20 February 2009

Definition of Macro Photography

For almost a week I have been searching for this answer. The answer to “what is macro photography” For those who have been in photography for ages, this may sound to be a silly question, but for someone who is new, it can be quite confusing.

What make macro photography confusing? Well macro photography sometime has closely associated with close up photography. This is simply due to some camera manufacture uses the word “Marco” for close up photography.

Close up and macro are totally difference topic and they are not the same.

So what is Marco Photography?

After days of research and asking around, I finally manage to come to an understanding.

By simple definition, Marco Photography means capturing an image with enlargement ratio between image and object of 1:1 or greater. Confuse?

In simple term, when the object that is going to photograph have a physical size of 1cm in Size, when the image of this object is capture on a digital camera with a sensor size of 1cm, and fully fill the sensor, then you have a magnification ration of 1:1 and this is call macro.

Let me illustrate with some example.

This is an object of 10mm in size

This is a normal photo of the object with max. enlargement. Assuming the digital camera has a sensor size of 26mm width, the size of the object covers about 25% of the sensor. Therefore the size capture on the sensor is about 25% x 26mm = 6.5mm and the magnification ratio about 1 to 1.5. This is call a "close up" although is very close to macro requirement.

This is how macro photography should look like.
The objects capture cover at lease 50% of the sensor.
Ie. the object size captured on the sensor is >13mm, which is larger the original size. This gives a magnification ratio of 1.3 to 1.

So hope this illustrates clearly between macro and close up photography.

What is require for a photographer is to capture the object to as close as possible so that it looks as big as possible on your camera. This it self will have its own story to tell. I'll leave it for another day's topic.

Enjoy your photography journey.

* The above image are for illustration only. They are not true marco photos

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