How To Get Creative Compositions In Macro Photography

Creative Compositions In Macro Photography

First question is  “What is Macro Photography ” ?

It is close up photography done with special types of lenses known as macro lenses which can focus the subjects at very minute distance and magnify it many folds. Those digital photographers who are involved in food photography and flower photography are very much familiar with the technique. But macro photography is more popular among the nature photographers who are fond of capturing insects in action and dance of shimmering dew drops in morning light. Now the question is “how to take macro photographs” ?.

When we see a macro picture of an insect or a dew drop and say wow!, there must be something special in the composition which make us so excited about that. To get an idea of what creative compositions in macro photography are and how these can be achieved ,one has to study lot of images carefully and analyzing these for interesting elements. Here I am giving some general macro photography tips for creating dynamic and creative shots in this field.

How To Position The subject:-

macro photography

A Rule Of Third

If your  subject is an insect like a dragon fly or some grasshopper etc then try to divide your frame into nine squares by drawing two imaginary vertical and two horizontal lines. Place the subject in the intersection of these lines and most of the time in the intersection point of lower left corner. That is the use of rule of third in macro photography. However if you are shooting a flower of a head on shot of a bug then this rule can be breached and you can place a subject in the center.

Sometime it is very personal decision on-location while shooting that how to place a subject and how to balance it with other elements in the picture. This very important moment decides how your picture will look in the final outcome. Some time a subject of the tip of a flower or a leave gives very pleasing composition. But one thing must keep in mind that always give a breathing space to the subject either you place it on the lower end or upper end. Never go very tight until and unless you are shooting portraits of insects or flowers. Some time you must have seen some photographs with tight composition having bulging eyes and antennas of insects. In this case no breathing space is needed.


Breathing space in the upper right corner

The Butterfly#002



Using curves of the leaves to get creative composition

Use The Curves and Oblique Lines :-

Using the curves of the leaves and branches in macro photography can be a good source for creating dynamic macro pictures. In many cases you noticed spiders cling to the web made by folding a grass leave and making a very nice natural arch or a beetle moving on the natural curve of a leave. These arches and curves of leave are very important in making strong composition in macro photography. In some cases I use setting sun in the background that produce stunning results.

the butterfly

Beauty of Nature






MACRO picture

Using Oblique lines

Using oblique lines while composing a shot is so important that most of the time it becomes the major difference between a good picture and a bad picture. If a subject is sitting on a straight leave or branch then tilt the camera with 45 degree and the things will be alright. For this purpose you need a good tripod with ball and socket head. Some time I personally deviate from the rule and get some fresh composition by using straight lines as a strong point.

 Clutter Free Background:-

Not only in macro photography but in its all forms background is very important. A clutter free image in closeup photography is more professional and creative than a picture with messy surrounding. Keep in mind that your main subject must stand out while composing a shot. Some time it is not possible as your subject is much near to the background. In this case use wide aperture and sacrifice some

extra details. I personally keep a scissor in my macro kit to cut extra grass leaves.

But one must be very careful as macro subjects are very scarey and agile and

may jump out of the seen or fly away while you are cutting twigs.

MACRO-15 - Copy

Straight lines may also create strong composition



clear Background

A n out of focus and blur background makes the picture esthetically more acceptable and create ease for the eyes. Another way of creating interesting background is to use a water spray gun for the back lit subjects. That will produce light circles in the background which mostly give the pictures more illusive effect.

    Moving Compositions:-

While imagine to  place a subject in frame, one thing must be kept in mind – there must be a sense of movement in the picture. If you shoot a flying dragonfly or a moving beetle or caterpillar on a curved leave, there must be good space in front of the subject to create space for the movement of the subject which viewer can feel.


Try Some New angles In Macro Photography :-

Head on shots of subjects like flowers produce flat and placid pictures which are unattractive and have no innovation. Try some lower angle to create some new compositions which must look better and attractive to the viewers.BEETLEFor this beetle shot I deliberately use  a lower angle  to make the picture more attractive and dynamic. A straight head on shot would be boring and non acceptable for the viewers.  Same is the rule for the butterflies and flowers. In macro photography now many tips and tricks are used to enhance the composition and overall effect of the final outcome. Some photographers use stuffed and freeze subjects and some even use plastic butterflies to gave the subject position of their own choice. But all that is not the alternate of pure natural shots which are taken on location.  Macro photography is a big fun and more challenging than any other form of photography. That is why young photographers are becoming more and more attractive towards macro photography.


For Further Reading :-

Macro Photography

Top 12 macro photography tips 

How to Take Macro Pictures

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