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An Introduction to Macro Photography

By Holly Sutton | Inspiration

If you had to pick one of the best things about photography, what would it be? With all of the different ways you can capture a shot, it's almost an impossible question to answer. High quality equipment matched with a creative mind can mean endless possibilities when it comes to capturing the perfect photo. Different angles, complementary colors, props— they can all work together to help your photography shine.

One of my absolute favorite styles of photography is called macro photography. Macro by definition means "large-scale," so it's all about capturing things that are typically pretty small and amplifying the details to make them seem gigantic. It's probably not an everyday occurrence that you notice the fine details of a honey bee's fur, or the veins of a flower petal. These things are not easily visible to the naked eye, but that's what makes macro photography so great. It’s all about magnifying the fascinating details of tiny, intricate things. 

This technique is quite absorbing and can also be a lot of fun, so let’s dive into what makes macro photography so great!

Macro Photography Defined

macro photography tutorial

Macro photography can be defined as extreme close-up photography. The subject is usually very small, but in the photo, looks larger than life. It means you’re capturing an image that sees more detail than the human eye ever could. Leaves, flowers and insects are all brilliant subjects to start off experimenting with. And if shot correctly, can create an outstanding final result.

How To Shoot Macro Photography

how to shoot macro photography

Pro Tip: Most cameras will have a Macro mode that you should be able to select. That’s going to be the easiest way for you to shoot using this technique.

When it comes to shooting, you might think your camera should be close up to your subject. But actually, it’s better to keep your distance. If the camera is too close to the subject, you could end up with a shadow or the image could appear distorted. Shaking hands can also be a problem, so if your hands aren't the steadiest, keep your camera still by using a tripod. 

The background is also important when it comes to this technique. Since your subject will be the main focus, you don’t want anything to take away from that. Try to avoid distractions and any other fuss going on in your background, but if need be, there are plenty of editing tools in BeFunky's online Photo Editor that can make your macro photo look even more up-close and detailed. We'll get to that next!

macro photography tutorial by befunky

Editing Your Macro Photos

BeFunky's online Photo Editor has tons of amazing tools for editing your macro photos to perfection. Here are a few of my personal favorites you can find right in the Edit tab:

Funky Focus

Using Funky Focus is one of the simplest ways to enhance your macro photography. It's is perfect for taking control of the focal point because it's main purpose is to blur the areas of the photo surrounding your subject.

funky focus tool by befunky

Funky Focus defaults to radial mode, which is perfect for creating a circular blur around the focus of your photo, but you can choose several other styles that are linear, grid-like, and a little more funky. Feel free to play around with the different styles to see what works best for your image, but for macro photography, it's best to go the radial route. Once you select your Funky Focus style, you can adjust the blur amount and opacity for optimal macro-ness and make your subject really stand out.

focus tool by befunky

Pro Tip: If you’d like some extra room on your screen while using Funky Focus, press the space bar to hide your on-canvas controls while you make edits.


Another great tool for enhancing the details in your macro photos is the Sharpen tool, also found in the Edit tab. It's optimized to strategically sharpen your photo without making it look too grainy. In fact, one click of the Sharpen tool will auto-adjust the sharpness to a suggested level.

sharpen tool by befunky

The above image is what an uploaded photo looks like before we applied the Sharpen tool, but check out how it enhances the details after we applied it below. Notice that although the Photo Editor suggests a style and amount of sharpness for the image, it's fully adjustable. But remember, too much of a good thing isn't always pleasant. If you increase the sharpness too much, you might end up with a grainy photo. 

online sharpen tool by befunky

Pro Tip: It’s best to use the Sharpen Tool at the end of your editing process, to ensure all aspects of your photos are sharpened evenly. Finish all of your other edits first!


The Soften tool is perfect for creating a soft background surrounding the focal point in your photo. When selected, it will automatically select a level of Softness and Lightness and will apply the effect to the entire photo.

how to soften photo background by befunky

Since we're wanting the subject of your macro photography to be sharp-as-can-be, once you've selected the Soften tool, click on the Paint mode and check the icon for Reverse. This will make it so you can paint the effect onto the parts of the photo you want softened. In this case, we've painted the softness onto only the background of the photo to make it slightly blurred, which makes the roses stand out even more. After painting the effect on, you can click back over to the Adjust mode and play around with the levels of Softness and Lightness until you get the look you want.

macro photography by befunky

When it comes to macro photography it’s all about experimenting and really thinking outside the box. Macro subjects are all around you, so once you find and capture the perfect one, remember that the process has only just begun. The fun of enhancing it with BeFunky Photo Editor is the next and final step! 

So what do you say? Are you finally ready to experiment with this technique?

Photo Editing, Simplified.

Photo Editing. Simplified