I love iPhone macro photography. It fascinates me what amazing little things you can capture with your iPhone and an attachable lens. Every day we have all these pretty little things, on the sidewalk, in our garden, etc, that we take for granted because we get sucked in our fast-paced life. iPhone Macro Photography 2 I’ll be glad to teach you how to capture macro shots. It’s quick and easy, trust me! iPhone Macro Photography 4 no script

Things You Should Have

1) iPhone
2) Attachable lens. I recommend SquidCam, Photojojo or Olloclip.
3) Tripod for iPhone (that is if you have really shaky hands, but in the process your hands will eventually learn how to stay still, or you can use an alternative stabilizer like the ground or the wall).

Step 1: Lighting

First I will talk about lighting. Macro photography is at its best when it’s taken early morning or late afternoon, where it’s shady. We cannot capture a shot in direct sunlight because it will come out really bright and the details won’t be as clear. iPhone Macro Photography 3 no script But if you do find a beautiful flower in a bright environment, just look for a shaded area and capture it. Above is an example of a shot I took under a tree (the shade that I found).

Step 2 : Places To Go

The amazing thing about macro photography is that it makes you go to places that you would not go to because you would never believe what amazing things can be found, lets say, in your backyard, on the sidewalk while you take a stroll, or even in your front yard. iPhone Macro Photography 5 no script For a beginner it will be hard to find extreme close-up things, but for now I suggest shooting the flowers you see as that will train your eyes for extreme macro scanning.

Step 3 : Taking The Macro Shot (Flowers)

So this part will be slightly hard because most people really haven’t been exposed to this type of photography. Usually most of us take large-scale photos. Anyway, after you find your subject, adjust the distance until you get the part of the subject you want perfectly focused. iPhone Macro Photography 6 no script In the photo up here, I wanted the focus to be on the lavender flower, so I tapped on the iPhone screen until it was focused on the lavender. This is the part when you try not to shake the camera. Once you get the focus you want, take the shot. Don’t take just one shot, take a dozen just to make sure you actually get it right. If it’s windy or if the iPhone keeps on shaking, I would suggest you block the wind from whatever direction it’s blowing. If you have really shaky hands, I suggest you stabilize your elbows on the ground or against the wall. And don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t come out the way you wanted. Macro photography takes practice and patience.

Step 3 : Taking The Macro Shot (Insects)

Okay, so you see a jumping spider and yes, it’s small and absolutely awesome. Wouldn’t you want to take a picture of it? Of course you would! iPhone Macro Photography 7 no script Actually there is not a big difference between capturing flowers and insects. The only problem with insects is that they keep moving away from you, especially when they see the lens since you have to be close when you take the shot. iPhone Macro Photography 8 no script But once you master a few simple techniques, insect macro photography will become totally addictive! I would first recommend creeping up slowly. Then be as quick as you can, get close, focus and capture. If the insect didn’t move the first time you took the picture, it has given you the permission to take as many photos as you want. author avatar Aug 30, 2022• Proven solutions With busy lives and hectic schedules, it can be easy to miss the small but important details. Sometimes, the smallest of things can be just as inspiring as the biggest, but when did you last stop and really look at what’s around? From the tiniest insect to the patterns on a leaf, starting to see things through different eyes can put a whole new spin on the world around us. Image source: Impressive Magazine Macro and close-up photography is a great way to start appreciating the little things in life, and you don’t need a fancy camera to get involved either. Armed with nothing more than your standard iPhone, you can start enjoying the fun of macro photography today. Here’s what you need to know. You May Also Like: How to Take Underwater Photos with your iPhone 7 You May Also Like: Resizing a Photo without Losing Quality

Section 1. What is close-up and macro photography?

Close-up photography and macro photography are all about photographing things in a way that makes them appear larger than they are in real life. It lets us look in detail at the things around us and can be an exciting and dramatic way to shoot images. But is there a difference between close up and macro in photography terms? There is, so if you’re looking to get to grips with this type of photography, you need to understand that:

  • Close up photography is about putting your iPhone camera physically close to the object you are photographing, but without using any peripherals or special apps.
  • Macro photography uses technology to actually increase the size of the image to allow a close-up photo without needing to be so physically close.

With your iPhone macro photography and close-up shooting are both possible and can bring great results if you know what you’re doing. However, for the really professional touch, an investment in a macro lens or specialist app will certainly kick your photography skills into high gear.

Section 2. iPhone Macro Photography Tips

Taking great photos in macro mode isn’t always as easy as it looks. Novice users can become frustrated when images come out dark, blurry or out of focus. Here are some top tips to get your iPhone macro photography just right, and to start building a collection of gorgeous close up images.

Tip1. Find your light

Shooting in the macro range requires decent lighting, so consider when and how you are positioning your images. Early morning and midafternoon are great times of day to plan a shoot, as the soft, natural light is ideal for macro photography. Taking photos in the blazing midday sun can cause overexposure, and your iPhone may struggle to focus too. Image source: Urdu-Mag.com If you do want to snap some macro images in bright sunlight, try positioning your shadow to create a more indirect lighting of the subject. You can also move your own orientation so that the sun is shining into your shot, rather than behind it.

Tip2. Focus is the key

With any photo, focus is crucial to an awesome result. But when you’re creating macro images, this becomes even more critical to the success of your photography. Try using the manual focus setting to give yourself more control over your focus point, and work on fine-tuning your skills to create the perfect image. Image source: PicMonkey If you’re not ready to go fully manual, you could try using the iPhone’s locking feature to lock the focus into place and avoid the photo being ruined by a little wobble on your part. To use this, simply tap and hold the screen at the part of the image you want to be in focus, and you’ll see AE/EF Lock appear at the bottom. This means both focus and lighting are fixed until you tap elsewhere on the screen to release it.

Tip3. Keep steady

Keeping still when taking a macro shot is absolutely vital. With your image already enlarged, any wobbles or shakes will cause blur or a loss of focus and spoil your image. In the longer term, you may want to invest in a tripod to steady the phone, but if you’re just starting out, you might not be keen just yet. If you don’t own a tripod, you could use a stationary object nearby, such as a wall, rock or gate. You could also bring a beanbag with you, as these allow you to get up close and personal with your subject comfortably, whilst also supporting and steadying your phone for the shot.

Tip4. Don’t get too close

Hold your finger close to your face, and you’ll find that at a certain distance you can no longer focus on it. The same principle is true for iPhone macro photography; if you get too close your image will start to blur. But how close is too close? Different iPhone iterations have slightly different lenses, so there will be a bit of trial and error involved to find the perfect distance for your model. Somewhere in the range of two to four inches tends to be about the limit and is more than close enough to allow you to take some stunning close-up photographs.

Tip5. Be simple

When you’re shooting macro images with your iPhone, the intention is to make the background somewhat blurry, with only the objects at the front of the image in focus. You might think that this means it doesn’t matter what’s actually in the background, but in reality, a busy background with mixed colors can still serve to spoil your image. Image source: GCFLearnFree Make the subject center stage by positioning your composition to give the least cluttered background possible. Use the sky if you can, or experiment with textured backgrounds such as a wall or fence. Think about how far your subject is from the background, as the further away the background is, the more blurry it will become and the greater the contrast of focus on your subject will appear.

Tip6. Composition

If you’ve researched photography in general, you’ll already have heard of the ‘rule of thirds’. This rule is super simple to apply when using an iPhone and is just as relevant in macro photography as it is when shooting landscapes or any other composition. Image source: SmashingHub The rule states that if the image were divided into thirds horizontally and vertically, the most important objects in the image should be placed at the points where the lines intersect. This is easy on iPhone, as you can switch on the gridlines and instantly see where to place the subject in the photos. When shooting macro images, place your focal point at one of the intersections to give your photo the professional touch.

Tip7. Try different angles

iPhone macro photography is all about looking at the world in a different way. To really accentuate this quality in your work, why not try shooting from a different perspective? Get very low down and shoot your subject from below, with the sky as a background, or snap from directly above to add drama to your images. Image source: Flickr Look for interesting colors and play with the light. Let the sunshine through the leaves of the plant or find a puddle and play with reflections. Line yourself up with a cityscape or countryside landscape, then place the subject dangling in the foreground. Have fun with angles and discover new ways of looking at your surroundings.

Tip8. Waterdrop trick

If you’re yet to invest in a macro lens for your iPhone, water can be your friend, adding a new level of magnification to your image. A small drop of water is a powerful magnifier and applying it carefully to your iPhone lens can make close-up photography even better. A larger drop that is almost ready to plop off will give magnificent magnification, but you’ll have to have a steady hand and fast shutter finger to enjoy the result. Applying a huge droplet will give a dramatic result, softly blurred at the edges and sharply in focus at the center. Do be careful not to soak your iPhone while you’re playing with this trick!

Tip9. Use a macro lens

If you’re serious about achieving incredible iPhone macro photography, the very best shots are only possible with a purpose-built macro lens. Simple, clip-on lenses will elevate the results to new heights, letting you take immaculately detailed, super close up shots that look like they were done on an expensive professional camera. There are a number of iPhone macro lenses out there that will do a great job and won’t necessarily cost the earth. The Olloclip and Photojojo are both under $100, and let you add the pro touch to every photograph you set up. These are lightweight, easy to fit, and well worth the investment for the keen close up photographer.


If you’re fed up with the same old shots and want to try something different, delving into the world of macro photography with your iPhone could give you a new lease of life. Whether you dive right in with a purchase of a clip-on lens or simply start looking at the little details in everything around you, close up photography is fun and easy to get into for every iPhone user. Explore, experiment, and practice, and you’ll soon find your own style and be the envy of all your followers. Download Win Version Download Mac Version author avatar Ollie Mattison Ollie Mattison is a writer and a lover of all things video. Follow @Ollie Mattison You used to need an additional clip-on lens to take proper macro (close-up) photos on an iPhone. But if you’ve just unboxed a new iPhone 13 Pro, you may have discovered that Apple’s newest flagship phone has a built-in Macro mode, which allows you to take detailed macro photos using the wide-angle lens. By equipping the wide lens on the iPhone 13 with auto focus, Apple allowed the phone to focus as close as 2 centimeters from an object — ideal for getting up close and personal. Curious about how to take macro photos with your new iPhone? Let us walk you through how Apple’s new macro mode works and how to use it to get cool close-up shots. Plus, check out our tips for taking better landscape photos on your phone, how to take dreamy long-exposure shots on an iPhone, and find out if you’re taking portrait mode iPhone photos wrong.

Here’s how to take your own macro images with the iPhone 13

First up, open the standard camera app. Right now there are no additional settings or buttons or anything that hints at this new macro skill. All you do is fire up the camera and as you move closer to your subject the phone will automatically switch into wide-angle mode and allow for that close focusing. As I moved the camera closer to these berries, it automatically switched into macro mode, allowing me to focus much closer to the camera. Andrew Hoyle/CNET That does sometimes make it difficult to figure out whether the phone is in macro mode or not. Apple will soon send out an update that will let you toggle macro on and off, to avoid exactly that confusion. Alternatively you can tap the 0.5 button first and switch to the wide lens before you start shooting. Then it’s just a case of getting close up, ensuring your subject is still in focus and tapping the shutter button. Read more: These are the best iPhone 13 cases, best MagSafe chargers and best iPhone photography accessories. Textures on leaves or on tree bark can often look amazing when viewed up close with a macro lens. Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Finding the right macro subject

Given that you’ll be holding your phone close to whatever you’re shooting, only certain subjects will work in macro. Perhaps obviously, you need to think small: Insects, flower petals and fungi often work well in macro. In fact, the natural world has a wealth of opportunity for lovely macro shots, so pop on your hiking boots and head into the forest. Getting your phone so close to your subject does mean it’s easy to block the light, casting your subject into shadow. If so, try and move around your subject to get an angle that lets in the light, or consider trying these pro macro-shot tricks to help brighten the scene. Shot in ProRaw, I was able to make some small tweaks to the contrast, colors and sharpness on this image of a fly to help make it pop even more. Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Shoot in ProRaw, edit later

While you can take great snaps straight out of the camera, if you tap the Raw icon at the top left corner of the screen, you’ll be able to shoot in Apple’s ProRaw format. This gives a lot more scope for editing images later in apps like Adobe Lightroom or Snapseed. If you’re keen to take more artistic images of the tiny things you find, editing your shots is a step you should absolutely consider. Apple always improves the cameras on its latest iPhone model, and of course, the iPhone 13 Pro is no exception. It’s got a new 3x telephoto camera, a new larger wide-angle camera, and an ultra-wide camera with a much larger aperture. Plus, there are new software tricks such as Photographic Styles and Cinematic Mode. But perhaps the best new camera trick is related to that new ultra-wide camera, which now has a minimum focal distance of only 2 centimeters. That means you can take excellent macro photography with your iPhone, just the thing for those who take pictures of flowers, bugs, jewelry, miniatures, and so much more. It’s only available on the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max–the iPhone 13 and 13 mini do not have the same ultra-wide camera hardware–and it’s incredibly easy to use. Apple recently held a macro mode photo contest, and as you can see, the results can truly be stunning—and you don’t need anything more than your iPhone 13 Pro. Here’s how to take macro photos with your iPhone 13 Pro (with the interface updates introduced in iOS 15.2).

Just get up close!

The simplest way to take a macro photo or video is this: Just push your iPhone up close to an object. That’s it. Just move closer. You’ll notice a bit of a flicker as the view changes from the wide camera to the ultra-wide, but Apple automatically crops in on the image to maintain the same field of view. As of iOS 15.2, you’ll also notice a little “macro” button in the lower corner of the view as a small yellow circle with a tulip icon. This indicates that you’re taking a macro shot, and you can tap the button to turn off macro and return to using the standard wide lens. This automatic switching and the Macro indicator button, works when shooting videos as well, which are really fun and can produce some impressive results. iPhone 13 macro mode This little icon lets you know when your iPhone 13 Pro has switched to the Ultra-Wide camera for a macro shot. IDG

Toggle Macro Control

If you don’t like the little macro button popping up, you can turn it off. Just open the Settings app, select Camera, and then scroll down to the toggle labeled Macro Control. Turning this off will not prevent your iPhone from going into macro mode, rather it’ll remove the manual option. Your phone will still automatically switch into macro mode, but you won’t get the little button in your view that lets you disable macro.

Force ultra-wide view

Holding your iPhone close to a subject automatically switches to the Ultra-Wide camera but with a crop applied to keep the same field of view as the Wide camera. But if you want that super-wide view, you can simply zoom out by tapping the (.5) button in the camera view, which will use the full 122-degree field of view and still let you get up close. iPhone 13 macro mode The Macro Control and Lock Camera toggles give you more control over the way macro mode operates. IDG

Lock the camera for video

If you’re shooting video and move really close to something, the camera switch can be a little jarring. Under Settings > Camera > Record Video, beneath all the options for frame rate and resolution and such, you’ll see a switch labeled “Lock Camera.” With this enabled, you will never switch camera lenses while in the middle of recording video: not to the ultra-wide for macro shots, nor to the telephoto when you zoom in.

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