Pin Me

Top 10 Creative Ideas for Macro Photographs

written by: •edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 5/11/2011

Macro is defined as large scale or scope. In photography, it refers to presenting normally diminutive subjects to look super-sized by filling the frame with them. Want to give it a go? Try it using one or more of these subjects.

  • slide 1 of 13

    Before You Begin

    There is more to macro photography than simply shooting things close-up. You need the right equipment, adequate lighting and knowledge about the proper techniques. Once you have brushed up on this information and assembled the necessary tools, you can begin hunting down unique and interesting subjects such as the following.

  • slide 2 of 13


    Spider Bugs and other small critters make ideal macro photography subjects. These tiny creatures have striking details, such as the colors and patterns of a butterfly's wings or a fly's eyes, that can look amazing close up.

  • slide 3 of 13

    Plant Life

    Flower Flowers and other plants offer interesting features that look almost other-worldly when you zoom in on them. Focus on various aspects and types of greenery, such as petals and stems, seeds and leaves, bark and roots for an array of unique photos.

  • slide 4 of 13

    Hardware and Machinery

    1 2 3 A hunk of metal might not seem like a piece of art, but it can be when combined with your skillful eye and a macro lens. Close in on the spiral swirls of a bolt or spring, the minute teeth of a gear or the lettering imprinted on a tool.

  • slide 5 of 13


    Kiwi Before you take a bite of your next meal or snack, consider how it would look magnified. Look at foods from different angles and in various combinations. Set items on plates, slice them up or take a bite. The seeds on a strawberry, the sprinkles on a cookie or the grains in a slice of bread can become lovely graphics.

  • slide 6 of 13

    Stones and Minerals

    Heart of Stone Whether you photograph gems from your jewelry box or rocks from your backyard, you are sure to capture some eye-catching macro shots when you use these minerals as your subject. The jagged bumps of gravel can be as photogenic as a multifaceted diamond.

  • slide 7 of 13

    Water and Ice

    Water Droplet When you consider that water and ice are typically clear and colorless, they might seem like odd subjects for any form of photography. Macro shots of droplets on a leaf, the splash of a dripping faucet or frost inside of an ice cube can be some of the most stunning shots you have ever taken.

  • slide 8 of 13

    Fabric and Materials

    Leather Have you ever noticed the intricate design of leather or alligator skin? Even if you do not have this type of material at the ready, anything from the weave of denim jeans to the splintered strands of a rope or the metallic glimmer of a sequined coin purse will do.

  • slide 9 of 13

    Body Parts


    This doesn't mean you should head to the cemetery or morgue. Rather, find a conscious and breathing subject and then zoom in on an interesting feature. Eyes and lashes are great ideas, but so are toes, ears and even belly buttons. Using angles other than straight-on shots provides even more appeal.

  • slide 10 of 13


    Marble The tiny parts and bright colors of children's toys make them fun subjects. The swirls in a dazzling marble, the bright eyes of a painted doll and the shiny metal wheels of a toy car each offer their own childish charm.

  • slide 11 of 13


    Hungarian Coins 

    Cash is interesting, whether it is an ancient Roman coin, a handful or change or a single dollar bill. Close-ups of money draw attention to the intricate details such as engraved wording, printed text or signs of wear and use.

  • slide 12 of 13

    Junk Drawer Contents

    Eraser The truth of the matter is, there is no wrong answer when you are seeking ideas for subjects. Empty the contents of your junk drawer, grab 10 items from your desk or dump out your purse onto the kitchen table. When you combine your photography skills with your imagination and creativity, you are certain to take pictures of which you can be proud.

  • slide 13 of 13


    Marietta College,

    Image credits:

    Spider: Menducki


    1 2 3: Gruener

    Kiwi: georgiades

    Heart of Stone:

    Water Droplet: Green

    Leather: KAYA


    Marble: davidson

    Hungarian Coins:án Benedek