Shot Distances – Macro Shots

ACTION! A Hands On Guide for Shooters and Filmmakers.

22 Dec Shot Distances – Macro Shots

This month we’ve covered how varying shot distances can capture different contexts and details, while also adding balance to your video projects and photography portfolios. Each week we’ve been moving closer to our subjects–starting with wide angles all the way to close ups. To finish out the month, we’re going to move in as close as we can with macro shots, focusing on the fine details of the subject in our composition.

Macro shots take close up shots to the next level (so much so that they are also called “extreme close ups”). This type of shot is creatively fun because it takes small details of a subject and makes them larger than life. This alternative perspective allows the viewer to see details that are easily overlooked.

Our friends at Adam Audio have lended us a pair of studio monitors to show how macro shots help capture fine details. While the overall construction of the monitor is sleek in design, what really stands out is the bright yellow ribbon tweeter at the top. The tweeter is only half the size of my pinky-finger, but I can use a macro shot to capture the fine details of it.


Macro shots do focus on extreme details, but the extremity of the shot can also be used to create interesting, thought provoking contexts as well. Below, I’ve taken a macro shot of a few business cards near the edge of my desk. In the background, we can see a very blurry Nashville skyline. Although business cards are small objects, in this photo, they are as big as the city itself. By using a macro shot, I have created an artistic setting that the viewer may interpret in a variety of different ways.


Macro shots are also used to capture fine features and textures–beautiful, artistic details that are often overlooked but provoke many creative ideas and analogies. I’ve taken a picture of the couch in our office to demonstrate how macro shots are not only aesthetically pleasing, but can also make every day objects interesting and thought provoking.


Diversity in shot distances creates a balanced video or photography portfolio that engages viewers and forces them to think. Whether your subject is a person or an object, using different shot distances will allow you to capture enough context and details to tell an interesting and captivating story.

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