20 Spectacular Macro Photography Examples

20 Spectacular Macro Photography Examples


Macro Photography is the technique of photographing a subject up close. Typically the subject fills most, if not the entire, image plane. Stunning macro photography is generally best achieved with special equipment, including a specially designed lens. However, most modern cameras (point and shoot especially) have macro setting options built into the camera; making it a very common, but no less stunning, technique.

calla la la la by Julie Scholz

Macro photography is a beautiful way to take what is often normal subject matter, and make it extraordinary, simply by offering a new perspective. Its often these types of photos that turn out the best. When we are provided a glimpse of something we might not otherwise pay much attention to is all of a sudden (in effect) shoved in our face, we cannot help but stop and take notice.

Check out these 20 spectacular macro photographs for inspiration in your own photographs.

For additional tips and techniques on macro and other photography techniques, check out the Imagekind blog, and please make sure to subscribe to the feed here!

Macro Bug by Murlon123

A Moment To Rembember by Eric Lam

Sunflower by Ben Anderman

Tools of the trade, stainless steel blades by Jessi and James Bruntz

173 ~ the big bad rubber ball by Robin Elizabeth Grausam

Macro Dy rop by F. Hatcher

Spudnik Sea Urchin... by Machel Spence

Slowness by Martino Sabia

Blue Smoke by David Lindes

Light Straws by Fergus Bailey

Soft Pastels by Annie Esentepe

Jocy's frog by Kaitlin Moreno

ladybird extreme closeup by Gianni Cerrato

Old marbles by Rick Takagi

Thai Elephant by JenFu Cheng

Grasshopper Green by Samarth Bhasin

Macro plant by Ken Simm

Left-twist by VIC Dessau

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category

Nate Jelovich works at Imagekind.com where you can buy and sell photography as framed wall art prints online to a worldwide audience. You set the price and keep the markup, Imagekind handles the rest. You can even frame photos of your own or print photos on canvas. For more information on selling your photography as framed prints, visit Imagekind.com/sell. Connect with Imagekind on Twitter and Facbook.

Some Older Comments

  • Michal France February 17, 2013 05:56 am

    I love the idea in the shot of sunflower! Just wonderful.

    here are some of mine:




  • Jared April 6, 2012 03:26 am

    Amazing pictures. I love doing macro photography of insect. You can check out some of my collection at http://www.squidoo.com/collection-of-insect-videos-and-photographs

  • Hanna November 23, 2011 02:00 am

    the macro of the match head

    i feel like i can see the smoke moving if i looks closely enough

  • Josh November 21, 2011 12:31 am

    my heart is melting ?_?

  • Andrea October 26, 2011 08:29 am

    This photos are truly amazing!I think they are lovely! <3 Also I love how the cricket one is black-and-white I think it shows more effect! I love it :D

  • bree October 26, 2011 08:23 am

    i am so delighted that you have these i work at a photography school and these are very good examples for my students!!

  • Maroon October 26, 2011 08:21 am

    These are wonderful photos, I'm postive no one I know could have ever made!~ These are truly spectacular.

  • Jon H October 22, 2011 09:48 am

    FIrst time trying this. I think I messed up the links in previous reply.

  • Jonathan Boshoff October 22, 2011 06:59 am

    Lovely macro shots above. Lots of creative composition which is often forgotten about in macro shots.
    Here is one of mine.


  • Jonathan Boshoff October 22, 2011 06:50 am

    Some lovely images have been posted above. Creative and artistic which is often lacking in some macro shots.
    Here is my effort- hope you like it?


  • Tami October 21, 2011 09:44 am

    Wow... those at fotografie are AMAZING. I have never even seen some of those insects in the wild. Now I want to post the rest of the insect pictures I've taken & go find some more so I can take more macros.

  • John October 21, 2011 09:21 am

    A very nice set of photos.

    I also have macro shots taken with the MPE 65, a dedicated macro lens from Canon that does from 1:1 to 5:1 that is up to 5 times magnification, although at 5 times it is getting just a bit soft on focus.

    Have a look if you want


  • Peter October 21, 2011 05:56 am

    Hi Digital Photography School,

    The "20spectacular-macros" are indeed very beautiful, but not the most spectacular I have ever seen. For those you must take a look at http://www.bb-fotografie.nl/
    Take a look at their macros and you will fall of your chair!


  • Tami October 21, 2011 04:14 am

    Hmmmm... mine probably aren't macros but close-ups, now that I see what the others have said, but I thought I'd put them on here anyway. I love close-ups.
    <a href="http://pixeltrashamania.blogspot.com/2011/10/cool-photo.html"

  • Casey Myers October 20, 2011 01:53 am

    Ummm the Elephant shot is not a Macro Photo!
    Here is a set on flickr of my Macro work - ENJOY!!

  • T-Fiz October 19, 2011 11:24 pm

    FINALLY...something other than FLOWERS!! LOL.

  • John Richardson October 19, 2011 09:46 pm

    Not my shots, but my favorite macro-guy ... Submitted for your approval:


  • Jason St. Petersburg Photographer October 19, 2011 01:59 pm

    I really like the match & smoke shot....I think it is something I will have to try soon!

    Some macro work of the flora and fauna of Florida:


    I use the Nikkor AF-S 105mm VR micro lens for macro work.

  • rosario velazquez October 19, 2011 06:16 am

    Very beautiful photographs. Since the subject is mentioned could you explain the difference between macro and close up shot?

  • Mark W. Erickson October 19, 2011 01:55 am

    Is this post paid for by Imagekind?! EVERY image is hosted on their website. Are you trying to sell prints or promote their services as a storefront for photographers? A little transparency by DPS would be nice.

  • Erik Kerstenbeck October 19, 2011 01:11 am


    I am loving this series - Macro is so much fun! I shot this close up of a butterfly with a 100mm prime - I think it is cool!


  • Hansen December 1, 2010 11:46 am

    this is some of my macro work :)

    feel free to comment !

  • Artur October 11, 2010 07:11 am

    While setting the focus it is often more convenient to slightly move the entire camera toward or from the photographed subject than to use autofocus or focus adjustment ring on the lens, that could slightly change the mapping scale of your subject and affect the composition.

  • Imran Ahmad July 16, 2010 05:34 pm

    I have some underwater macro in my flickr account. Your humble critic is requested.

  • Jonathon Jenkins May 22, 2010 02:15 pm

    Thank you for this. I have recently gotten into macro shooting with my 50mm lens and reverse adapter ring. I also purchased a manfrotto macro slide tray and it has been lots of fun. I still enjoy hand shooting flowers around the hosue, in the park, and prtty much wherever I am. I'm glad to see these examples, they are wonderful and I think I will branch out from flowers and try bugs and other items. I have some of my macro images posted on my blog and would welcome feedback on how to improve them.



  • Machel Spence March 6, 2010 07:14 am

    Ooooooooh, they are all wonderful and thank you for adding my urchin (it's about half the size of a dime so I think it would be considered macro) I used a 50mm 1:2 macro lens as well. Mostly sweet comments on here, but as usual there are a few people who have to be pessimists...that's human nature I suppose. Thanks again! m-

  • Soulful Photos December 31, 2009 10:06 am

    Thanks for including me, I happened upon this while googling myself :)
    Just wanted to give a shameless plug for my macros, which can be seen on my website at http://www.soulfulphotos.com.

  • Denny July 30, 2009 05:08 am

    Actually I wasn't really impressed with any of the macros!

  • Barbara July 28, 2009 08:04 am

    Forgot this one:


  • Barbara July 28, 2009 08:03 am

    These are 2 of mine, I think they are technically macro too:



    they were taken with my Finepix S5700 and a cheap screw on macro. It came with a fish eye lens which it could also be screwed on. It took patience to nail the focus but I think they were worth the money.

  • Johan July 27, 2009 04:49 pm

    Thanks for the very informative article. Just myself raynox250 to be paired with my LUMIX DMC LX3 ( no dslr :( ) . Right now im hoping to buy an external flash to complete it. Kind a hard to get the respective image quality without the external flash. Here are my attempts. Comments are appreciated.


  • Steve Orthwein July 27, 2009 09:18 am

    Photographing an elephant with a macro lens - the incongruity is brilliant.

  • Stock Photos July 27, 2009 01:07 am

    Love the water drop was that an effect added after the fact or was that photographed that way?

  • virgo27 July 25, 2009 09:19 am

    wonderful images! thanks for sharing.

  • CharlieJ July 25, 2009 02:40 am

    Here are some my attempts at MACRO photography:

  • Gary July 25, 2009 02:08 am

    The mosquitoes emerging article you posted up really highlights the amount of work that goes into creating such outstanding images. Macro photography is something which has caught my imagination but not a technique i'm completely comfortable with yet- still trying to find my style. Think the pic of the bunch so far is found at the link below- all comments welcome.


  • Christoph July 25, 2009 01:17 am

    A japanese mantis from my garden:

  • Eric Mesa July 24, 2009 10:03 pm

    Here are my closeup/macro shots. I've gotten considerably better with time.


  • oliver July 24, 2009 08:43 pm

    Thanks Dan for the explanation. I see that your 'bee' is also 'busy'.. =)

  • Will July 24, 2009 08:25 pm

    Great post.

    Here are some photographs we took of mosquitoes emerging at 5x magnification.


  • Dan July 24, 2009 07:58 pm

    oliver: I'd call that photo of yours a close-up, it's very similar to one I took: http://www.danielfreedman.co.uk/photoblog/index.php?showimage=87

    I think that technically a macro photograph is one where the image on the sensor is at least the same size as the object being photographed (from film days this would be easy to tell, you just hold the negative against the object you've photographed and you can see if it's life-size or not). But with digital photography it's a lot harder to tell, because sensors are different sizes.

    So let's say the sensor in your camera is (and I'll keep the numbers simple here) 3cm by 2cm, and produces an image 3000pixels by 2000pixels. If you photograph something that's 1cm wide, and it ends up being 1000 pixels wide on your sensor, then that's a macro photograph. If it's not that wide, then it's just an extreme close-up.

    At least, that's my understanding of it, I'm quite happy for anyone to set me straight if I'm wrong!

  • Dan July 24, 2009 07:48 pm

    Akshay: everyone's entitled to their opinion, if someone thinks a photo is rubbish they're allowed to say so! Often we learn more from the "negative" feedback than we do from the "positive".... although I'll agree that saying it's bad without saying why it's bad isn't terribly supportive.

  • fotofriend July 24, 2009 07:37 pm

    How interesting it is that almost all beginners start shooting macros and stuff like this and it may seem that it is an easy genre. But still it needs a lot of skill to do great macros.
    Nice Collection !

  • Paul July 24, 2009 05:10 pm

    Stunning pictures.

  • Akshay July 24, 2009 04:49 pm

    Some of the commenter rightly pointed out that most of the pics are not even a macro but someone calling them crap or bad is not graceful and supportive at all. The photos here are best example of Close Up Photography, and not crap at all.

    Just wanted to say that because we might not be professional photographers but we share same passion i.e. Photography. If we don't like photos, we can either keep quite or give constructive criticism.


  • oliver July 24, 2009 03:47 pm

    Here's mine: http://poty2009.dcmag.co.uk/3913562629306955004/busy-bee.html

    I tightly cropped it, so I am not sure if it is a close-up or a macro photography. Can someone differentiate the two? Thanks!

  • MeiTeng July 24, 2009 02:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing the amazing photos. Love all of them!

  • Digital Photography Work July 24, 2009 11:07 am

    Hey, I love that marbles photo... I used to play marbles all the time as a kid. You've given me some great ideas for some more pics. Thanks!

  • Adrian July 24, 2009 11:01 am

    I think what everyone is missing is that the elephant is only 1/2 inch tall. world's smallest elephant. it truly is macro. nice shots.

  • michael July 24, 2009 07:44 am

    Macro Bug by Murlon123 is stunning. I'm very inspired by these photos, whether they are "technically" macro or not!

  • al-ien July 24, 2009 07:04 am

    I love the macro world... so much to see that you've never seen before.... I use and unusual technique to get these type macros with (do I dare say it.... a point and shoot)

  • Victoria Klein July 24, 2009 05:53 am

    Wow wow wow - thank you for this post, Nate! The pictures your features only further enforce why macro photography in my favorite style. :D

  • Pigon July 24, 2009 05:48 am

    Very nice, inspirational examples of macro shots. However I agree with "cat" that not all of them were pure macro photographs. But... mine example of snail on the leaf is such a "pseudo macro" shot too. I hope it works fine in black and white:


    Cat - your shot is great! Like a para shooter jump!

  • Cat July 24, 2009 04:18 am

    Thanks for the tips. Here's an example of one of my macros, which won a first place award at my local fair last year!


  • Zack Jones July 24, 2009 04:15 am

    Very cool samples. I nailed the sunflower as soon as I saw it. Did anyone else notice the umbrella in the reflection of the camera lens shot? Also the ladybird (lady bug?) is a great example of the razor thin depth of field you can have in macro photography. I think I'll have to break out the ole macro lens this evening.

  • Tyler Ingram July 24, 2009 04:08 am

    Now if I could only afford to get the 100mm f2.8 macro lens for my camera! Then again, I wish i could afford any new lens lol

    Pretty nice photos though!

  • Sheryk July 24, 2009 03:58 am

    Ever since I got my 90mm Tamron macro I have been a macro addict. I now have a lensbaby with two macro filter attachments and if it is possible, have fallen deeper into my macro addiction. Thanks for sharing the photos and whether technically macro or not - and all but the elephant were I believe - they are wonderful. The world that macro presents to the eye is captivating and I will forever be a fan.

  • Cornell July 24, 2009 03:15 am

    These are wonderful. Technically speaking, the elephant photo is a close-up, rather than a macro. The fact that the original might have been cropped has no bearing. However, in the world of photography, the word "macro" is used loosely. Some lenses are termed macro, even though they only provide a 1:2 or 1:3 image. Canon makes a "50 mm compact macro" lens. It can produce only half life size.

  • Deepak July 24, 2009 03:09 am

    Thanks for the wonderful shots.Check out some of my macro shots on www.flickr.com/photos/deepak10v/.

  • Graham Warsap July 24, 2009 02:47 am

    Some really cool shots. Need to dust of the extension tubes and have a go.

  • Daniel Mejia July 24, 2009 02:46 am

    Some of them are plain bad, like the marbels and the snail and the elephant is not even a macro. Only a couple of shots are pretty cool.

    I rate this as an under achieving post.

  • Daniel Mejia July 24, 2009 02:46 am

    Some of them are plain crap, like the marbels and the snail and the elephant is not even a macro. Only a couple of shots are pretty cool.

    I rate this as an under achieving post.

  • italida July 24, 2009 02:45 am

    Great, wonderful, fantastic, superb!! I'd like to be mine :)

  • mums July 24, 2009 02:42 am

    These are gorgeous shots, thank you for sharing!!

    I just love macro photography

  • Dani July 24, 2009 02:42 am

    Jared, not technically? Kind of an understatement with a photo of an elephant in there.

    Tight crop does not equal macro!

    I like the tiny frog though, he's very cute.

  • M July 24, 2009 02:35 am

    I kind of like some of these;


  • Akshay July 24, 2009 02:24 am

    I have immense interest in Macro photography. My camera has good lens for macro focus range and produced fine pictures, but not like the exceptional photos listed above. They are gorgeous specially *Grasshopper Green* and *Macro Plant*. Here are some of my attempts; would love to see reviews. :)


  • Jeff July 24, 2009 02:21 am

    I think calling all of those spectacular is pushing it a bit! There are maybe 3 or 4 that pretty much anyone couldn't do with the opportunity. In fact half of them aren't really macro at all!

    Not a great article.

  • KameraKevin July 24, 2009 02:14 am

    Nice pictures, love it, thanks for sharing! I have a few macro lenses (105mm f/2.8VR and MP-E 65mm) but my favorite macro is still the cheapo point-and-shoot Canon SD750. You can't beat the convenience and the lightweightness of it, and it's something I use on an almost daily basis. Below is an example:


  • MIKE FISHER July 24, 2009 02:12 am


  • Valerie July 24, 2009 02:09 am

    Indeed, not all macros. A closeup is not always a macro.
    But good photos indeed.

  • Jared July 24, 2009 02:05 am

    Some of these aren't technically Macro pics. But most are very good.

  • tapan chandra July 24, 2009 01:46 am

    ecilent works. thank u very much...tapanC

  • Paul Drumm July 24, 2009 01:43 am

    There are some wonderful macro shots on display in this topic!! I particularly liked the "Macro Plant" by Ken Simm.

    I've been intrigued by macro photography recently, and wanted to give it a try so I bought an extension tube to go with my current lens'. It certainly has wet my appetite and plan on purchasing a dedicated macro lens very soon (once I can afford it that is!).

    Here's a few of my macro attempts so far: http://www.flickr.com/photos/drummp2/sets/72157604955412669/

    Please feel free to critic as I find all comments helpful.

    Thanks for the selection of shots Nate

  • Al Hansen July 24, 2009 01:32 am

    Thanks for displaying those marvelous macro shots. I am saving my money for a Sigma 150mm f2.8 and can hardly wait to order it. The flowers and insects really peaked my interest.