5 Ideas for Great Indoor Macro Photography

After writing my last article on tips for beginner macro photographers, I was sitting inside all motivated to shoot some macro images and ready to put into practice some of the keys. But it was raining, and I felt very limited as to what I could actually shoot inside.

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“Color Macro” captured by Andrés Nieto Porras (Click Image to See More from Andrés Nieto Porras)

Now if I was thinking like this, with 40 years experience, I could only imagine what the beginner photographer who had just read my beginner close-up and macro article was thinking. The old adage goes, “all dressed up and nowhere to go.” What was I thinking? There are just so many photo opportunities in a regular home or apartment.

So what I did was write down a list and got shooting. A little tip is to keep a photography ideas journal. Every time you think of a great idea write it down, and when you need some inspiration, start reading it. Here are some of my suggestions for a great indoor close-up or macro shoot.

1. Abstract Art

This is a really an easy photo opportunity and lends itself to macro or close-up photography. What’s great about the home is that there are many items that can be given a new artistic perspective when shot close-up. Choose part of the object, get in really close, and see if you can shoot it in such a way that someone would not recognize it for its intended purpose. Most of us have seen those “guess what this is” photos in magazines–a photo of an object where readers have to guess what the image actually is. Change your white balance settings for some interesting color casts.

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“macro bass #2” captured by Becky (Click Image to See More from Becky)

2. Perfect Patterns

Because most things indoors are man-made, you will find an abundance of patterns and textures all just waiting to be photographed. Baskets, fabrics, and furniture are just some of the subjects that inspired me to shoot indoors. Before you know it subjects will be screaming for your attention. Linked with patterns are textures and these come out beautifully using a macro lens or macro feature on your camera. Get in closer and you will discover worlds within worlds.

3. Shoot Shiny

There are a number of opportunities in a home to do this. Go from room to room, find shiny subjects, and shoot as many as possible. You should always find a plentiful supply of reflective surfaces and objects in the average home. Try to be creative and shoot them from an angle that is unique and will give a different perspective to the viewer.

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“Macro + Ring (Raw)” captured by Sodanie Chea (Click Image to Find More from Sodanie Chea)

4. Low Lighting

Lighting is always an issue indoors, so use it to your advantage. Choose an area or location in your house that has good natural lighting, enough to light your subject but not too much that will overpower it. Switch off your flash and any other artificial lighting. This low lighting is going to help you get a moody effect with just natural light. An image doesn’t always need to brightly and evenly lit and shadows will only add something extra to the photo. A half lit face adds drama to a portrait shot indoors using just natural light.

5. Kitchen Kit

When in your kitchen take a look at the ideas and subjects for an afternoon of photography. Here you have everything I have mentioned in the previous four points. I love utensils shot individually and in groups or just in a pile standing in a drying rack. I took up a challenge—a real challenge—and took one item, a kitchen fork, and tried to shoot it close-up in a hundred different ways. I didn’t get near to that number but was able to shoot some great shots I never would normally have tried. You can spend hours here without exhausting your possibilities.

fork-tines-macro

“Fork macro” captured by Holley And Chris Melton (Click Image to See More from Holley And Chris Melton)

So forget about the great outdoors and focus on the indoors for a while. I’ve given you a few ideas that came to mind quickly. A little careful thought and you will have a host of your own close-up or macro indoor ideas and photo opportunities. Take some time and see if the resulting images will turn heads and make you proud. There is always a chance just waiting to be taken. Happy shooting!

About the Author:
Wayne Turner has been teaching photography for 25 years and has written three books on photography. His website can be found at 21steps2perfectphotos.com

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10 Comments

  1. Doug says:

    Very inspiring!

  2. Jade says:

    I’m currently trying to develop my macro photography skills and this post is just awesome! The photos are very impressive, too. :)

  3. Just perfect! I don’t have a new camera case yet, so I am stuck at home with my camera. I have been shooting broom sticks, and other house hold items for a while, this came just in time :)

  4. Beth Holst says:

    I really enjoyed this tutorial and it has been a great help!! Thanks!!

  5. Jeremy Bernatchez says:

    Hey, cool!
    Thanks for including one of my photos in your post! :)

  6. LIEW says:

    Nice!!! thanks for the great guidance~ It really helps alot~

  7. Some useful ideas here. Macro is one area I always have trouble thinking of ideas for!

  8. vinay says:

    i am definitely gonna try your ideas with my new canon macro 100 mm lens

  9. surya says:

    I like the theme you take, it really helped me,,

    but I do not have an expensive camera to create macro photos, only smartphone that I’ve had, do you also make a discussion about it, if so let me know with link

  10. Fun ideas. I love the fork picture too – so different!

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