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Macro - Industrial Details

by Catherine Ramsey (follow)
Articles (166)     

Macro photography isnít just limited to shooting plants and flowers, insects and everyday small details. Wonderfully creative macro images can be taken of industrial items. Not so pretty items become incredibly interesting when viewed up close at the end of your lens.

On the streets: Industrial items to shoot in macro can be found in unexpected places. The next time youíre wandering around a city or urban landscape, keep an eye out for nails, rusted fences, signs and symbols engraved on walls, rocks or even peeling paint.

In the home: The great thing about this genre of photography is how accessible it is. You donít have to go further than your own home to find objects worthy of magnification. Coins, keys, watches, zips, small toys and figurines can all make for interesting subjects.

Texture: The more texture an object has, the more interesting it is to see in closer detail. A rusted iron chain or tyre tread are some good examples.

Contrast: Contrast and texture go hand in hand. To make textures really stand out, throw some angled light on them. Contrast will add a whole other dimension to your macro photos.

Pattern: Repeating patterns, much like texture, make a good canvas for macro photography. Think of embossed metals or the tips of a bunch of pencils.


The best macro shots are taken with a dedicated macro lens. These can vary in focal lengths, but the longer lengths (up to 180 mm) will allow you to get Ďcloserí to your subject without actually needing to get closer. Objects can be magnified to several times bigger than they appear in real life, such as the details of a coin, where every embossment and every scratch can be magnified to fill the entire frame of your image.

For anyone who canít invest in a macro lens, some point and shoot cameras come with a macro lens simulation feature, and they can be surprisingly good as an SLR. Similarly, macro converters are another available option. These gadgets can be attached to a lens, much like a filter, to add extra magnification. While the quality canít compare to that of a dedicated macro lens, these converters are a great option for anyone interested in just playing with this style of photography and can yield some fairly artistic results.


While the same principles of shooting in manual apply to macro as they would most other genres, hereís a quick revision of our settings:

Shutter speed: Depending on whether or not the subject is moving, shutter speed isnít of huge importance with macro photography. However, you may want to use a higher shutter speed to prevent hand shake from blurring your highly detailed images, up to at least 1/250. In low light situations a I like this Article - 2
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