How to do macro photography with iPhone 5S – a how to macro tutorial.
This is a how to instructions guide for taking macro photography and extreme close-ups with iPhone 5S. Hence the title, how to do macro photography with iPhone 5S. 😉 Please note that this article is written for a specific camera, but people with other cameras can also benefit from information provided on macro photography techniques and knowledge.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
– Marcel Proust
This article will cover:
What is macro photography?
What equipment do I need to do macro photography?
What settings do I use for macro photography?
Which macro lens should I buy for my iPhone 5S camera?
How to do macro photography with iPhone 5S. 😀
Macro photography allows us to see the world from a different perspective. Extreme close-up photos can be mesmerizing, and will add a different dimension to your photography toolbox – which consequently means that your reputation as a photographer will improve drastically. If you would like to learn more, please read on – it is very easy to do once you know how to, and very impressive to your followers. – Nicole Lisa Photography
What is macro photography?
Macro photography is the terminology used by photographers for taking “Close-up” or “magnified” photos of any chosen object or animal. The photographs producing are extremely detailed, showing detail beyond that which is visible to the naked human eye. However, macrophotography is slightly more technical than simply taking close up photos, and if the term “macro” is to be applied to the image being taken, one has to achieve a magnification level greater than 1:1. In other words, the image being captured on film, or on the imaging sensor of your DSLR camera), must be larger than that of what is being photographed. This does not apply to an image which has simply been made larger in post processing, and we shall therefore explain what kind of equipment you will need in order to understand how to macro photography with iPhone 5S.
“Life is all about the little things. They complete us.”
What equipment do I need to do macrophotography?
The question should really be, “what equipment do I need to take professional looking macro photos?”
1. DSLR CAMERA
The fact that you are reading up on this, shows that you have an interest in photography. Obviously the best camera you could have, is a DSLR, which these days are not too expensive. Seeing that you’ve found this article ‘How to macro photography with iPhone 5S’, implies that you already have a iPhone 5S (or want one). Anywho, this is a perfect camera to start with – your way to learn how to macro photography with iPhone 5S. It goes without saying, buy you will need to use equipment that is compatible with the iPhone 5S. A great platform to start out on.
– UPGRADING? Read more about one of the SONY DSLR flagships: The Sony Alpha SLT-A99V
“You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.“
– Mark Twain
2. MACRO LENS
The second most important piece of equipment is a MACRO LENS. This is a specifically designed lens for this type of photography, and it will not fail you. You could try to make a cheaper version, buy a cheaper lens or even use a magnifying lens, all of which will impart a degree of the magnification possible – but also create a degree of blur.
One of the best reviewed macro lenses for mobile devices can be found in the link provided. However, when you are browsing that product description site to see if you fancy one of the other ones instead – this is the one we ended up with after exhaustively rendering through the options though.
– Read more here: Universal 3 in 1 Camera Lens Kit for Smart phones
Hands down, one of the best reviewed 3-in-1 lenses for mobile devices. The package contains Fish Eye, Macro and Wide Angle lenses. 3 in 1. One of the sole favorite amongst Amazon customers, currently having collected an impressive 4/5 star rating with 442 customer reviews. Three awesome lenses to help you get the most out of your mobile photography. The wide angle lens is paired with the macro lens – gently unscrew the wide angle to reveal the macro power beneath. Make sure it is compatible with your camera though – it is with most mobile devices – but you will find out via the product description site. Invest in this and you’ll take your photography to another level. Here are a couple of photo examples, shot using this type of macro lens:
Notice the fascinating details seen due to the amazing capabilities of the macro lens. This is not something you would see with cheaper alternatives.
Highest rated customer review (recommended reading):
“I’ve been a professional fashion/advertising photographer and yes, I have the big guns (Canons, of course). But I have to admit that I’m rather amazed at what can be produced by a common iPhone these days.
Being used to spending five or more figures on lenses for my professional equipment, I was pretty interested in what capabilities I could gain for my iPhone for basically the price of a small pizza. After exhaustively comparing all the offerings online, I placed my bet on this set by CamKix and I wasn’t disappointing. The images were pretty decent – enough to amaze my friends with lesser standards. Well worth the $15 strictly for the added pocket full of fun.
Note. I had one small dissapointment, which was an imperfection on the glass coating where apparently a tiny bubble caused a clear spot. It doesn’t perceptively affect the images as the focal length is beyond the glass. No biggee. At these prices, these things are practically disposable. These things would make good stocking stuffers come Christmas.”
– A. Kinard
“Beauty is in the details. Often unseen, nonetheless beautiful.”
Here’s another photo example, this time capturing an astonishing close-up photo with unique resolution:
– Feeling inspired? CLICK HERE to learn more about the macro lens – or the other available lenses.
The third most important piece of equipment is a tripod. This is obviously dependent on what you intend to photograph. However, since you’re into macro photography, it is very likely you would want to take shots of flowers, spiders, water formations, snow crystals and/or a range of insects or objects. Depending on the object, and how likely it is to run away if you get too close, a tripod can provide the stability, and close proximity needed to capture that unique shot of a rare insect or object.
– Read more: Square Jellyfish Smartphone Spring Tripod Mount
4. REMOTE SHUTTER TIMER
Description: “Easy to set up and use. Perfect for capturing selfies or family photos. Adding it to your keys means you aways have it with you. Your photos will be much more stable too, since you don’t have to touch the phone to take the picture. Switches easily from iOS to android. Android phones recognize it as a keyboard device (my phone, Galaxy S4, does require that I use default Samsung keyboard, instead of my preferred Google keyboard in order for it to work correctly). No dedicated video button, you must 1st put your phone in video mode, then press the button.”
Made for: Apple iPhone 5S, 5C, 5, 4S, 4, ipad 5, 4, 3, 2, ipad mini, ipad Air, ipod, Samsung Galaxy S4, S3, S2, Note 3, 2, Sony xperia z, HTC ONE, Smartphones and Tablets.
– If you have any questions regarding anything or specifically about this product, you can ask them in our FORUM or directly on the product description site.
A remote control timer will allow more distance between you and your desired subject. Whether it is wireless or or cord. The one described permits you to stand even further away from your camera, ensuring that the subject is in focus before taking the photo, and could enable you to take more unique and interesting macro images than your competitors – plus you avoid unecessary movement which is crucial to long exposure photography. The timer has other functions in additon to the ones mentioned. A crucial ingredient in ‘how to macro photography with iPhone 5S’.
To recap, you will need:
– Macro Lens
– Remote controlled automatic shutter
“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”
How to macro photography with iPhone 5S – What settings to use?
Once you are all set up with your equipment, the obvious question comes to mind; “what settings do I use…?!”
This is dependent on where you are, and what time of day it is – as the amount of light available will play a vital role.
Depth of field is very important, the main reason being that when you are so close up to an object, you need to make sure that a suitable large area of the subject is in focus. You wont be too impressed when you finally get to see your images on the big screen, and find out that the antler is the only thing you managed to get in focus of your rare fire ant. On the other hand you can of course adjust the settings to artistically pick out areas of interest that you want to focus on, but understanding the settings you need is the first will help shape your abilities as a photographer. The depth of field is dependent upon the aperture (F-stop), which is explained in more detail below.
The aperture (f-stop)
The aperture, or f-stop (same as focal ratio, f-number and relative aperture) controls how wide the lens is during a shot. A wide aperture (low f-number) means that your lens is open quite wide, allowing a lot of light in during the shot. A high f-number means that your lens is not open as wide, therefore limiting the amount of light in any given shot. In macro photography – is is best to shoot with a narrow aperture, and therefore high f-number/f-stop – as more of the image will be in focus. An example of what is being described here can be seen in the photo below.
As you can see, an f-stop of f/1.4 is larger than that of f/2.0, and much larger than that of f/8.0.
Back to the depth of field
If you want all the areas of the subject in focus, a large F-number (for example f/32), will help you achieve this. More of both the background and foreground objects/details will be in focus. A smaller f-number (and therefore larger aperture) such as f/1.2 will isolate more of the foreground from details in the picture that lay more in the background, meaning the foreground will appear sharp and the background will appear blurry. An example of this can be seen in the picture below. The picture on the left has a large depth of Field (meaning both the foreground and background elements are in focus), and therefore has a high f-stop and a narrow aperture.
Explanation: The picture on the right has a low depth of field, therefore a wide aperture, and low f-stop. The focus is therefore on the leaves, but as you can see the background is not in focus. This can be a cool effect if you utilize it correctly.
Should I use manual focus or automatic focus?
Focussing sharply on a subject in macro photography is perhaps the hardest element to perfect in macrophotography. The lens depicted earlier is a good way of avoiding this obstacle though, but in general it is best to use manual focus, after you have already focussed on the subject using auto-focus. A combination of the two. You can do this by focusing automatically on the subject first, and once you are sure it is in focus, switch to manual focus. Simples, right? This will ensure that when you are ready to take the picture, and press the shutter button, the lens won’t try to automatically re-focus, thereby causing you to have to set up your shot again.
Which size macro lens should I buy?
The most popular choice of macro lenses is around 40-100mm.
There are so many macro lenses out there, that it can be hard to decide which to buy. You may have seen the different types, with differing focal lengths; 50mm, 60mm, 100mm and 105mm. But what does the focal length mean for camera performance?
The lower the focal length of the lens, the closer you will need to be to the subject, and it will be therefore harder to take good macro photos of injects, or objects that move. This is an extremely important consideration to take into account.
For example, using 60mm macro lens, will mean you really need to be physically close, even directly next to the object. It is likely you will also cast shadows over the subject, and light is an important factor. Using a 100mm lens will give you that extra length. You can stand nearly 1 meter away from the object, and still get extremely good macro photos, without casting shadows and without potentially scaring your subject away. With the 60mm lens, you have to stand only 15cm away, and as explained, this can at times be problematic – for example if you are photographing a cheeky insect or due to your own shadow.
Article: How to macro photography with iPhone 5S.
“Where beams of imagination play, The memory’s soft figures melt away.“
– Alexander Pope