Eight of the most common macro photography mistakes and how to avoid them

Jul 7, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Eight of the most common macro photography mistakes and how to avoid them

Jul 7, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Macro can be a tricky subject, especially if you want to be able to do it well. Chances are, most of us who’ve tried to have a go at macro have made some or all of mistakes at some point. Some of us spot them as soon as we’ve made them and figure out how to work around them. But those mistakes are not always so obvious.

I’ve certainly made a few macro mistakes over the years, where images haven’t turned out exactly the way I wanted, but wasn’t sure why. In this video, macro photographer Micael Widell shows us the eight most common beginner mistakes he sees in macro photography and how you can avoid them.

  • 0:32 – Shooting in direct sunlight
  • 1:26 – Incorrect white balance
  • 2:20 – Not using a flash
  • 3:11 – Getting lazy with angles
  • 4:08 – Using a ring flash
  • 5:02 – Not using a diffuser
  • 5:49 – Not post-processing your images
  • 6:34 – Ignoring the background

That last one is one mistake I used to make all the time with macro (and sometimes still do). Distracting backgrounds are… well, they’re exactly that. Distracting. They’ll pull the subject’s eye away from the subject instead of leading them towards it. We get so focused on the subject that we completely ignore its surroundings and that’s one of the most avoidable mistakes we can make.

Are you guilty of making these mistakes? What’s the biggest macro photography mistake you see people do?

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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One response to “Eight of the most common macro photography mistakes and how to avoid them”

  1. Alexandre Dłubała Avatar
    Alexandre Dłubała

    not using a flash and in direct sunlight are mistakes ? not really when we have some experience ?