Nature Macro Photography – A Guide to a Different World


Iphone Macro Photograph.Nature macro photography of is both a fascinating and rewarding genre of photography that allows us to see a completely different world. Macro photographs are typically defined as a photograph taken at a magnification of 1:1 or greater, which means the subject will fill the camera frame. In this way, details of nature that are invisible to the naked eye are able to be seen clearly, such as intricate patterns in a flower petal or the texture of a spider’s web.

In this article, we will explain the various ways in which you can share in macro photography of nature. We will start with what types of camera equipment is necessary to take macro photographs, such as a Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera, and then move on to other free methods and even how to use your smartphone with an attachable close-up lens.


Taking Macro Photographs with a DSLR Camera and a Macro Lens


One of the most popular ways to take macro photographs is by using a DSLR camera with a macro lens. A macro lens is a specialized lens that is designed to capture images at a very high magnification. These lenses typically have a focal length of 90-105mm, and they are often designated as “macro” lenses when they have a magnification ratio of 1:1 or greater. A lens of this type can often be purchased used online for very little money. You just need to do your research first to know which lens will work for you and your camera. Follow this Amazon link for Macro Lens Examples.

Note: We are an Amazon Associate and may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through any links on this page. This is how we support our website efforts to produce great content for you.

The “Poor Man’s” Macro Photography Lens, with a DSLR


Macro Photography in Nature

Another way to take macro nature photographs, if you cannot afford a dedicated macro lens, is to just take your normal lens of your DSLR camera off and invert the lens. This sounds counterintuitive, but it does work well. Focus is achieved by moving closer or farther away from the subject. The camera is kept in program mode for this to take care of the exposure.

The reason this works is that by inverting the lens, you can expose the concave side of the front element of the lens to the subject, which will allow you to focus closer. You will need to remove the lens and body cap of the lens and hold the lens upside down. You can then either purchase a reversing ring to attach to the front of the lens and then to the camera, or just hold the front of the lens to the camera body by hand, which can be very tricky. Be sure not to drop the lens! Then adjust for focus by moving closer and farther away from your subject and take the picture.

Using an Extension Tube with a DSLR


Another way, and my favorite way to take my nature photos for my website, is to use an extension tube with a DSLR camera. This is an extension to your normal lens, but contains no lens elements, it just moves the lens out farther, increasing the magnification of the lens and allowing you to take closer-up photographs.

These usually come in a set of three extensions, beginning at 12mm to 36mm. I have purchased several sets of these macro extenders for under $10.00 online. You just have to be on the lookout for them. People selling them often don’t even know what they are for. The way these tubes work is to extend the lens farther away from the camera and thus increase the magnification ratio. I prefer the 12mm for most of my work making close-up pictures of flowers for my website

To use one of these extension tubes, you just remove your normal lens, install the extender tube, and reattach the lens onto the front of the extender. Depending on the manufacturer, you can lose some functionality of the lens, but the higher end models made by the camera manufacturer work just fine. Next, you take pictures as normal, but a tripod is recommended, as every shake is magnified by the close-up lens.

Here is a link for Amazon –  low cost Extension tubes.

Using an Adjustable Bellows with a Camera


Taking macro photographs can also be accomplished by using an adjustable bellows with a camera. A bellows is a flexible tube that is designed to allow you to increase the distance between the camera body and the lens with an adjustable wheel. This is definitely the deluxe way to do macro work. Unfortunately, this is an expensive option as well, often costing as much as a dedicated macro lens. This will increase the magnification of the lens and allow you to take closer-up photographs.

To use a bellows with a camera, you will first need to attach the bellows to the camera body. The bellows should have a mount on one end that matches the mount on the camera body, and it should have a mount on the other end that allows you to attach a lens. Again, you may lose some functionality of the lens using an attachment such as this. The benefit is the infinite macro adjustments gained.

Nature Macro Photography with a Smartphone – Is it Possible?


Nature Macro Photography Image
Macro flower photo taken with Iphone XR


For the rest of us who only have a smartphone, there is a way to take great macro photographs with any smartphone as well. Many smartphones have quality built-in cameras that are capable of taking high-quality photographs, and there are also a number of accessories available that allow you to take even closer-up photographs.

One of the most popular ways to take macro photographs with a smartphone is by using an attachable close-up lens. These lenses are designed to attach to the camera lens of a smartphone and allow you to take closer-up photographs. They typically have a magnification ratio of 1-4x, which is much higher than the magnification of the smartphone’s built-in camera.

These types of close-up lenses can be obtained on Amazon for under $20.00. Here is a link showing these Amazon Smartphone Close-Up Lenses. I personally use one for some close-up flower pictures to make into stickers for my website, If you don’t want to lug around a lot of camera hardware, it is a feasible approach, but I highly recommend some type of smartphone tripod with this approach.

Nature Macro Photography – Conclusion


In conclusion, nature macro photography is a fascinating and rewarding genre of photography that allows us to see the world in a completely different light. There are several ways to take macro photographs, including using a DSLR camera with a macro lens, a 12 mm extension tube, or an adjustable bellows as well as a smartphone with a close-up lens attachment.

Whatever equipment you ultimately decide to use, by experimenting with these methods and a lot of patience, you can enter the world of macro photography! Please visit our site, through the links on this page to view our beautiful nature sticker assortments. Thanks for reading and enjoy the journey into the macro world of photography.

Paul Knudtson

Copyright 2023






Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top