I am a blogger, romantic comedy writer, freelance photographer, and music lover from the Philippines. A number one Toto fan.
Using Your Mobile Device for Macro Photography
You really love macro photography, but the thing is, you can't afford to buy a camera and lenses at the moment. There were times that you wished you had a macro lens to capture those very attractive details of tiny creatures, but you only have a mobile phone.
Good news! Brilliant-minded people today invented phones with macro features on them and lenses designed for mobile phones that let you do some features that digital cameras can do. But the question is: Is it really possible to capture detailed macro using a mobile phone? The answer is a big YES!
You will be surprised to know that your mobile phone can do detailed macro photography. But of course, the outcome depends on what kind of phone you're using and how good you are at photography. Here are some tips for you to push your mobile phone to the limit.
Top 5 Tips for Mobile (or Tablet) Micro Photography
- Use Mobile Phone Lenses
- Use Small Subjects
- Utilize Compositions and Techniques
- Be Aware of Weather Conditions
- Process Your Photos
1. Use Mobile Phone Lenses
If your budget is tight, don't worry—this is very cheap. I bought my mobile phone lenses for only P920.00 (Philippine Peso); it's a little expensive because it's a package deal. But there is something cheaper than that; I saw it online for about P250.00 (macro and wide-angle only).
Although advanced phones have macro features on them, it's really different if you're going to use a macro lens because the lowest aperture ranges to F/1.9, almost equivalent to professional macro lenses. If you can buy a mobile tripod, that would be an advantage.
2. Use Small Subjects
The smaller the subject, the better. So start looking for insects in your backyard or in your garden. Flowers are also great subjects because they have a lot of patterns, details, and vibrant colors. Don't miss the opportunity to capture dewdrops, droplets, and mist in the morning or after raining because you will be amazed to see that the droplets, dewdrops, or mist will look like dazzling diamonds.
3. Utilize Compositions and Techniques
You can experiment with any compositions you like, but you can also use the rules of thirds if you don't know much about photography composition. Think before you click. Virtualize what art you can capture along with the subject. For example: texture, patterns, repetition, vibrant colors, details, etc.
Shoot in different angles, or even make it even more dramatic by making it a silhouette. If possible, you can also use an improvised backdrop just to add a twist to your subject. Don't forget the complementary colors for a better outcome.
4. Be Aware of Weather Conditions
Weather can be a great challenge in macro photography because a little wind movement can make your subject out of focus, to the point where even using a tripod is useless. What can you do? Read or watch weather forecasts.
If that's not possible, then use your sense of touch to determine if it's a little windy in your area. If it's windy, but you can't afford to lose the opportunity to capture your prospective subject, then be creative and use your ability. Get something that can hinder the wind from blowing directly on the subject.
If possible, position your body against the wind's direction; this can also help your subject to steady. Or you can use whatever resources around you, like an umbrella, carton, or plywood. If you want to achieve something, then find ways to get it, and just be resourceful. Afterward, you'll not only be satisfied with the outcome, but you'll also be proud of what you've done.
When shooting under direct sunlight, you can also use an umbrella, disposable transparent cup, or plastic as your diffuser. Cut the bottom part of the cup just enough to let your mobile lens get in. This will help your subject not to be overexposed or have so much highlight that it will ruin the quality of the photo. If your subject is an insect, this will you to trap your subject.
5. Process Your Photos
If you want your photo to be like the product of professional cameras, then process it according to your taste. There is nothing wrong with processing a photo. Don't be discouraged when people tell you that processing a photo means it is not really your masterpiece. Because when you really love your work, you will also find ways to make it more presentable, high standard, and something you'll be proud of. After all, it's your preferences on what you're trying to tell using your photograph that matters, not theirs. It's your own way of seeing things, and it represents you.
Also, mobile phones have smaller sensors compare to digital cameras and pro cameras. The smaller the sensor, the more it will cause noise to your photos. So you will need a mobile app to edit it. For example, Lightroom, Snapseed, Toolwiz, ColorSplash are the best apps for processing your image.
If ever you want a 360-degree panoramic view with good details, try Bimostitch. And if your phone is Android 5 up, you can also use Camera FV-5 because it has a lot of features like a DSLR camera does.
Unleash Your Hidden Talent!
Go and unleash the hidden talent in you! As I have said, you can always experiment with your own style and composition. Your creativity and uniqueness will showcase your trademark as a mobile photographer. But always remember that the quality of your photos depends on the capability of your mobile or tablet camera.
All my photos here were taken from Huawei T-1 (only has 5mp), except with the colorful paper photo because it was shot using Samsung J7. If your camera has a higher megapixel, then the result will be awesome. Happy shooting, folks!
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