How to Take Better Backlit Macro Photos on Your Phone

The beauty of macro photography lies in the fact that it allows us to capture the minute details of a subject. And because we need to get really close to the subject, lighting is often a challenge, because the camera itself blocks off most of the light hitting the subject. In today’s video, photographer David McClelland with How to Mobile Photo shares a neat little hack to help light your subject for mobile macro photography. He shows us the best ways to capture backlit macro shots when shooting with a smartphone.

Some smartphones these days come with a macro lens built-in. But for the purpose of this video, McClelland uses a macro lens attachment on his smartphone. As for the subject to photograph, he works with a feather. Since he’s lighting the subject from the back, working with something through which some light can pass will generate excellent results. As for the lighting itself, he uses a small light source and diffuses it with a kitchen towel. Diffusing the light is important as it softens the light and avoids hotspots.

When the time comes, don’t just hold the phone parallel to the subject. This may bring most of the subject into focus, but it’s a better idea to play around with depth of field. Angle your camera a bit and you’ll be surprised with how different the image will appear with the blur. Also, to make the image more dynamic, you can try turning the subject around.

Toward the end of the video, you can see how the results are so different from the actual subject. They appear so abstract and artistic. Well, that’s the beauty of macro photography.

For further training: The iPhone Photography Academy at 85% Off

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