Ever wondered, how the tiny features of a snail are perfectly captured in a frame!! Ever got amused by the super-sharp images of the human iris well portrayed? Well – irrespective of the subject, we can reveal details otherwise invisible to the naked eyes, with the help of the right equipment. Right Equipment? There comes the term “macro photography” which lets us delve deeper into the small side of life.
It’s been one of the widest misconceptions that macro photography is more or less similar to close up photography. Macro photography is essentially close-up photography too but, not all close-up photos can be considered macro.
And yet another illusion is those super-sharp details with the blurred background can only be clicked with the help of a kickass camera. You don’t have to buy a DSLR with a macro lens if you are learning and on a low budget. All you need to have is a decent smartphone, a bit of creativity and passion!.
Without a further ado, let’s delve deep into what is mobile macro photography, the step by step procedure to get stunning macro photos using your mobile phone.
What Is Mobile Macro Photography and How Is It Possible?
Capturing macro mages on your mobile is always exciting whenever you are in your garden, outdoors or even indoors. Capturing the sharp features of your subject can be done with the standard camera app on your smartphone.
But there are limitations in how close you can hold your phone towards the object and how long you can hold it without shaking your hands, for a sharp image.Well, here are a few accessories and techniques to get over these limitations.
Essentially macro mode means you can get really close to subjects you are shooting. you can find this mode in several digital cameras and smartphones which shows a flower icon. Nowadays smartphones come with best in class features with respect to the camera.
Sometimes this mode will not be there on certain models, so in that cases, we will have to switch to the professional mode in your smartphone camera app. But it’s always good to spend on an inexpensive macro lens modifier which is available in the market for specific smartphone models.
Olloclip, a 4-in-1 set is a good option to buy if you have an iPhone.I would say, this is again an option. If you have a decent camera app with macro mode enabled, you can still make the best out of it.
One more accessory I came across was a stick on modifier known as Blips. This is a magnifier type of adapter which can get you really close to the subject you are shooting.
Subject and Place :
- Isolate the subject which you are focusing on and remove all the distractions from it. If it is not possible to compose your frame in a way to get the complete attention in your image.
- If you are staging a shot avoid using colorful backgrounds – Keep a dark background.Use an easy-to-distinguish background.
- If it’s an outdoor photography, the shooting time will be preferably early morning or evening(golden hour).
- Avoid using harsh daylight because hard sunlight may overexpose your highlights.
- Using a diffuser or a white cloth to soften the light is always a good step. But too much soft light will take away the details in your image.
- Just keep in mind that a sharp detailed image is always a combination of good light and shadows.
- If you are using a light make sure it falls on the subject evenly from sides
- Do not light your subject directly from where the camera is placed. This will give you a flat image and you will lose the dimensions of the image.
And voila!! Good to go!!!! We are almost done with the initial setup.
Here are two images of a keyboard shot in both automatic mode and macro mode using my Vivo smartphone.
Captured image in the automatic mode Captured image in the macro mode
You can see the difference in both of the above images. When we shot the image in macro mode, the detailing of the keyboard seemed to be clearer.So let’s move straight away to that step-by-step procedure to capture the perfect macro photograph like this.
Step-By-Step Procedure to Use The Macro Mode in SmartPhones
With these following 7 steps, you will be able to capture a perfect macro image. Just go on!!
1. Open your smartphone camera app
2. Switch to professional mode
3. Select the shutter speed to a minimum of 1/100 to avoid the shake.You can go higher, in case you have good light.
4. Maintain the ISO as 100 if you have good light.In low light, you can go up to 1000 ISO.
5. Select the white balance to suit your mood of color.
If you want normal whites, go for 5000k in outdoors. This again depends on the type of light you are shooting with. under tungsten light, I normally go for 3700K.
6. Adjust the focus manually to the flower icon and get as much close to your subject.
7. Keep your hands steady and then click.
I hope these article about macro photography along with the GIFs and the steps, gave you a clear idea about how to capture a perfect macro image in your mobile camera itself. Now you can start targeting your subject and enjoy it’s detailing by capturing the macro images.
Now, do you have any tricks to get good macro images with your mobile or with any other gear that doesn’t cost you a lot? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and feel free to share your own macro shots, too. I’d love to see your photos.
Feature image by Akash Satheesh