Assignment Twelve: Macro Madness

Let’s get close up and personal with your subject. Use details and close focus to show us something about your subject we may not be aware of from normal viewing distance.

Coming in close for a shot is more than simply focusing a macro lens. It is isolation on many levels.

1. We are isolating the subject with focus. Most Macro shots have very little depth of field, so subjects are sharp and backgrounds are blurry.
2. We are isolating the subject from its context. We are so close that the subject, the object of our photograph, is something we are familiar with – but not at such a close distance.
3. We are isolating it from reality in the same way a 400MM Telephoto will make the moon look much larger than it really is when rising over the landscape.

Close up, or macro photography is one way the photographer can delight the viewer by giving them something they have to think about for a second. What is that? Where is that from? And then when the realize it is but a small piece of something they are totally familiar with, there is a bit of connection.

This work can take its toll if you do not understand that all of your work is to be one in a small space. If it is window light, get in close to the window. Bring your fill cards in close… get tight with all the tools that you use to make these shots… fill cards, speedlights, softboxes, grids, snoots or whatever.


Get in close. Use speculars and highlights from your light source to show the shape of the item you are shooting if possible. Then move and adjust the composition to find something unique. PUSH yourself to make an image of something we all know, and present it in a new way… using light and specular and shadow and reflection. This can be food, still life, people, kids, glamour, landscape… as long as it is in your style and your approach. Oh, and make me go woohoo!!!

Thinking caps at the ready?


Assignment due on Sunday, May 5, 2013
Flickr Page.

Author: Don Giannatti

I have been a photographer, art director, creative director and designer for nearly 40 years. The experience both behind the camera and behind the desk hiring photographers has given me a unique set of tools for working with photographers. Project 52 grew out of a frustration with the boards and forums that seem to be more about personalities than the actual work of being a commercial photographer. I am not famous, and I have no aspirations to be... but I know what the hell I am talking about.

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