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.

Comments (1)

Article: Macro simplicity
Rainer says...
I prefer to take natural close up / macro shots where possible. Trying to get the subject in their own natural environment is not always possible and things do move rather quickley and before you know it is gone. It is part of the challenge and creativity. Of course there is always a controlled environment but i feel some what sorry for the poor little buggas getting stabbed with what is obviously a large Whale Harpone just to ge a shot for one's own pleasure. Not my thing. I'd sooner pop a little Spider on something and leav it until it settles down. Then there where other times where i took a macro shot on their own turf. Yes! It can be done and it is a bigger challenge. That is the reason why i do it.Think of it as going fishing and hoping you get lucky. You also get to enjoy a day out breathing fresh air with some piece and quiet, providing you switch off your mobile. :-) Controlled studio work is in my view an easier option out. Instead chalenge yourself and be different.
27th April 2015 8:10am
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