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10 Tips for Shooting Macro Photography on Your iPhone

Yes, it's possible to look like a pro while shooting macro photography on your iPhone.

By Riley Raul ReesePublished 5 years ago 5 min read

If there's one thing that Apple can proudly say, it's that it has created a smartphone that takes photos that can be as beautiful as the ones taken by DSLRs. You can even download mobile photo editing apps to finish your post-processing while on the go.

The iPhone has been the tool many aspiring photographers have used to create amazing works of art and even start selling stock photography made with their smartphone. Some even have shot entire movies on an iPhone.

Using an iPhone doesn't have to mean that you need to stick to selfies, portraits, and landscapes. You can also do amazing macro photography too. Looking to improve your macros? These tips for shooting macro photography on your iPhone will help you bolster your macro chances.

Just like with regular photography, your photo subject matters.

In a lot of ways, shooting macro photography on your iPhone is a lot like using a DSLR. You will need to have a good subject to get a great photo—at least, most of the time.

Your photo subject is going to make or break your photography. If you're looking for a clean, crisp photo, make sure to get a subject that looks great. Closely inspect the target, just to make sure that what you're shooting won't have hard-to-correct flaws once you shoot it.

Choose your background carefully.

Most people who look at macro photos and take a look at the closeup's focal point—but that doesn't mean that they don't notice the background. A messy or uncomely background is one that will end up detracting from the photo.

When shooting macro photography on your iPhone, make a point of choosing a background that looks clean and will add more attention to your shot's focal point. If you get too messy a background, your photo will look like a mess.

Sticking to solid colors and simple scenes are what tends to work best with macros. If you must try to compose a more complex background, make sure it works with what you're trying to do.

Use AE/AF Lock when you shoot.

Here's one of the best tips for shooting macro photography on your iPhone. Newer iPhones have a control called AE/AF Lock, and it's designed to get a macro focus with your camera. Doing this will help your camera stay focused on the subject and give you a slightly bokeh effect.

When you get close to the two-inch mark on your closeup, focus on the subject you're shooting until you see "AE/AF Lock" show up on your screen. When this happens, your focus is locked on your subject and you can move angles until you tap the screen again.

If you're interested in shooting macro photography on your iPhone that goes beyond just going up close, you might want to get a macro photography lens for your iPhone like the Moment Macro Lens.

These kinds of lenses for your smartphone are designed to let you zoom up far closer than your iPhone alone would allow and even help you manually focus your camera.

The Moment Macro Lens, for example, allows up to 10x zooming—which means you can get some seriously professional-level shots that would be otherwise unattainable with an iPhone.

If you're going without a lens, get close (but not too close).

Technology tends to have its limitations, and this is still true with the iPhone. With most (if not all) models, going in too close will actually blur the item that you want to focus on. To prevent this, get as close as you can and use your "AE/AF Lock" feature.

This tip is also helpful if you're shooting macros of living creatures, since some animals might scamper away or attack if you get too close to their faces. If anything, you might want to invest in lens attachments to spare fingers and keep your subject in place.

Camera+ is an app that allows you to change the exposure on your shots, reduce shooting times, add more depth, and even adjust your photo while you're still shooting. This allows you to capture sharper images with the right colors always shining through.

Though it doesn't give you all the perks of a DSLR, using an app like Camera+ can make a huge difference for you when you're shooting macro photography on your iPhone.

Angles mean everything.

Though this can be said about all photography genres, it's particularly true when it comes to shooting macro photography on your iPhone. The angle you shoot your photo from can make a huge difference in everything from the mood to the actual composition of the photo itself.

If you want to get top notch macro shots, then you might want to take multiple shots from different angles. This way, you can see how each shot differs and choose the best out of all of them.

Don't underestimate lighting when it comes to your shots.

Lighting is absolutely crucial for any kind of photography, which is precisely why it's important to read tips on how to get great lighting for any shot you do. The same is true about shooting macro photography with your iPhone.

Both direct lighting and indirect lighting can play a huge part in getting great shots. Since macro photography tends to involve lots of detail, direct lighting shouldn't be too harsh nor too bright. Indirect lighting should add a soft glow or just fill in the background.

Hold steady.

All the details you set up while shooting macro photography on your iPhone won't help if you can't keep a steady hand. A jittery hand will cause a lot of details to be washed away with the photo.

Though you might be able to get some of the detail back with some basic Photoshop hacks, not all the detail you might will be salvageable. If you need to, rest your hand or arm on something steady when you shoot.

Practice makes perfect.

Just like with any other activity, shooting macro photography on your iPhone is something that takes time to master. Most people who start toying with their iPhones get discouraged when their first shots don't turn out quite as Instagram-worthy as they'd hoped.

Give it time, and you'll get the shots you've been hoping for.

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About the Creator

Riley Raul Reese

Riley Reese is comic book fanatic who loves anything that has to do with science-fiction, anime, action movies, and Monster Energy drink.

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