Macro photography is a way to capture details that can’t be seen with human eyes. When it comes to macro photography, people usually click insects, flowers, spices, fruits, or vegetables.
I am not saying that they are wrong, these are good subjects too. But if you want to click some unique macro photographs at the comfort of your home, this article is for you. Here are seven ideas you can do at your house.
1. Soap Bubbles:
Soap bubbles are something that we see almost daily but we never realized the beauty it holds. If you look at a soap bubble closely, you’ll find that it has tons of colors and patterns which can be a good subject for macro photography.
To capture the sheer beauty of soap bubbles, you need some liquid soap, a small bowl, straw, black cloth or paper for the background, and a bigger light source.
You can use a studio light or flash with a softbox for the light source or use the window. If you are using a window, make sure to put a plain white shower curtain or butter paper on it for softer and even light.
Simply pour some liquid soap into a bowl and add some water. If available, add a few drops of glycerin to the mixture and your bubbles will last for a longer time. Now place black background behind and put your light source near it. If you are using the window for lighting, create the setup near it.
Now blow a bubble using the straw and wait for a few moments and soon you’ll see that different colors and patterns started emerging in the bubble. As soon as you see it just start clicking. The colors and patterns change every second and you can click 15-25 different shots from just one soap bubble before it burst.
2. Oil in Water:
This is also a fun project and it requires some household items like a clear glass dish, water, any colorless oil, and some colorful background prints. First, create the setup near a window, place the colorful background on the floor, and place the glass dish around 6-7 inches above it.
You need to use two boxes or some books to place the glass dish. Use a black cloth or paper to block the light that is falling directly on the glass dish.
Now add some water to the dish and pour a little bit of oil into it. The oil will come to the surface of the water and form some patterns. The colorful background below the glass dish will fill these patterns' colors and click them.
Now all you need to do is stir the water slightly to change the patterns and change the background image to change the colors and you can click hundreds of different photographs.
Since our entire subject is on the same focal plane, so you can shoot with a wide aperture but make sure that the shutter speed is higher (around 1/200), so you will not get any motion blur in the picture.
3. Refraction in Water Drops:
I am sure you have seen some pictures on the internet where the photographer captures a flower or some pattern inside a water drop. You can do that at home and click some very colorful macro images. Let’s see how to do that.
For this, you need a transparent glass around the size of 12 x 8 inches, some water, a dropper, and some prints of colorful pattern backgrounds. For light sources, you can use windows or flash with a diffuser.
The setup will be the same as the “Oil in Water” photo. Place the glass 4-5 inches from the ground with the help of two boxes or some books. Put some water drops on the glass using a dropper.
Place the colorful pattern image print on the ground. Now focus on the drops and click pictures. Use a narrow aperture so only drops come in focus and the background becomes completely blurred.
If you have an iPad or a tablet, you can download some colorful pattern images on that and place them at the bottom instead of prints. In this case, you won’t need any light source.
You can click beautiful smoke patterns inside your living room. All you need is an incense stick, black cloth or paper for the background, one off-camera flash, or a LED light. You could also use the flashlight on your phone for it.
Place a black background at the back. Put your light source at ninety degrees to your camera either left or right. Make sure that the light doesn’t fall on the camera lens, otherwise it’ll create a flare. You could use a black paper sheet to block the light.
Now burn the incense stick and start clicking. Every image you click will be different from others. If you click near the incense stick, the pattern will be different and it will be different at the top. Later on, you could make kaleidoscope patterns in post-processing or make the smoke colorful.
5. Colored Pencils:
You don’t need anything special for this photography, just colored pencils, crayons, sketch pens, and a white paper sheet. No special light needed, just use the window light. All you have to do is place the pencils in different ways and start clicking. You may use a spiral notebook or a simple notebook for the background instead of the paper sheet.
Every person on this earth have a unique retina pattern and different people have different eye color, so eyes can be an interesting subject for macro photography. And the best part is that you need nothing to click the eyes, just a light source and you are ready to click. So, let’s start capturing the beautiful eyes of your kids or friends.
7. Old Walls:
We all have some walls in our home where the paint damages due to moisture or water. Especially in the bathroom, kitchen, or basements, the paint can crack and peel. If you are lucky and don’t have a damaged wall in your home, you can easily find it nearby. Such walls have unique patterns and colors which look amazing in macro shots.
These are the few ideas for macro photography you can try at home, but that’s not all. You can have more like the texture of your leather sofa can be a good subject, your antique table, grills on your home theater speaker, your carpet, currency notes, your towel, feathers of your furry friends or even your toothbrush, I mean you can have hundreds of other subjects in your home. So switch on your camera and start clicking some amazing macro photographs. All the best and have fun!
Blog and Image Credits: Ramakant Sharda
Ramakant is an Award-Winning Photographer, Author, Mobile Apps Publisher based in the beautiful “Pink City” of India, known as Jaipur. Many of his works have been published in magazines, newspapers, and international blogs. He writes about photography and also teaches photography in his workshops. He has published three (so far) coffee table books. Get his latest book Mastering High-Speed Photography.