Mat Tam Photography – Boston Family Photographer


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Category Archives: Macro Photography

The Story of Macro Photography

Macro photography – an interesting topic for any photographer, even though only a few of us take pictures up close.

People often ask about camera selection and which one to go for, quite often they want to know about the opportunity of taking macro shots. It’s hard to tell what exact camera you should get, because each one of us has their own style of taking photos. However, in light of this, I decided to make a short post about macro photography.

What is macro photography? It is when you take pictures of small objects up close. The smaller the object that appears on the frame, the better the macro. It is believed that a macro photograph is a snapshot with a scale of 1:1 (one to one). That is, for example, when an object has a size of 1 cm both on the frame, and in real life. Here, the “frame” refers to the size of the light-sensitive element (film matrix). Certain photographers do not agree with the definition of macro at the scale ratio of 1:1. They argue that macro photography starts with a slight zoom of 1:5 (one to five – a 1 cm frame fits 5 cm of the object) up to 20:1 (a 1 cm frame fits 0.05 cm [0.5 mm] of the object). There are many opinions and arguments on this subject, but I personally believe that macro photography is when the photograph reveals things that a human eye cannot capture.



It is generally assumed that Percy Smith, an English natural history filmmaker, was one of the first pioneers of macro photography. He was born in London, on 12th January 1880, and took the steps of photography early on. Smith was fascinated by the natural world around him, and was one of the first photographers to take close-up photographs of plants and animal life.

Photography is not when you take 10 or 20 pictures after you had a swim, or shared BBQ with your friends.Photography is when you are standing on your knees, meeting the sunrise on the floodplain of a river and taking notice of change in ambient light. After the sunrise, you move into the forest and until dawn you search for a shaded place to create another story. In macro Credit: Cwulmer photography there is no shortage of subjects and stories. Any scene or a detail can be interesting for an artist.

We should not seek to maximize the zoom level in macro photography. The most common mistake of amateurs is their desire to zoom in as much as possible. Experimenting in the genre of macro photography should feel like being a theater direction, and preparing a stage. The zoom level of your photographs should depend on the story, not the capability of your camera.


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