25 Beautiful Macro Photography Shots

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Macro photography is the art of taking close-up pictures that reveal details which can’t be seen with the naked eye. For example, while we can see the fly on the wall, our eyes aren’t equipped to make out the fine details of the hairs on it’s face. This is where macro photography comes in. It gives us a glimpse into the world of the very small, which goes largely unnoticed by us as we hurriedly shuffle through our day.

In this edition of our Monday Inspiration series we present 25 beautiful examples of macro photography. A round-up of some truly revealing and inspiring macro photographs which are sure to have you marveling at the world around you. You may check out the links at the bottom of this post for further resources on the subject of macro photography.

You may also be interested in the following related posts:

25 Beautiful Examples Of Macro Photography

Eye of a Tokay Gecko
“A close-up shot of a Tokay Gecko. Their eyes remind me of old-fashioned keyholes. Thanks for looking!” The photo is taken by Alan M.

Spider macro

La force et la passion
“She felt her strength and passion back by 1 small drop of water.”. The photo is taken by Leon Baas.

Macro Photography

High-Tech Jumper
“Jumping spider on a DVD reading my data! Shot with a Canon 20D with a Canon MP-E macro lens.” The photo is taken by Coder.

Spider macro

Bubble Magic
“Close-up of a wet leaf … taken with a Canon Powershot A610 :)” The photo is taken by Sophie.

Macro Photography

Lasius Vlavius
“This yellow meadow ant is trying to find a way to dry ground after the rain”. The photo is taken by Leon Baas.

Macro Photography

Flower Detail
Close-up of a very colorful flower, shot by MeLissa Stolte.

Flower macro

Frog’s eye
Photos are taken by Justin Dotson.

Macro Photography

Dewdrop Refraction
Taken by Brian Valentine.

Macro Photography

Water lily
The photo is taken by Chun-Chih Fan (ddsnet).

Macro Photography

A flower
The photo is taken by Indah Susanti.

Macro Photography

Another vision
The photo is taken by Kristina Buceatchi.

Macro Photography

A Flower
The photo is taken by Cyril Cattin.

Macro Photography

Igor Siwanowicz

Macro Photography

Under a microscope

Macro Photography

Crane Fly
This insect looks like something out of a Sci-fi movie.

Cranefly macro

A flower
The photo is taken by Chan Chen.

Macro Photography

Spider
Stunning detail of a spider.

Spider macro

8.365 I saw the sea
The photo is taken by Lux Tenebra.

Macro Photography

Water & Rose
Beautiful colors.

Water & Rose macro

European hover fly in profile

Hoverfly macro

Refracted Daisy
You can see the refracted daisy in the blurred background.

Daisy macro

White Spider

White Spider macro

Flower in water
Amazing picture of a flower sitting in water. The reflection almost looks surreal.

Flower in water macro

House fly
Simply wonderful photo.

House fly macro

Red Veined Darter
Truly stunning macro of this insect covered in morning dew. Wow!.

Red Veined Darter macro

Resources

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Tim Mercer is a photography enthusiast, graphic designer, artist and blogger. His blog offers free resources for the digital artist and graphic designer, as well as tutorials, artist interviews, inspiration and more.

  1. 1

    Some stunning photos!

    Don’t like spiders though, but the rest are beautifull!!!!

    0
  2. 2

    amazing pictures.. wonder what kind of lens / Cameras/settings they were using ?

    Hey , this would make a good topic if you can teach Photography novices few awesome tricks with Digital Photography..

    1
  3. 4

    Awesome! =)

    Spiders are ugly! lol

    -1
  4. 5

    all great photos but that last one is truly amazing.

    1
  5. 6

    Very beautiful!

    0
  6. 7

    Crazy! You don’t get to see this kinda of thing too often. Nice post.

    0
  7. 8

    Wow – just an amazing set of photographs! The last is just mind boggling. The timing to get that shot.

    Huge kudos to all the photographers!!

    -3
  8. 9

    Wonderful. But i fuckin hate spiders. :|
    What was God thinking about when he created spiders?

    -1
    • 10

      He was thinking the same thing when he created social misfits like yourself? This is going to be fun? :)
      Top Rate Photographs BTW, Very impressive!

      0
  9. 11

    The last one is great.
    The “Flower in Water” (3rd to last) is a well known Photoshop effect. Use your brain people, water doesn’t move like that in such a small area…

    0
  10. 12

    wow – I love macro

    0
  11. 13

    I love macro shots, many photos are only point and shoot, but other have so many work behind :)

    0
  12. 14

    THis is jus so cooooooooooooool…. Jus Awesome!!

    -1
  13. 15

    Great list of pictures!

    -1
  14. 16

    great detail! Hope to see more of em’! thanks smashing! ;)

    -2
  15. 17

    realy cool

    -1
  16. 18

    Reeaaalllyyy coolll gallery!! The details are sou beautiful… tks smashing mag! =D

    0
  17. 19

    Amazing shots, great.
    Geshan

    -1
  18. 20

    Those are really stunning photographs. Thanks a lot for sharing them. Check out some of my pictures at:

    -1
  19. 21

    Curt Simon Harlinghausen

    September 21, 2008 9:44 pm

    Amazing pictures. Just great article.

    -1
  20. 22

    Awesome photos lol… Its Pretty cooooooollllllllllllllllllllllllllll………..

    -1
  21. 23

    Very amazing! I love the shots.

    -2
  22. 24

    @Dex
    Wonderful. But i fuckin hate spiders. :|
    What was God thinking about when he created spiders?

    I guess if spiders were not there we couldnt have come out with a wonderful movie called Superman! lol Anyways, nice collection of pics..

    0
  23. 26

    Could anybody give an advice what camera to buy (not too expansive) to make such pictures?

    -1
    • 27

      It probably doesn’t matter anymore, but shots like these primarily come from a specific lens, not a specific camera. That lens is a Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5X Macro Lens for Canon SLR Cameras. You can pick one up new for about $1,050 currently. Used, you may be able to get a great deal and spend only a few hundred bucks or so, but that’s rare.

      You’ll also need an SLR (single lens reflex camera), preferably digital, and any Canon dSLR will do, really. I was getting great stuff back when I had my 5 megapixel 10D.

      Finally, for a minimum setup, you will want to get a good light source. That can be daylight, a flashlight, a studio flash, an on-camera hot shoe flash, or a dedicated macro flash. The little pop-up flashes on the camera are worthless at the distances these images are created because the flash is blocked by the lens. An external light source is absolutely necessary if you go above 2x magnification. Naturally, Macro flash is best, and those start at about $500 for a decent one and go up from there.

      If you want to shoot macro on a budget, get some extension tubes and a cheap dSLR. Be sure to bring lots of light and lots of patience. Extension tubes can run you between $12 and $200. You may have some difficulty getting very high magnifications without a bellows, and you’ll need a lot of light and a heck of a lot of patience and perseverance. Shots like those are darned difficult to achieve.

      Have fun. :)

      0
  24. 28

    great!!! really impressive work! love it

    -1
  25. 29
  26. 30

    its very..very.. awesome, i love Crane Fly

    -1
  27. 31

    Oh my god, the photos of insects are freakin’ AMAZING. Great job once again Smashing Magazine.

    0
  28. 32

    amazing photos !!!

    -1
  29. 33

    eeew…. some are a bit creepy but oh my how do they get some of those shots!!! Amazing stuff.

    -1
  30. 34

    Awesome shots. If anyone prefers butterflies to spiders as I do, I’ve got some examples of those here.

    -2
  31. 35

    Amazing photos I have never seen such details.

    -1
  32. 36

    Fantastic selection! But some of them are edited I guess?

    -1
  33. 37

    Impressive!

    0
  34. 38

    amazing shots, the last one is unbelievable! Well done Tim and the Smashing Team a brilliant collection of fascinating photos…

    -1
  35. 39

    These are SO amazing – I hope I´ll ever get that far with my own camera!
    Thanks for this collection!

    -2
  36. 40

    As somebody who does a bit of photography, I can honestly say that a good amount of those photographs had used some pretty expensive (USD1400+) lenses. Others were fixed afterwards – still great shots though.

    -1
  37. 41

    Einfach genial. Mehr bitte.

    -1
  38. 42

    Awesome, I am luving it!

    -1
  39. 43

    great photos, loved the cat.
    so many of these are flora/fauna, do people ever use macro photography for inanimate things? buildings, reflective surfaces, metals,… does anyone maybe have some examples of these?

    -1
  40. 44

    some really breathtaking stuff..

    -1
  41. 45

    The insects almost seem to pose for this photos, just breathtaking. I’d like to see more pictures like the cat photo, but it seems to be linked to a site with nothing but external links. Which site was this image from?

    -1
  42. 46
  43. 47

    Love this article! Makes me want to go buy a Macro Lens right now…. Although, the red lily photo looks like it has photoshopped water

    -1
  44. 48

    Cool pics! I love Macro photography!

    -1
  45. 49

    Absolutely gorgeous works! “Bubble Magic” (the macro of the wet leaf) taken with a humble Canon Powershot A610 proves Walker Evans was right. It’s not the camera, but the brain behind it that matters.

    Fantastic shots from some truly talented individuals.

    -1
  46. 50

    Not only the quality is good. There are some subjects that take the leading part. That bug with big thick antennae and the cat’s eyes caught from an angle are stunning.

    -1
  47. 51

    this is truly awesome! :)

    -1
  48. 52

    Really amazing photos.

    For all those who hate spiders; sure they are creepy and scary, but they are natures way of keeping the insect population under control. Without them, we’d have too many other little critters around.

    0
  49. 53

    Respect to Igor Siwanowicz, just look at all images @ linked site. Amazing and… some disturbing.

    -1
  50. 54

    A great source of photography is megapixel.net (which is based in canada and offers both french and english versions of all their content. They post macro photos from their readers every month.

    -1
  51. 55

    Nice pics.
    ps: asking for a thumbs us from SU users will not always get you some and more likely to get you a ‘no rating’ or thumbs down even. Just be aware.

    -1
  52. 56

    One of the best posts ever.

    -1
  53. 57

    excellent job!

    -1
  54. 58

    oh…..my god!…
    佩服….牛

    -1
  55. 59

    Works by Igor Siwanowicz are simply stunning.

    -1
  56. 60

    Wooooooooooooooooooooou!!!

    -1
  57. 61

    What a ridiculous list of AMAZING pictures!

    -1
  58. 62

    I like all the photos.,. great job

    -1
  59. 63

    No disclaimer on spiders?

    Nice work, but I almost had an heart attack! :O

    0
  60. 64

    the dragonfly is awesome, the dews are like magnifiers attached to the dragonfly

    0
  61. 65

    great shots, love the last one…amazing!

    0
  62. 66

    Move in close and everything is scary beautiful

    0
  63. 67

    These photos have amazing color, balance, and obviously… detail. Macro is a different world.

    onwired.com

    0
  64. 68

    The ladybird photo is so powerful. A truly surreal experience when seeing all photos … amazing, simply amazing. Also great to see that Smashing Magazine is crediting the photographers and not just presenting a list of photos without saying who took them. Great stuff guys ! Keep us inspired !!

    -1
  65. 69

    Glasgow Web Design

    September 23, 2008 7:01 am

    The photos are great with brilliant colours – I assume they’ve all been photoshopped?

    0
  66. 70

    amazing photos congratulations team it´s really incredible

    0
  67. 71

    Those are some awesome shots!

    0
  68. 72

    eeeeew…

    hate spiders

    -1
  69. 73

    high macro definition.. cool! what type of lens did u use?

    0
  70. 74

    great pics

    0
  71. 75

    TOTALLY AMAZING! — I understand why you guys hate spiders but that hate just doesn’t make sense. They eat a whole lot of disgusting insects–which truly harm our lives. So next time you see a spider, PLEASE SPARE IT!

    1
  72. 76

    WOW – stunning pics. Nature IS beautiful!!!

    0
  73. 77
  74. 78

    This guy is truly amazing mark plonsky

    0
  75. 79

    AMAZING. Oh, and who cares if you hate spiders, that doesn’t make the photos any less breathtaking!

    0
  76. 80

    if you enjoyed these macos take minute to view some other exceptional ones http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/563994337DDoRSf

    1
  77. 81

    Es increible lo que se puede lograr con un Macro estas imagenes estan preciosas

    1
  78. 82

    i don’t know… but i don’t like spiders! xD
    they r bad little monsters…

    i preffer the first photo… so… bye bye!

    -1
  79. 83

    Stunning! I commend the photographers who have taken the shots in this series for their vision (actually for their macro vision) in seeing beauty even in things considered by many as hideous and monstrous. Simply inspirational!

    0
  80. 84

    I like the last one, very different!

    0
  81. 85

    Superb!!!… Those are some awesome close up.

    0
  82. 86

    Great Collection!!!!

    0
  83. 87

    me kedo kon la marikita

    0
  84. 88

    I love the posts here, but being totally afraid of spiders, this post just kills me!

    -1
  85. 89

    why do more people hate spiders than flies?

    1
  86. 90

    my god. disclaimer for the spider pictures please!!

    but amazing photography.

    1
  87. 91
  88. 92

    thanks forsharing

    0
  89. 93

    thank!

    0
  90. 94

    The Refracted Daisy and Red Veined Darter photographs are superb designs for a Baccarat milllefiori paperweight. My sincere congratulations to the photographers. Absolutely brilliant!

    I’d like to suggest they contact a glass company that produces paperweights. :-)

    0
  91. 95

    María Cecilia Gómez B.

    October 25, 2008 11:52 am

    Those are beautiful and incredibles pictures, congratulations to the photographers, but as I love a lot cats ¨the another vision¨ from Kristina Buceatchi had captured me…
    Todas las fotos me parecieron muy bellas e increíbles, felicitaciones a todos los fotógrafos, y claro, como a mi me gustan tanto los gatos, ¨la otra visión¨de Kristina Buceatchi me encantó…

    0
  92. 96

    Beautiful photos—but lots are with too much effect.Good for the eyes, of course. To show the capacity of the creaction…but I dont feel that all are arts.Photography is a little bit different.

    0
  93. 97

    SO COOL! 我能和你们交朋友吗?(Can i make friends with you?)

    0
  94. 98
  95. 99

    does anyone know what animal or insect is the one in picture number 13..?

    0
  96. 100

    macro=large micro=small

    0
  97. 101

    Amazing and beautiful…

    0
  98. 102

    wow this is sick i love! and i love spiders.. and what’s with the quality it’s way too high

    1
  99. 103

    dex, I wonder what God was thinking when he created you?
    The photos are fantastic.

    0
  100. 104

    It’s fantastic photography!! I like too much

    0
  101. 105

    I’m actually too scared to even look at the rest of the pictures ’cause I saw the spider just now. Nearly gave me a heart attack there. Spiders always seem to come out of nowhere, even on the internet, apparently!

    2
    • 106

      this so amaging an beutiful image to atract by nature so thanks this imge to capture in your camra and thanks 2 u also
      me belong to india

      0
  102. 107

    yes everything is great. except the spiders. yuck!:P

    -8
  103. 108

    ALUCINANTES!.
    AMAZING!

    I hope to learn enought to be able to take at least one of this pictures in my life.

    0
  104. 109

    SOU FISSURADO EM BOAS FOTOS !
    ESTAS COLOCAREI NO MEU ARQUIVO>
    VALEU !

    0
  105. 110

    WOW… amazing!

    2
  106. 111

    Willy Yanto Wijaya

    February 24, 2009 9:35 pm

    Very cool !!!

    1
  107. 112

    Ohh man so amazing photos..

    1
  108. 113
  109. 114

    Bombchell in Atlanta

    March 29, 2009 9:33 am

    wow those are really good

    2
  110. 115

    really amazing…

    0
  111. 116
  112. 117

    i saw something like this before but this is just as cool

    0
  113. 118

    Muito bom…
    Fotos impressionantes e com uma riqueza de cores formidável…
    parabens

    0
  114. 119

    amazing…

    0
  115. 120

    yeah coool…
    not sure whats goin on..
    everyone else was doin it
    i just wanted 2 be included

    0
  116. 122

    So amazing!
    I dream about taking such photo one day .
    Shall I reprint these photos ?
    Waiting for your answer…

    0
  117. 123

    amazing…
    i love the colors…
    more power…

    1
  118. 124

    impresionante, unas fotografias magnificas

    1
  119. 125

    its amazing!!! i bought nikon d60 for taking professional photos but i dont know which lenses i must to use for macro photos . is 18-55mm lense enough for macros ?

    0
  120. 126

    good job

    0
  121. 127

    Stunning! Thanks to these camera geniuses.

    0
  122. 128

    Lawrence Tanner

    June 22, 2009 1:47 am

    TRUELY AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    0
  123. 129

    Awesome bro. awesome!

    0
  124. 130

    Beautiful photos, however it is important to note that “macro” photography and “micro” photography are NOT the same. Also, how were these photos picked?

    1
  125. 131

    so beautiful,nice shots.

    0
  126. 132

    Amazing you photos…

    0
  127. 133

    These photographs are truly splendid! I have done quite a lot of photography, and could not do any better myself.

    0
  128. 134

    refracted daisy and another vision ..mummed me..!!
    Truely great photos.

    0
  129. 135

    oh my god! these pictures are so cool!! insect covered in morning dew was awesome.

    0
  130. 136

    that is amazing

    0
  131. 137

    These pics are the awsome like totally im in my tech class

    0
  132. 138

    Amazing macro pictures !!

    0
  133. 139

    Hi
    Amazing pics.
    As an learner can someone tell me the best macro lense for a Nikon D200 Or Nikon 300

    0
  134. 141

    Excellent photographs of Macro (My favourite one was the cat and the frogs eye)

    1
  135. 142

    christopher smith

    November 21, 2009 2:25 am

    just like to say to the people that took those photos they are fantastic.
    to se mother natures wonders and the time and effort you have taken to find these shots they are almost cosmic some of them.
    i have a nikon d60 with macro and have 3 different types of dragon fly
    and other various insects and i spend a lot of time walking the country side to get the pictures i want.
    you can be proud of your work i can see that a lot of you are at one with nature

    0
  136. 143

    Fake ! Lol superb fotos :)

    0
  137. 144

    Breathtaking shots… really.

    0
  138. 145

    Awesome. Oh my God ! This is so beautiful.

    0
  139. 146

    I m a macrophotograph and i can tell you…WOW!!!

    0
  140. 147

    ******** ESPETACULAR ************

    0
  141. 148

    The most amazing thing here is that such great pictures can be shot with little/no specialized equipment.
    You might find this list of tutorials for macro photography to be an interesting resource: http://www.kirpi.it/Photo/List-of-best-tutorials-to-learn-creative-macro-photography

    0
  142. 149

    And there I was thinking I was doing well with my macro photography – it all just looks so amateur now!

    0
  143. 150

    oh!!!!!!!!!! amazing
    how can they get that photos

    just like a blind mice!!!!!!!!
    fuck you!!!!

    0
  144. 151

    beautiful, beautiful and big inspiration for me

    something alike: http://photoextract.net/top/archives/3

    0
  145. 152

    Beautiful pictures! I wrote about the last picture by Martin Amm at my blogg,
    fossmarkfoto.blogg.no/?c=1270656307

    0
  146. 153

    WHAT A FAKE!!! i cant beleive you all fell for this fruad this is crap like no shit for example all you need to do for the 3rd to last is was to distort the bottom to make it look like it was water so it could look natural and the rest was MICRO not MACRO these fruads should be erased i can’t believe you guys actually fell for this this BULLSHIT use your brians for once people jeez.

    0
  147. 154

    Worthy Photographers!!!

    0
  148. 155

    ALISSA KIRKPATRICK

    April 26, 2010 7:59 am

    i like to blow little horses

    -1
  149. 156

    ALISSA KIRKPATRICK

    April 26, 2010 8:00 am

    and i fantasize about giving kylar curry a blumpkin

    0
  150. 157

    i like little boys!! :)

    -1
  151. 158

    wow just amazing photos, here is some more amazing photography http://www.photobuzz.org

    0
  152. 159

    Solo comentar que son fantasticas

    0
  153. 160

    martha am tambunan

    June 14, 2010 12:24 am

    soooo… beautiful…, is it possible for me to upload my photo… ? *still ametuer*… =)

    1
  154. 161

    Really great shots. If somebody wants to read how to do macro pictures, just pop in here: http://www.macro-photography.eu

    0
  155. 162

    black friday deals

    July 18, 2010 11:14 pm

    oh great.. just great! I hope you’ll also include the lenses used in each macro photo… O___O

    I so love the european hover fly and the another vision macro photos ^_^

    0
  156. 163

    Amazing macro work …i want one

    1
  157. 164

    awesome pictures ……….. so cool, i mean oh i cant………………… its speechless ……….wow

    0
  158. 165

    Amazing. Nothing more can be said. Just amazing.

    2
  159. 166

    hey jade :p

    0
  160. 167

    Fantastic … i have seen these macros before but i love to watch again and again … feel good Macros

    0
  161. 168

    Katya Souchitski

    April 4, 2011 1:01 pm

    Those are like soooooo… cool, just the spiders are toooooo, waaaay discusting and people exept just some boys, would not like to look at them, but over all, AWSOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    -1
  162. 169

    muy buenas fotos..

    0
  163. 170

    The picture of the furry moth gripped me the most.
    Seeing these photos reminds me that even insects (including spiders) are living creatures in their own right
    and are just as worthy of life as any of us.

    1
  164. 171

    Jeffrey Galindez Delfin

    June 11, 2011 1:30 am

    It provides a lot of ideas regarding macro photography.

    0
  165. 172

    Amazing collection of amazing macro photography! I have been play with extension tubes to create some macro shots with some success, buy these are outstanding. Keep up the great work!!

    0
  166. 173
  167. 174

    i love photography especially the macro

    0
  168. 175

    Great and creative shots there! Keep it up!

    0
  169. 176

    wow +++++++++++++.I like it !

    1
  170. 177

    fantastic pictures showing the beauty and the purity of nature before being touched by man’s hands.

    2
  171. 178

    Wow It is perfect.

    0
  172. 179
  173. 180

    awsome photography…
    love it
    different form other
    no word to explain
    incredible

    0
  174. 181

    amazing, especially the last one

    0
  175. 182

    dr.t.narasimha rao

    December 3, 2011 12:32 am

    very good pictures taken with lot of patiece and dedication.

    0
  176. 183

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW MYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDD

    0
  177. 184

    Just Awesome…I am speechless..Beautiful Photographs!!

    1
  178. 185

    Awesome photos of Macro ! Love it!

    2
  179. 186

    Other than to identify, the commentary (opinion) is unnecessary, takes away… “Life”

    0
  180. 187

    So nice pic..no words…i want more pic

    0
  181. 188

    Wow is the word.
    Am already trying to learn macrophotography.
    Hope Nikon D 5000 will do.

    And the reverse lens thread has already been shipped by the Chinese seller of ebay.

    0
  182. 189

    The picture of flower in water is not real. The flower is real but the “water” is a plugin effect in photoshop called “flood”. Follow the original link to see the comments about the “special effect” on the flower. It is nonetheless beautiful.

    0

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