Wide-Angle Macro Photography by David Cobb

December 3rd, 2013 by photocascadia


Wide-Angle Macro Photography

By David Cobb

In the traditional sense, macro photography is anything taken at a 1:1 ratio. But I don’t much like traditions in photography, so that’s why I often use a wide-angle lens for impact. By using a wide-angle lens I’m making my foreground the primary subject, not just an anchor element for my landscape composition. At the same time, I’m including my background element (my scene or vista) as secondary -much of the time it’s even out of focus. I use this technique for the purpose of showing my subject in its environment—and because I find it fun and challenging.

Amanita muscaria in woods.

 Washington Lily

In a recent blog I touched on using a Kenko Pro 2x with a wide-angle lens, so I won’t go into that today; but another way to create a macro lens out of your wide-angle lens is to use a Kenko 12mm extension tube. By adding a little bit more space between your camera and lens, you’re able to get super close and tight for a macro shot. If weight is a concern (backpacking with a camera anybody?) and you need to drop that macro lens from the pack, take along a 12mm extension tube and you’ve got yourself a close-up lens.

Change your perspective, get low, and give it a try – you might find it fun and challenging too.

Balsamroot Blooms

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  • Andrew Wisler

    If you don’t mind my asking, what sort of focal lengths are you using with this setup? I have tried a similar arrangement, and it seems that it requires focal lengths on the long end of the WA range — 35 mm or so — to afford enough distance from the lens to also be able to include some of the environment in the shot. Anything less than 28 mm and the subject is nearly touching the front element. Thanks for sharing and causing me to try something new!

    • photocascadia

      I use my 16-35mm with my full-frame camera at 16mm Andrew. I focus 1/3 into the scene. ~ David