Sunday Stills: #Macro or Close-Up Photography; Is there a Difference?

This week’s Sunday Stills theme is “macro-anything.” Now what does this mean exactly?

Macro photography is also considered close-up photography. However, using a true macro lens yields the sharpest, tiniest details whereas a closeup may not show each detail.

I got a close-up shot of my resident Anna hummingbird perched after feeding. She was quite tame!

Photograph of hummingbird

I don’t have a macro lens on my phone or camera, but I do manage to fill the frame. This time I cropped the photo for a macro effect.

Closeup view of Hummingbird

Sometimes a macro image takes on new characteristics in an abstract way. My backyard windchime featuring a brass dragonfly looks different in its close-up.

Even the mundane becomes an abstract study in geometric shapes. This is the lobby floor of The WELL of Sacramento State University. See captions.

According to SLR Photography Guide: 

“If the subject you are photographing is small and you want to make it look big, you end up with a “macro” view of a “micro” subject.

Close up photography, is the act of photographing objects such as flowers or insects in close range so the subject you are photographing fills the frame.”

Susan at her blog Musin’ With Susan hosted the Macro Moments challenge a while back. Here she gives an example of macro vs close-up.

I’m also adding these shots to Live, Laugh, RV Wandering Wednesday Photo Prompt.

Experiment with your camera, mobile phone or tablet. Take a before and after shot and share your results.

Remember to title your blog post something different than mine!


Camera graphic

85 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: #Macro or Close-Up Photography; Is there a Difference?

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  3. NorCal Zen

    I read your post again this morning. I’m interested in macro photography. Just like you I don’t own a macro lens, I’ve never had. I do own a telephoto zoom lens, that I use to zoom in, and I crop my photos to show details I find beautiful. I’d like to get a macro lens one day.

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    1. Thank you Linda! I literally do not have to leave my own backyard to get these. The little family of hummers has been around for three years now and always a fun source of entertainment. I believe they tolerate my presence as long as their feeders are full 🙂

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  16. mommyhon333

    What fabulous results you get without a macro lens. I looked into buying one but they are out of my budget for the time being. Anna, your hummingbird, was so cooperative! What a fabulous shot.

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  17. NorCal Zen

    Glorious, glorious, glorious ! I love the colors in the first photo. Macro photography goes in waves for me. Sometimes I take macro shots all the time, and then I forget for long periods of time.

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  19. Thanks for the explanation between macro and close-up photography, Terri. I think my point-and-shoot cameras are mislabeled with their “macro” setting. 🙂 I see you found Ingrid’s photo challenge. Awesome shots and topics, both of you!

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  23. This is a very interesting post, Terri! The sunflower with all the bees is amazing! The dragonfly is Such a great example of how you can turn the ordinary into the amazing. And the patterns of the floor tiles look great enlarged! You’ve just inspired me to post something for this week’s theme!

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    1. Hi Jodie! My lens is all-in-one with my camera, a Lumix FZ3000 (also known as a bridge camera). I used the zoom to get closer to the little hummer. The macro flower shots are just extreme closeups but there is a macro button I use with these although this is not a macro lens. It’s amazing what you can capture close-up with your phone or inexpensive camera 🙂 Tell Rob his photos on your blog have been spectacular of late!

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      1. With the FZ-300 you should be able to do macro very well … just be sure to set the lens on the side to macro. My FZ-200 is starting to have difficulty focusing on those close-ups.

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