top of page

Chapter 6 - Differences between close-up and macro

In photography, there are different types of shots that can capture fascinating details. Two terms often used and sometimes confused are "close-up" and "macro". Although they may seem similar, these two techniques have distinct characteristics that set them apart. In this article, we'll explore the difference between close-up and macro photography, highlighting their quirks and explaining how to use them to achieve dramatic results.

Close-Up: Close-up is a shooting technique that involves getting very close to the subject, filling the frame with a specific part of it. The main purpose of close-up is to bring out the details and textures of the subject, capturing its expression or structure more intensely. This technique is commonly used in portraiture, product photography, food photography, and many other areas where you want to highlight a specific element.

Lenses used for close-ups typically have a longer focal length, allowing the photographer to get closer to the subject while maintaining sharpness and avoiding excessive distortion. Close-ups offer a great way to create impactful images by emphasizing detail and engaging the viewer's interest in often-overlooked elements.

white horse eye
Quaerere - White and Wild collection - Atrayoux photography

Macro photography: Macro photography is a shooting technique that allows subjects to be captured at an extremely close scale. It aims to reveal details invisible to the naked eye and to create images of great precision. Macro photography is especially popular for capturing flora, insects, small objects, and other subjects with fine detail.

To capture macro photos, photographers typically use specialized macro lenses that allow close focus with faithful reproduction of detail. These lenses offer a longer focal length than standard lenses, allowing you to get even closer to the subject. It is also common to use accessories such as extension tubes or macro lenses to increase the close focus capability of existing lenses.

The key differences: The main difference between close-up and macro photography lies in the scale of reproduction of the subjects. In close-up, the subject can occupy a large part of the image, but it generally remains on a scale closer to reality. In contrast, macro photography allows subjects to be captured at a scale far beyond their actual size, revealing minute details that would otherwise be invisible.

Another noticeable difference is the focus distance. In the case of a close-up, the focus distance may vary depending on the situation, but it is generally not as close as in macro photography. In macro photography, the focusing distance is extremely short, allowing you to get as close as possible to the subject to record the finest details.

Conclusion: Both close-up and macro photography are powerful techniques for bringing out the details and textures of a subject. Close-up focuses on important details while maintaining realistic scale, while macro photography allows subjects to be captured at a scale much larger than their actual size, revealing details invisible to the naked eye. By using these techniques creatively, photographers can create captivating images that pique the interest and wonder of viewers.

For my animal photos, since I prefer wildlife, I use close-ups and not macros... I wouldn't want to take unnecessary risks ;-)

See you soon for new photo tips.

16 views0 comments


bottom of page