#6 ‘Macro’


Theme: Macro

Yeah, this one might be a little more challenging but the results can be really unique and worth the effort.

I mentioned in the video getting hold of a Sigma lens and some filters so here are links here:

Sigma 70-300mm Lens

Macro Filter Set Be sure to check the size of your lens!

How to Focus training could be useful here.



See the details from challenge #1, I don’t want to keep filling each post with the rules.



Here’s a few ideas I quickly found using the method I explain in the inspiration post. Well actually they all came from 500px so thanks if they’re your photos, they’re truly inspiring!




This in new to me to be honest and I won’t get my new filter set till Christmas so we’re in this one together! I’m pretty sure by now though that you can look up macro photography and get a tutorial on it. If you find a good one please add the link below 😉


Get posting!

As ever it’s over to you!

So anytime now you can start posting your ideas below and any questions you have.

At any time through January you can post your final image and hopefully we’ll get a good selection flowing down in the comments below. Feel free to comment on others’ work and please as stated above give us a bit of commentary to go along with your image and the camera’s settings.


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  • Anne Coles

    Had to share this one as it was something of a fluke! I went out in my garden on the hunt for something leafy for challenge #4. Having been somewhat uninspired by the leaves, I spotted a patch of damp moss, saw it’s potential and thought I’d take a snap to see how close up I could get with my 50mm lens!
    Amazingly, this is what I managed to capture… oh what I could do with a proper macro lens….it is my birthday on Monday….maybe another lens would be handy 😉
    Settings: f1.8, 1/1000, ISO-200

    • Wow, that’s like a little mini world going on, what a great shot!
      You don’t need a new lens, i got these macro lenses for Christmas that fit my 50mm lens and they seem to work a treat, and better still they only cost £7! http://amzn.to/1y6qn82
      Anyway, well done for spotting such a cool image, full marks! 😉

      • Anne Coles

        Been eyeing up the sigma 70-300 with macro….will have to see if the birthday fairies bring me enough cash to cover it, if they don’t, I reckon I can stretch to £7 for a set of those though!

        • Oh dear, don’t let your husband know about the filters

  • Darren Goodall

    That shot looks great, get your self the sigma lens that Adrian in talking about.
    I picked up a sigma 70-200 macro some months back, second hand, it’s a cracker.
    I am about to get out into my garden and either go macro or birds, bathing in our pond, the sun is coming over now heading towards 5 pm, might even get in a sunset while I am at it.
    I do like your shot, brilliant !
    Regards Darren

    • thanks for encouraging Anne Darren, that’s what I like about this community.
      You’re making me feel bad too, I’m just sitting having a coffee thinking I supose I’d better take a photo to tick something off and you’re all keen lol. Shame on me!
      You go for it and give us some ideas. We are forcast for snow next week so that will give me something to shoot 😉

  • Ok, so I absolutely love the coffee image on this page and thought I’d have a go at recreating it… except I had no coffee so had to improvise!

    As you can see I went for raisins.

    I think I might try this again with some jelly beans but I thought as I shot it I’d put it up anyway.

    Now I did use my 50mm lens again but I had to put on a 2x macro filter (link above) to get me close enough.

    Hand held with my flash on a stand pointing to the ceiling above my head. I took a setup shot for you too.

    You can see the difference with the depth of field between the two and I had placed an egg cup under photo 2 which I felt separated the foreground and background too much.

    Photo1 Settings:
    ISO 125

    Photo2 Settings:

    ISO 125

    • Darren Goodall

      Thank goodness for kitchen tables, they look great.
      I like the way you’ve shown a simple setting change gives a completely different feel to the shot. Depth of field. Thanks

  • Darren Goodall

    Hi Adrian,
    Had all my kit out today, unseasonal rain for the last week and a half, making coffee in the kitchen, beans grinding away and I took the time to “smell the Roses” or Orchid. Didn’t smell a thing actually, though it did look rather nice.
    #6 Macro, Once again the kitchen table,
    holding my Canon 50 D,
    24-70 lens set to “Macro,”
    Shutter at 1/13
    Aperture of 2.8.
    I had the white balance set for flash, I used the built in flash.
    In iPhoto i did a little cropping and adjust the exposure just a little, saturation and sharpness just a little as well.
    Thats it, please comment folks, good bad or indifferent .

    • Well done Darren, you’re really cracking through these!
      I have to say I’m surprised you can keep it sharp at 1/16 shutter speed but you seem to have so good job.
      I’ll ignore the comment about using the built in flash, I must have read that wrong 😉
      The background is knocked out lovely and to be honest the only thing I might have tried is to play with a few backdrops. A white sheet, a black or dark sheet might just have made it stand out more, just make sure it fills the view (no gaps at the edges). As you know, these aren’t criticisms, just ideas for improving if you ever do it again. In fact, if it’s there on your kitchen table why not try it and let us see how you get on! I know you respond well to a bit of prompting. And get your light on a stand back lol!
      Good effort mate, you must be nearly done.

      • Darren Goodall

        Pending the wifes permission, I’ll give it another crack with a back ground, black I think.

        • Have a look at Deb’s strawberries to see how effective a black background can be.

          • Darren Goodall

            Hi Adrian,
            Revision done Sir,
            I have listened to what you’ve asked for, the results are attached below.
            Once again, you’re right.
            I am much happier with this result.
            Even the wife is says “Ey I, thay loook bettar”
            Debs Strawberries, sorry Deb I couldn’t find’em.
            Comments please.
            ISO 125
            f3.2 stop
            1/2 shutter
            50 D on a tripod, no flash, cloudy day setting. The cloudy day setting just seemed to work better. I don’t know why.
            The light from my iPad from below, the camera was set below the table looking up, this caught the light from the iPad. Picture from my iPhone attached below also.
            The blinds were drawn.

            Cheers Guys, Darren

          • 10 times better mate, great image!
            I think it’s just about taking the photo then studying it on the display and saying ‘is there anything I could do to improve it’, within reason of course.
            We’ll make a photographer out of you yet lol! Well done mate 🙂

  • Darren Goodall

    Shutter 1/13, I’ll have another go on the weekend, earlier if jane gives me the table……..ok, I was a little slack with the flash, I’d just put all me kit away.
    Someone told me how to brace myself when taking a photo, a YouTube clip, Ya should look it up! 😉
    I’m trying to upload “home “onto my desktop at the moment, I reshot after some advice.
    Cheers fella

  • Steve Reeves

    Found this mushroom the other day whilst walking. It is about an 0.9 inch across. I had been experimenting with focus stacking (http://extreme-macro.co.uk/focus-stacking/) towards the end of last year using software to control the camera focus point on my 60D. Found the software/my camera combo a bit unreliable and so Lynette (my wife) bought me a manual focussing rail for Xmas. So this is one of my early attempts with it. It’s an amalgamation of about 40 shots, merged together taking the sharpest parts of each image to create one with a high depth of field. Taken on a tripod with 100mm lens, using a flash. Unfortunately I have lost EXIF data for the rest of the settings in the amalgamation process – duh never thought off that when I was doing it!!

    • Darren Goodall

      Well all them shots look great, how long did it take?
      Take the shots then all that editing, it really paid off

      • Steve Reeves

        Thanks Darren, whilst there was a bit of manual tidying up the main part of the merging was carried out using an app called Zerene Stacker – tool designed just for this type of job. Probably took 3 mins or so to process the stack – about 10 to take the photos, a bit of set up time and 15 mins in photoshop for a bit of clean up. Merging process is not perfect – a few outer artifacts can be processed in to the final image. Process also highlights any dust on my sensor so a few small blobs needed to be cloned out – but nothing major.

    • Great job Steve, I love the creativity from you all, no one thing the same, you have all interpreted it different ways which is great!
      I’ve never tried this before but heard about it, you’ll have to do us a tutorial 😉
      Well done.

  • Debs Cook

    So I bought myself a reasonably cheap Macro lens which attaches to my kit lens and took some photos of the frost the other weekend. f/5.6, 1/60, ISO 100 but then took the exposure down slightly once I downloaded it. This was taken of the ice on top of my car and I stood on a chair and took the photo – my neighbour now thinks I’m mad!

    • Darren Goodall

      That looks so frosty, very nice.
      Yep my lot next door reckon I’m mad also.

    • Wow, that must have been super close, it looks like carpet!
      Did you add the vignette (the dark edges) or is that natural?
      How interesting, great job!

      • Debs Cook

        No that’s all natural. I’m not sure I’d know how to add it. Yes I was really close and tried from lots of angles.

  • LynneO

    Out for a nice long walk this morning and my husband spotted this colony of snails (sure they must have a name for that) on the wall of a canal aquaduct. I had my 50mm lens on so this was as close as I could get and hope it qualifies as macro. I used F4.5, 1/50, ISO 200

    • Yuck, but it’s a great shot lol.
      You’re right that you can’t get too close with that lens but if you do fancy getting close you can get the filter set I mention above, I’ve had some fun with them. The moss on the stone looks great doesn’t it.

      • LynneO

        Yes, it’s really rich looking isn’t it. I amaze myself at how close I’ll get to some things with my camera when I wouldn’t go near them ordinarily!!

  • Hereward gas

    this was about as close as i could get
    f5.6 55mm focal length 1/400 hand held

    • Oh wow, check you out mate, this is brilliant! Spot on settings, lovely crop.

  • Ali Nicolson

    Taking it to the Macro
    Pic 1 iso 100 85mm f/5.6 1/4sec AV Mode handheld lying half way out of french doors elbows on magazine and it’s snowing.
    Pic 2 iso 200 85mm f9/5 1/180 sec manual mode using tripod much more comfortable.

    • Ali, really impressed with photo1 especially 1/4 sec hand held!

      • Ali Nicolson

        All that time in the gym is paying off lol or it my be the stabilising lens.

  • Ali Nicolson

    Into the Centre
    All images ISO 100 f/22 50mm AV mode on tripod
    No1 1/4 sec 6+ close up filter
    No2 0.3 sec 4+ close up filter
    No3 0.3 sec 10+ close up filter
    No4 0.3 sec 14+close up filter
    Gave flowers to wife (in the good books). Shot in the morning around 8 ish (wife still sleeping) in front of east facing doors.
    I moved the subject or the tripod into the focus zone. Then used auto focus to get it in the ball park. Turned on live view and zoomed into the focus point. Manual focused for a final tweak. Used self-timer to take the shots, as pressing the button was giving massive camera shake.

    Showed images to wife and she sussed why i bought the flowers (in the bad books). D’oh

    • Sorry for taking a while to respond but these look great! I’m pleased to see you got the macro filters and they worked really well. My favourite is the third one.
      So funny you got caught out lol!

  • Anne Coles

    I was taking these late at night using just the house lights so upped the ISO a little and used a tripod as I needed a long exposure to make up for the small aperture setting I needed to get things in focus enough:
    ISO 800
    Exp 1.6 seconds

    I used my zoom lens so that I could adjust things without having to fiddle around with the tripod.

    • Wow, that top one is beautiful, looks like a peacock’s feather! Great idea to get such a wide depth of field and well done for knowing how to balance it.

  • Darren Goodall

    Anne, what great shots, I agree Adrian the top pic looks wonderful.
    A peacock feather!