How to take great macro photos on a smartphone

If you like macro photography and you don’t have the electronic camera and macro lenses yet, your smart device can get you started. Some high-end smartphones are well-equipped to take on small subjects– Amy Davies finds how you can take macro photos with a smart device.
centre of an orange flower in Mel’s sister’s garden close-up macro smartphone

How to use your mobile phone for macro images

Your phone is probably not the first thing that you think about when it comes to taking close-up photographs. What if you could accomplish spectacular results using simply the mobile phone in your pocket, providing you the alternative to grab close-ups while out and about wherever you are? Many mobile phones that have actually been introduced recently have a dedicated macro shooting capability, for that reason enabling you to get incredibly near to your subject and capture great information.

There are other ways to accomplish great outcomes too when using your mobile phone for macro photography. Utilizing the smart device’s telephoto lens is one way to get excellent outcomes, while there are likewise additional add-ons, loupes and lenses that you can explore. It’s important to exercise which video camera on your mobile phone is going to offer you the very best outcomes, and as you’ll learn in this post, there are accessories available that can assist you level up your macro photography with your phone.

In this piece, we’ll be taking a look at 3 photographers who use their mobile phones to develop stunning close-up work, each of whom will share their tips for getting the best outcomes you can. As usual, if this is something you take pleasure in then we ‘d enjoy to see your pictures. Contact us via social networks or email us at [email protected].

Smart device macro photos by Jeanette Lendon.

Jeanette is the innovative director of Jet Black Squares Ltd. She teaches smartphone photography courses, more information about which can be discovered at
A fern at Kew Gardens, underexposed to retain details macro smartphone photos
A fern at Kew Gardens underexposed to retain information. Image credit Jeanette Lendon.

Jeanette utilizes the iPhone 11 Pro however asserts that any phone, no matter its age, has the possible to take breaking close-ups. Her favourite things to picture are ferns: ‘ They look so wonderful when all snuggled.’ She also likes raindrops, pests (if they stay still long enough), and flowers in buds.

‘ Considering the size of the electronic camera on the phone, they can produce exceptional results. I don’t think the quality is as great as a devoted macro lens– but then you aren’t paying lens costs.

‘ Don’t dismiss the smartphone as not being a “appropriate” video camera. It does take a little bit of a mindset change, however as Rankin stated on the Great British Photography Challenge, “stop thinking of it as a phone, and start thinking about it as a cam”.
A cobweb on the common macro smartphone photo
A cobweb on the common. Picture credit Jeanette Lendon.

‘ You may also wish to utilize a macro clip-on lens, which are really inexpensive and can produce excellent outcomes. Simply ensure they are clipped on properly– they are best utilized without a phone case to prevent any light leaks by ensuring a tight fit. You will need to be practically on top of your subject too, otherwise, you will simply see a blurry screen.’.
Ladybird larvae - captured by turning the phone upside down
Ladybird larvae– recorded by turning the phone upside down. Picture credit Jeanette Lendon.

Jeanette’s top suggestions for macro smartphone images:.
Take your time and do not zoom in. If you bring your phone in gradually, an excellent depth of field ought to be accomplished.
If you have a close-up/macro lens or setting on your phone, then change to it. By doing this, you aren’t zooming in and losing quality.
Touch the screen to set your focal point before you press the shutter. Being so close, it’s easy for the camera to focus on something else, so you need to be really particular.
Turn the phone upside down. It frequently gets you closer and offers a completely different view.
iphone macro photography
A crop from a larger shot.Photo credit Jeanette Lendon.

Smartphone macro images by Gem Toes-Crichton.

Gem is an experimental professional photographer, artist and teacher along with an amateur botanist. She uses photography as a way of examining plants, and their morphology and engaging others with the natural world more broadly. Have a look at for additional information.
Female orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines) macro smartphone photograph
Female orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines). Picture credit Gem Toes-Crichton.

As well as her DSLR and macro lens (Nikon D850/Nikon Df and 105mm macro lens), Gem is a keen user of her smart device. She says, ‘I generally have a Kite 10x Triplet hand lens/loupe with me. My iPhone tends to be with me when out strolling so I’ll use this teamed with a 10x hand lens/loupe to picture and record the plants I determine in the field. It’s a handy and lightweight mix when I do not want to bring heavy or costly equipment.

Using a phone and a hand lens/loupe is quite a various experience from using a DSLR. It works well for me as I typically have my phone.
Gem’s Triplet hand lens/loupe for macro smartphone photography
Gem’s Triplet hand lens/loupe. Image credit Gem Toes-Crichton.

You likewise require to get physically closer to the topic, which isn’t always going to work with wildlife. Overall, however, I believe these constraints force you to think about structure, using the foreground as focus without sidetracking backgrounds.’.
Forget-me-not (Myosotis)
Forget-me-not (Myosotis). Photo credit Gem Toes-Crichton.

Gem’s leading pointers for macro smart device pictures:.
The subject needs to be well-lit. You can take portable LED lights into the field with you, utilize a little reflector, or perhaps take the subject home for closer evaluation. (Please be conscious about picking/removing safeguarded wildflowers).
An rubber band is an excellent way of briefly attaching a hand lens/loupe to your smart device.
Experiment! Discover which results you take pleasure in, attempt various hand lenses/loupes, video camera settings, angles and lighting up until you get the results you like.
White campion (Silene latifolia or alba) macro smartphone photo
White campion (Silene latifolia or alba). Image credit Gem Toes-Crichton.

Mobile phone macro images by Mel Collie.

Mel is a photographer who has actually been shortlisted in a number of different competitions, including Close Up Photographer of the Year. She runs workshops on mindfulness and utilizing your smart device for photography.

Detail of a bamboo fence in the Japanese gardens in Cornwall. Picture credit Mel Collie.
Detail of a bamboo fence in the Japanese gardens in Cornwall macro smartphone photo
Another user of the iPhone 11 Pro, Mel likewise has a little Manfrotto tripod with a smartphone mount for her close-up work. Periodically she will also use an Olloclip 21x lens for tiny information.

I like promoting the smartphone for photography due to the fact that I would like to get people to use them less for scrolling and comparing their lives, and instead as a tool for a better way to see the world, and themselves.
Red bark from a tree in Chatsworth House Gardens macro smartphone photo
Red bark from a tree in Chatsworth House Gardens. Photo credit Mel Collie.

‘ During my workshops, I especially stress the idea of using the video camera the way an individual used to write a diary. Instead of identifying the smart device as the enemy– due to the fact that it’s not a “proper” video camera– we can see it as an electronic camera we can utilize to be totally participated in the moment.’.

‘ A mobile phone is fantastic for lots of factors, and they’re more versatile than you might believe. Comparing the iPhone’s 12 megapixels to the 20 or more from a DSLR/mirrorless camera may indicate your print size is somewhat restricted, however I’ve been able to print my iPhone images to A2 size without any loss of detail.’.
closeup photograph of an orange flower smartphone macro photo
A flower in Mel’s sis’s garden. Photo credit Mel Collie.

Mel’s leading tips for macro pictures:.
Cam shake can be a problem, so I utilize my headphones to take the image (press the ‘volume down’ button). This implies I touch the screen far less. Alternatively, utilize the timer setting of 3 or 10 seconds which can help to minimise touching the screen.
To get the exposure right, tap the screen gently to set the concentrate on the main subject, then carefully swipe up and down to make adjustments (this is for iPhones, but Android devices typically operate in the same way).
Cactus detail, smartphone macro photo
Cactus information, Hortus, Netherlands. Image credit Mel Collie.


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