Photo Critique: Macro on a Point-And-Shoot :: Digital Photo Secrets

Photo Critique: Macro on a Point-And-Shoot

by David Peterson 1 comment

With as much discussion as we have been having about the difference between point-and-shoot cameras and DSLRs lately, it is only appropriate to continue our theme and explore some more pictures you can easily take with a point-and-shoot camera. A lot of people think that because they do not have a macro lens mounted on a DSLR, they can't take good macro photos. This simply isn't true. If you have a miniature tripod and an eye for framing your shot, you can create some amazing macro photos without owning a macro-specific lens.

Today's photos were sent in by Kayleigh Hart. They are part of a series of point-and-shoot macro photos that bring together a multitude of spring colors. Her photos are a veritable feast for the eyes, reminding us all that summer is just around the corner. Now is the time to get outside and take these kinds of photos as flowers bloom and trees start showing their leaves.

Color contrast makes it POP!

The first thing that really hits me with this photo is the rich dark green grass. You can tell from the color that winter is long gone, and it is time to celebrate spring. From the way the photo is focused, the grass doesn't play a central role, but you can still see its patchwork pattern in the background of the shot. It provides a nice vibrant contrast to the lighter spring colors present in the flower. I stand back, look at this photo, and I can feel the forces of nature at work. It's kind of like watching "Planet Earth."

You will have already noticed that most of this photo isn't in focus. This helps to draw more attention to the center of the flower, which is also the brightest colored section of the entire photograph. The contrast this creates invites the eye even further into the photograph, making it more visually interesting.

It is worth noting as well that Kayleigh uses the rule of thirds to her advantage. The most interesting part of the photo, the bright center of the flower, occurs in the upper left third. Try to imagine how the photo would have looked if she had decided to place the center of the flower somewhere else. Would you have been as drawn into this image if the flower were a little more to the right or left? My guess is no.

Another stunning image you can make with a point-and-shoot

Kayleigh's next photo shows just how close you can get with a point and shoot camera. You wouldn't even know this is a flower if it weren't for the detailed center. I really love how this photo captures so many colors in the red, orange, and yellow spectra. Both the inner and outer rings have a lovely dark and bloody color, while the middle ring balances them out with a nice tangerine orange.

Most of the time, you wouldn't be able to get away with putting the point of interest in the center of the photograph, but it is totally allowed here because this image is so symmetrical. No matter how you look at it, the rings draw you in. Although Kayleigh decided to slightly offset the center of the flower, she could easily have placed it right in the middle of the image, and it would have looked just as good.

There is one last thing to note about this image. The bright band of yellow brings motion to this photo while creating an almost surreal feeling. The viewer naturally guides his or her eyes through the arc and around the center of the flower and back again, maintaining interest throughout the viewing process. This is the kind of thing you can never predict will happen while you are capturing an image. You just hold down the shutter and get lucky every once in a while.

Both of these photos could have used a more steady shot. The first photo appears a little motion blurred, probably more than it has to be. This likely due to camera shake issues. You have to be especially careful when taking macro photos on a point-and-shoot camera. You will undoubtedly have the lens zoomed all the way in, and whenever this is the case, your photos will blur even more from simple camera shake. The best solution, as always, is to use a tripod and make sure it is completely secure before you take the picture.

I want to thank Kayleigh again for her fantastic pictures, and I also want to reassure all of our DSLR users that I will be critiquing both point-and-shoot and DSLR photos for next week's critique.

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  1. Kathy says:

    I love the info but have some questions. How did she get the background blurred and the flower in focus?

    Can u also tell me how to take a picture of a ring and not show any shadow. It would look like it is floating in mid air.

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About David Peterson
David Peterson is the creator of Digital Photo Secrets, and the Photography Dash and loves teaching photography to fellow photographers all around the world. You can follow him on Twitter at @dphotosecrets or on Google+.