Exploring abstract macro photography at home

Alberto Ghizzi PanizzaMacro e Primeiros planos09 jun. 20235 min. de leitura
CreateYourLight Theme 4 "Macro World" asset

Photographer Alberto Ghizzi Panizza on his lifelong love of macro photography and his tips on perfecting the shot

Macro photography has fascinated me for a lifetime. It enables us to explore worlds often invisible to us and clearly observe the small details that exist in everyday life which the naked eye cannot. It is one of the most fun photographic techniques.


Getting started

The beauty of this technique is that a good compact or bridge camera might be all you need to get started. Just check if it has a macro function and then confirm the correct distance with which to shoot to get the maximum magnification. If you own an APSC or a full-frame camera, everything will depend on the lens. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t own a macro lens, different lenses are also capable of good reproduction ratios. I often use optics like the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR to take good macro photographs.


Understanding maximum magnification

To get to grips with the maximum magnification you can obtain with your lenses, I recommend focusing in manual mode. Then move the focusing ring to the minimum allowed distance or the longest focal length, if using a zoom lens. At this point, looking inside the viewfinder, you can approach or move away from any subject to see it clearly and in focus. When you see the right distance through the viewfinder (or even using the live view) this will be the maximum reproduction ratio you can obtain with your optics.


For example, with the aforementioned AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, I will be able to stay at 0.45 meters from my subject with a focal length of 300mm to obtain reproduction ratios of 1: 3 or 0.32X. This is often more than enough to capture good macro photographs. Alternatively, if you have an FX body you can use it in DX mode for the same results as you would have with a real DX camera, at the expense of a megapixel reduction. But of course if you have a true macro lens, you should use it to obtain reproduction ratios of 1:1, called life-size, where our subject will occupy the same surface on the sensor that it occupies in reality.


Don't be afraid to have fun

For macro photography to be executed well, you generally need a good level of technical knowledge — but don’t let this put you off. Now is the perfect time to give it a try, experiment and have fun! Here are some scenarios you can try at home.

Alberto Ghizzi Panizza
Macro e Primeiros planos
What’s in my kitbag?
Capturing droplets on a CD

I used a CD, but a DVD can also work well, with a nebulizer and a syringe to create droplets on its surface. To make it easier for myself, I secured the CD to the tripod with a clamp. To recreate my shot, the most important thing is to find the correct angle to create the rainbow effect. This can easily be achieved next to a window, rotating the CD or using an LED lamp, until the colours are at maximum intensity. Each time you spray the CD, different drops will form. If you particularly want to create round droplets then I recommend using a dry CD.

Everyday household objects can be deceiving

Wandering around the house I found objects such as screws and nails that could be interesting as macro subjects. While photographing them I asked myself what it would have been like to capture them all together, which is when I came up with the idea of ​​creating miniature cities that deceives the observer at first glance.


Using a silver saucer as a base, I placed various screws and objects together to recreate a small imaginary city. Once the city was created — admittedly, this took several attempts because I kept hitting everything with my arm — it was all about good lighting.


To make the background more pleasant, which can be difficult at home, I used my notebook with a photo projected on the screen — a beautiful sunset.


After some experimentation, I tried to remove as much light as possible so that the silhouettes of the tiny structures projected against the background to create a realistic effect.

Que mais se pode capturar em casa?

Outro motivo fácil de fotografar para criar imagens abstratas e repletas de cor são as formas que se produzem ao misturar óleo e água. Necessita apenas de uma assadeira transparente ou apenas de um copo – foi o que utilizei. Recomendamos encher o copo, mas não até cima. Adicione algumas gotas de óleo, mexa com uma colher de chá e verá a formação de bolhas de diferentes tamanhos. Agora, pode adicionar fundos coloridos debaixo do copo – eu utilizei uma folha com tons diferentes. Uma revista com páginas coloridas também pode ser uma boa opção. Agora, temos de adicionar luz à nossa mistura. Eu prefiro utilizar um foco LED que rode em torno do copo para enfatizar as formas e as cores – os melhores efeitos são obtidos com a luz colocada na lateral. Também pode utilizar um flash externo para congelar o líquido ou velocidades muito rápidas do obturador.

CreateYourLight Theme 4 "Macro World" asset
CreateYourLight Theme 4 "Macro World" asset
As possibilidades são infinitas…

Caso tenha tempo, as possibilidades das macros abstratas são infinitas. Caso tenha um jardim ou uma varanda com plantas, pode fotografar as folhas secas tentando capturar os detalhes mais interessantes. Vá um passo mais além e coloque as folhas num prato e congele-as. Outro dos meus temas favoritos é o musgo com os seus vários rebentos. Pode arrancar um pedaço, levá-lo para casa e, usando a sua imaginação, adorná-lo com gotas e fundos coloridos.

A fotografia macro abre novos mundos, então, do que está à espera?

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