Macro Simplicity

  • A simple, unfussy photo can have much more impact than one with a lot of distractions from the subject.

Macro Simplicity

by Johan J Ingles-Le Nobel
Last updated August 31, 2017


By far the most common mistake in the macro work that I judge is a lack of simplicity. 90% of presented macro images are of an attractive insect, but photographed against an incredibly busy background that immediately detracts the viewer's attention away from the actual subject of the image towards what is usually a slightly out of focus part of a plant.

Macro Viewpoint

By far the most common mistake in the macro work that I judge is a lack of simplicity

Often the way to achieve such simplicity is by moving to a different viewpoint so that you're not shooting through to flowers and leaves.

This is in many senses what makes great macro difficult, because it's much harder to restrict yourself only to such opportunities rather than taking shots looking down of insects against a flower, leaf or branch.

Usually you'll then end up shooting with an insect in the foreground against a relatively far away background, which may mean that you'll then need to make adjustments for the light.

Judging Light

A particular challenge that may present itself is the disparity between background and foreground and an overly dark background isn't that uncommon, especially if you're using a flash to illuminate your foreground subject.

You'll want to learn how to balance these two against each other which, once you have to hang of it, really isn't all that hard to do.