Hi everyone! Welcome to a new segment on the blog where I try to help you guys learn something new! This week I'll be doing a comprehensive tutorial on how to take macro eye photos. Some of you might already know this, but my eye photos really got me started on Instagram and I can credit a lot of my success to these photos. Hopefully by the end of this blog post you'll be ready to take some macro eye photos of your own!
In order to take great macro photos, you'll want to have some of the right tools. All the macro eye photos on my Instagram (instagram.com/elliotchoy) are taken with my iPhone and an Olloclip Macro Pro lens. You can use some of the more expensive macro lenses available for DSLR cameras, but I think the iPhone and Olloclip setup works just as good as any professional setup, if not better!
One of the most important factors for an amazing macro eye photo is lighting. I like to use a bright window with lots of subtle light, which helps illuminate the subject. You don't want to use direct sunlight because it's often too bright and uncomfortable for models to look right at the sun. Another factor I pay attention to is the reflection that's seen off the eye when I position my model. You can get some really amazing photos if you try to catch a reflection of a cool landscape or interesting architecture in the eye of your photo.
Now that you have everything set up, it's time to shoot! Try your very best to keep your arm still when taking macro eye photos, because even the slightest movement in the camera can cause the picture to turn out blurry or out of focus. I like to rest my hand on stable surfaces like window sills, tabletops, and chairs. Your model's head may also sway, so I personally have my models rest their head on a window or on the floor. I also hold my breath when I'm taking macro photos in order to reduce the shake in my photo. Take multiple shots and remember to try out different angles so that you can pick out your favorite after shooting!
Once you've selected your best shot, it's time to add some finishing touches to your image with editing! I use Adobe Lightroom for all of my edits, but you can still pull off a great look with mobile editing apps and other editing software. Once I put an eye photo in Lightroom, I always start off by adjusting the brightness of the photo. I also like to make the shadows of my photo brighter to bring out some hidden detail. This next part is where the magic happens - bring up the clarity and sharpness of your photo. This will bring out lots of detail and it will completely change the look of your photo. If this changes the brightness of your photo, simply adjust the brightness levels again! Even if I barely edit an eye photo, I always try to add some clarity and sharpness during editing.
Hopefully this tutorial will help you take your first macro eye photo. You may not get the perfect shot the first time around, but if you shoot, shoot, and shoot some more, you WILL get the photo that you want. Macro photography is another world in itself and it's helped to notice and appreciate the small details in life. Feel free to DM me on Instagram @elliotchoy if you have any questions!
// ELLIOT CHOY