Basic Tips For Capturing Textures With A Macro Lens

Learn how to capture the abstract elements of textures using a macro lens using these unique photography tips.

Gs Macro 7B
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Macro photography brings texture to life. It challenges you to unlock the beauty around you, including the smallest details in everyday objects.


Fabrics and textiles are a common piece of our daily lives that we often take for granted. Using a macro lens is my favorite way to dive into the intricate world that exists among the threads. I like to experiment with wrinkling the surface in different ways, adding water droplets to see how the material reacts, and contrasting different fabrics against one another to compare the differences in construction. Natural light is always a great way to bring out the texture of the fibers, and when there’s too much light or shadow, the diffuser hood is a life saver. Pro tip: Clean the materials ahead of time because you will see every little speck of dirt and hair.

– Erik Hedberg

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Capturing the texture of food starts with observing how the angle of light creates different effects. Defining texture is all about capturing the play between light and shadow. Adjust the object until you find the way that the light falls across the object that highlights its characteristics. The grooves of a raspberry, the smooth surface of broth, or the veins in a stalk of rhubarb. Light accentuates the color and gives contrast to the shadows, creating depth and movement.

– Carly Diaz

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Some of the best textures can be found in nature. Find the smallest of details even in your backyard. Whether it be tree bark, mushrooms, dew drops, snowflakes, flowers, or moss, you just have to take the time to explore these worlds. Nature has some of the best forms of texture. 

-Vincent Carabeo

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Some items have pieces that jut out or pieces that can be removed and shot on their own. I like to think of what fits under the lid of the lens and then try to think of how my item may be manipulated to have unique parts of itself fit within the lens scope. Taking the time to see how the lens fits and rolls over each small part of what I'm shooting results in me seeing more of the object than I expected. A little tilt of the lens or crease of an object can turn a flat pattern into a rolling landscape. 

Natasha Christianson


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