Skip to content

UfD: Five Tips for Macro Photographs

20150327-flowerandgardenshow-0077 as Smart Object-1

When I did my article for the magazine I had planned on adding some tipS on what you can do to macro photographs, but in the end decided I didn’t need them. Still I made the list so I thought I might share it here with you.

Five Tips for Macro Photos Using Lightroom

1 – Cropping the Imagefine-art-macro-flower-photograph

We are often told not to crop images, that it means the files will be too small, or you limit your choices for prints. I have heard all of these, and to some extent I agree, then again if you have an image and your macro subject is really small in it then why not. I crop nearly all my images, and do it to get the best composition I can. I don’t think I am ever going to enlarge my images so they are enormous, so it is not something that really matters.

2 – Use the Adjustment Brush20150525-marysville-7320

The adjustment brush in Lightroom really is your friend, and it can be really good for bringing out the subject of your image. I use it all the time. You can lighten the subject or darken your background. You can use a lot of different adjustments there and I recommend trying them out.

3 – Add Vibrance to Your Subject

This is one that you have to be careful with, it can be great to give your subject a little vibrance, it will help it stand out from the background. Though, I need to warn you to be careful and watch the image. Some colours don’t look good when you put the vibrance up. Colours like reds, bright pinks and purples, so take care.

4 – Remove Some Colour From the Background

Taking away some of the vibrance or saturation from around your subject can help it stand out. You naturally go to the lightest thing in an image or the brightest, so making sure your subject is one of those will help it stand out.

5 – Add a Vignette

Anyone who follows me, or has for a while know20150327-flowerandgardenshow-0121 as Smart Object-1s I love vignettes. I love the way it really helps you to focus on what I want you to focus on. Nothing more to say really, I just love them.

They are my tips, they might not be yours, but would love to hear what you think could be other great tips.

If you like this sort of post I would like to hear as well, I might try doing some more for other types of photography, or see if I can get some other people to give us their tips.

The photos are all macro photos that I am sure you have all seen here before.

100 Comments
  1. Very beautiful photos Leanne πŸ˜€

    August 7, 2015
  2. KristerP #

    Good points all of them, especially cropping. Keep up the good work πŸ™‚

    August 7, 2015
    • Thank you Krister, cropping is good. πŸ™‚

      August 7, 2015
  3. Amazing photos!

    August 7, 2015
  4. Thank you so much….this post is just what I was looking for 😊

    August 7, 2015
    • You’re welcome and that’s fantastic, thank you.

      August 7, 2015
  5. Good tips on macros. Do you bring flash or tripod for macros?

    August 7, 2015
    • Thank you, no flash and no tripod really, though I am experimenting with using a monopod.

      August 7, 2015
  6. Great tips! Thank you – looks like I will have to get ‘Lightroom’!

    August 7, 2015
    • thank you, I resisted Lightroom for a long, convinced I didn’t need it, but then decided I should give it a go, well it has worked out well, I do enjoy it and you can do some great things with it.

      August 7, 2015
  7. I do appreciate these tips. I am just beginning to explore macro photography and also introducing myself to Lightroom. I much appreciate the numbered tutorials. Thank you.

    August 7, 2015
    • That’s great, I might have to do some more, good to know. Thank you Jeff, macro is great, love working on the photos.

      August 7, 2015
  8. Interesting tips. All I’ve ever done is crop but your macro images always look stunning so good to know how I might improve mine.

    August 7, 2015
    • You’re welcome, if the tips help that’s great. Thank you.

      August 7, 2015
  9. I don’t take macro photos but I think all five of your tips are applicable to all kinds of photography. Thanks for the tips!

    August 7, 2015
    • Yes, they are things I use for lots of things too. You’re welcome, and thanks.

      August 7, 2015
  10. I am following all these important tips during my post processing, thanks a lot for sharing, Leanne πŸ™‚

    The example images here are simply top class…

    August 7, 2015
    • Thank you, and that is great I hope they help. πŸ™‚

      August 7, 2015
  11. I, too, have read stuff about cropping… I guess as you say, it’s up to the person to decide! Wonderful tips… but can you get the breeze to stop blowing? LOL

    August 7, 2015
    • LOL, I wish, why is it that it will be still and then you put the camera up to take a photo and it starts to blow. It happens every time.
      I think you have to decide what you final outcome or what you will do with the image in the long run, that should determine whether or not you want to crop. Thanks.

      August 7, 2015
  12. I did notice your love for vignettes. And I’m being influenced by it. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the macro tips!

    August 7, 2015
    • I was influenced by another photographer that does them, I just think for macros, especially, they just really add to them. You’re welcome and thank you too. πŸ™‚

      August 7, 2015
  13. I never thought of cropping my macros – why ever not, I’m wondering now… Will be playing with them in Lightroom this weekend, thanks for that tip!

    August 7, 2015
    • You’re welcome Kiki, it is why I wrote it, I’ve heard of others that just don’t think to crop to get a better composition. Good luck, I hope you get some good results. Thanks.

      August 7, 2015
  14. Thanks for the tips and the great photos. Number 4 caught my attention most because I tend to lean towards more saturation. The eye going to the lightest thing in the picture is intriguing.

    August 7, 2015
    • You’re welcome, I think it is something many do, it can be good and sometimes, most times, just ruins your images. Yes, it is what we are taught in art school when drawing and painting. Thanks.

      August 7, 2015
  15. Wonderful! Thanks for the tips. I have always loved working in the darkroom…and that’s an art. Using digital darkroom is the same. Enjoyed your tips and the macros. Very nice. Yaz

    August 7, 2015
    • Thank you Yaz, that’s great to hear, I love the digital darkroom, no cleaning up and no chemicals.

      August 7, 2015
  16. Magic tips .. You are so clever! Thank you πŸ˜€

    August 7, 2015
    • I don’t know about that, just playing, but thank you Julie.

      August 7, 2015
  17. I must try and build up enough courage to try some of these effects. Oh, yes *proudly* I do actually know how to crop!

    August 7, 2015
    • That’s a start, just go for it, jump straight in colonialist see what you get. Good luck.

      August 7, 2015
  18. Useful tips. I use the vignette a lot – it suits my style of photography. I rarely crop though. Love your shots.

    August 7, 2015
    • It suits mine as well, love vignetting, I have a thing about light edges. I crop a lot, my photos are so big it doesn’t made a lot of difference. Thank you.

      August 7, 2015
  19. Your photos are gorgeous. I actually just got Lightroom today – was a package of CC – but I had just been balancing with Photoshop CC 2015 and it was working well. What’d be your best tip overall for using Lightroom?

    August 7, 2015
    • Thank you. Wow, lots of fun to be had. Learn to use it and watch lots of tutorials. That’s my best tip, I think it can be hard to work out at first, having to import and export images is hard, but you do get the hand of it eventually. YOu can’t ruin images in it, so just play, everything you do can be undone. Good luck.

      August 7, 2015
  20. Great tips. Thank you πŸ™‚

    August 7, 2015
    • You’re welcome, thanks. πŸ™‚

      August 7, 2015
  21. Thank you so much for the tips! Really helpful. I’m just starting out in photography and there’s SO much to learn!

    August 7, 2015
    • I’ve been doing photography for over 20 years and I’m still learning, it’s great, I love learning new things, good luck with it. thank you .

      August 7, 2015
  22. Useful. Thank you.

    August 7, 2015
  23. Love the pics!

    August 7, 2015
  24. These steps that you take bring about some really creative pieces Leanne.

    August 7, 2015
  25. I think the thing I love most about macro is that it allows you to see things you cannot see with your eyes alone.

    August 7, 2015
    • I love that too, it is like a whole new world opens up for you. Thanks.

      August 7, 2015
  26. Thank you!

    August 7, 2015
  27. great article , the more pixels you have the more you can afford to crop ,Ive cropped alot of shots quite small and still been able to get a decent 18×12 print out of it , light room does allow you to crop and then upscale a bit and then export, you can do it in PS as well , LR is great for dodging and burning in colour and black and white πŸ™‚

    August 7, 2015
    • That’s very true. I have done the same, though not tried printing them, I might have to try it some time. YOu have some great tips Chris, thank you for sharing these, I’m sure others will find them very useful. πŸ™‚

      August 7, 2015
  28. lensaddiction #

    Really good points for any photo but in particular useful for macro, the slight desat or lower exp trick on the background really does make a difference esp if you have a main subject you want to pop more.

    August 7, 2015
    • Yes, I guess they are Stacey, I agree about the background, they can be great. Thank you.

      August 7, 2015
  29. Very beautiful images. Great tips as always.:)

    August 7, 2015
  30. Beautiful images….love flowers so evocative and sensual ….macro can rule!! : ))

    August 7, 2015
    • Thank you Trees, I love the flowers too.

      August 7, 2015
  31. Excellent!

    August 7, 2015
  32. Sonel #

    Excellent tips and article as usual and of course the macros are just perfect Leanne! You are such an inspiration and it’s always a treat to visit your blog. πŸ˜€ β™₯

    August 8, 2015
    • Thank you Sonel, what a lovely thing to say, it is good to hear that. πŸ˜€

      August 8, 2015
      • Sonel #

        May I do a reply post about this and give my input? Not that it’s different from yours. As you know I always feel the same way as you do. πŸ˜€

        August 8, 2015
      • What is a reply post Sonel, sounds very interesting. Haha, that is always good when we agree, thanks Sonel. πŸ˜€

        August 8, 2015
      • Sonel #

        LOL! I think it’s what they call a follow-up post. Not sure. I call it a reply post. I make up my own words. You know I’m blonde. hahahah! I link back to your blog and post a few of my macros and tell everyone how great you are and talk about the tips that you gave and how I used it. πŸ˜† What do you think?

        August 8, 2015
      • I sort of thought about after I sent my response and thought, oh yeah that’s what it is. Haha, blondie, me too. sounds great, look forward to seeing it,

        August 8, 2015
      • Sonel #

        Whahahah! I am the same, so don’t worry. I only catch up afterwards sometimes.

        Okay, I am first fixing a few things as I deleted my old blog and created a new one. I got tired of all the negativity and also my blog was on the brink of reaching it’s 3Gig space. I will post a link as soon as I am finished. Thanks. πŸ˜€

        August 8, 2015
      • It is shocking isn’t it.
        Oh that is terrible that you got negativity from it, it should be fun, I’m looking forward to seeing the new one.

        August 8, 2015
      • Sonel #

        It sure is and no fun either, but it’s all over and done with and I am waiting for them. LOL!

        Absolutely and to me it is, at least till some tries to spoil it. Thanks. I hope you like what I’ve done. πŸ˜€

        August 8, 2015
      • It is never fun, and I’m sad that it almost stopped you from blogging.
        If someone tries to spoil it, you let me know. πŸ˜€ Take care and I hope you enjoy blogging again.

        August 8, 2015
      • Sonel #

        That’s a fact but I am too hard-headed .. unfortunately for them and thanks to the wonderful blogging friends I have, it’s great to be back. πŸ˜€

        Thanks! That’s very sweet of you. I am sure just be the mention of your name, they will ever try anything again. πŸ˜†

        Thanks sweetness and I am sure I will. πŸ˜€

        August 8, 2015
      • That’s great to hear, glad to hear that.
        Oh I don’t know about that, but there are ways of silencing people. I’ve used some. Hahah
        You take care, lovely to see you back. πŸ˜€

        August 8, 2015
      • Sonel #

        hahahaha! I will definitely let you know so you can sort them out then. I can only sort out the ones that stand in front of me. πŸ˜€

        Thanks Leanne and you too and thanks for the lovely welcome. I am sorry that you felt so bad about the comment from roughseas, that you didn’t feel like saying anything else, but I can assure you that she didn’t mean anything nasty with it. πŸ˜€

        August 8, 2015
      • YOu should delete what I said Sonel, I shouldn’t have said anything, so please delete it.
        I will go back and leave a nicer one, I was just thrown by her comment, and I should know better.
        Haha oh yes, I’ve been learning new tricks. LOL

        August 9, 2015
      • Sonel #

        No worries Leanne. I just deleted the post and yes, you should have. Not everyone is out to criticize us and sometimes words just come out wrong and is taken the wrong way. It happens. I should have known better as well. So, let’s forget about it. πŸ™‚

        That’s good. LOL!

        August 9, 2015
      • Yes, I think that is best, I will be more careful next time. Yes, please, thank you Sonel πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

        August 9, 2015
      • Sonel #

        Here you go Leanne. πŸ˜€
        https://sonelsworld.wordpress.com/2015/08/08/back-to-blogging-and-macro-shots/

        August 8, 2015
      • Thanks Sonel, will take a look. πŸ˜€

        August 8, 2015
  33. Anne Sandler #

    Leanne, I love your tips. I’m so glad for this one because it shows I’m on the right track since I do them already. Please continue giving tips!

    August 8, 2015
    • That’s great to hear Anne, always good to get that kind of confirmation. Thank you and I will do what I can.

      August 8, 2015
  34. Perhaps someone else already said so (I must admit I did not read through all the comments), but these tips are also useful for many other types of photography as well. I’m a big fan of Lightroom and use it for all my images. The idea is getting the eye to focus on the subject, be it a small mushroom or a large building, and your tips, Leanne, help with that.

    August 8, 2015
    • Thank you Joe, some others have said similar, and I hadn’t really thought about it, but yes I suppose it is true, I do that with many of my photos, force the viewer to see what I want the to see, that is always the aim.

      August 8, 2015
  35. There is always something useful and helpful on your site. Your tips on macro photography are especially welcome for beginners like me. Thank you, Leanne!

    August 8, 2015
    • That is wonderful to hear Peter, great news, I will have to do more. Thank you and thank you for the donation as well, much appreciated.

      August 8, 2015
  36. Great shots

    August 8, 2015
  37. All good tips, Leanne. Looking at your beautiful photos I don’t think any of us would argue you know what you are talking about! Any additional photography tips you give would be most welcome.

    August 9, 2015
    • Or I just do a good job of sounding like I do, lol. thanks Ardysez, I might have to start doing some more, maybe some on taking them as well.

      August 9, 2015
  38. Thaks for posting should become very helpful

    August 9, 2015
    • You’re welcome, I hope it does.

      August 9, 2015
  39. Useful tips, I’ll definitely keep them in mind next time I’m doing macro and close up photography πŸ™‚

    August 9, 2015
    • Thank you, so glad you thought they were useful and hope they really are the next time you are doing this. πŸ™‚

      August 9, 2015
  40. Thank you Leanne! Appreciate your tips. Cheers, Linda

    August 10, 2015
    • That’s great to hear Linda, glad you like them, thank you.

      August 10, 2015
  41. Your images are great. You have great taste and judgement. I too love vignettes.

    August 11, 2015
    • Thank you James, vignettes are the best, glad you agree.

      August 11, 2015
  42. I enjoyed this and it’s inspired me to get the macro lens out and go explore the countryside. Cheers

    August 20, 2015
    • That’s fantastic to hear. I hope you got some great images. Thanks.

      August 20, 2015

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: