the beauty of food itself, - the colour, texture and details - in a way we can't see with our own eyes! A full-frame macro shot is my happy place - I love giving my subject centre stage, with no distractions just beautiful food.


What's your favourite subject to shoot?

My favourite subjects to shoot when it comes to Macro Food photography are definitely berries and herbs - they are so full of detail, texture and colour!


Do you have any tips for close-up photography?

Planning

Really study your subject - what is interesting about it? Where is the texture? What details do you want to showcase? What shapes are present? What about the colour draws you to it? Will your subject shine brightest as is, or will a small spray of water/brush of oil help bring out its beauty?

For example - with herbs, the back of the leaves will show a lot more detail than the front.


Shooting

- Aperture - because the subject is so close to our cameras we need to sometimes go as high as f/18 or higher to ensure the whole frame is in focus.

- Lighting - our aperture settings will be reducing the amount of light being captured, so get as close to your light source as possible!

- Stabilise & Level your Camera - any camera shake or inaccuracies with the plane of focus will affect the sharpness of your frame. Using a tripod and shooting tethered is the best set-up for this!


Post-Production

Editing is super important with Macro Shoots! When you are editing, look back at the questions you answered in the planning stage to guide you in what your final image should showcase!

Use the masking tools to enhance the details most important to you in the image.

I love creating deep shadows and adding some shadow colour grading with macro shoots to create contrast, complement the subject's colour and add to the overall mood of the image.


In the examples of Sarah's work, you can see how post-production is a key element in macro photography.


"Food is emotional - it connects us to each other, fosters a sense of community and so often is the scene in which we make memories. Capturing the beauty of food itself along with the story & emotion behind each dish or recipe is what drives my food photography." - Sarah

 

Solli Kanani

I follow Solli for a while and I love her macro photography. She's a Digital Marketing Specialist and Award-winning Professional Photographer. She moved from Sweden to Paris a few years ago and she continues her photography journey from there. She's constantly travelling, near the sea or in nature. The energy she finds there is not only a great resource to her soul but also enriches her with inspiration and lifelong memories.



Why do you like macro photography?

I love macro photography, mainly because it feels like entering a completely different world when you are using a macro lens. I like the fact you can create almost abstract art by coming so close to your subject. There are so many details you discover by using a macro lens that you would have missed using another lens.

What's your favourite subject to shoot?

Fruits and vegetables with interesting textures, but mainly berries as they can be so different, both in their shapes and colours.

Do you have any tips for close-up photography?

Try to use an aperture of 16 to get all the details, for this, you would need a lot of light in your scene, a flash is handy, or an alternative is to shoot next to a window.

Another tip is if you are photographing multiple subjects that look the same, make one the main subject so the viewers' attention is drawn to it rather than being lost among the other subjects. Like in the cherry photo, I found a cherry that had a brighter colour and was shaped like a heart, I used that one as the main subject and that's the cherry we see first when we look at the photo.


If your subject doesn't have any texture (for example, cherries, tomatoes etc) you can simply sprinkle some water on them. Something as simple as water drops adds not only freshness to the scene but also catches the light in a beautiful way and adds texture.


Look at these colours, textures and shapes, they are mind-blowing.


 




If you have any questions or you struggle with any subject, send me a DM on my Instagram or email me. I will do my best to answer and help.


 

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