And it’s time for one of my favorite terms in the ABCs of Photography series – M is for Macro! I have enjoyed macro photography for a long time. Plants, bugs, and other small items can be really neat to see larger than life. Or, if you’re a kid at heart, legos.
That’s why I picked this stock image for today’s post — I have always loved building with legos, and thought it was neat that they made a camera lego piece for the lego people (saving you the trouble of looking — find it on Amazon.com as black camera #3 lego piece #afflink). While I was sidetracked getting that link for you, I also remembered that someone made a (working) 8MB Lego Camera #afflink — it actually will take about 80 pictures. Somewhat impractical, but fun for any Lego geeks to contemplate getting for their kids.
Macro can be used as a noun (type of lens) and an adjective (style of photography). Dictionary.com defines each as follows:
n. a lens used to bring into focus objects very close to the camera.
The British dictionary is even more specific, stating that the macro lens is used for photographing things
macro bug pictures, including a praying mantis)Here’s a macro image I created of a katydid (see more
If you have a point and shoot camera, you’ll probably recognize the macro setting as the little flower that vaguely resembles the Super Mario fire flower. Turn on that setting, and your camera will try to focus on things that are really close up to create macro pictures.
Macro photographs don’t have to be identifiable, either. You can make them as abstract as you like. Here’s one I created a while back (find out what I photographed).
Okay, now that the term macro has been explained, let’s move onto how to incorporate macro into an activity. The concept of Macro can be taught to kids in several ways. Since my four year old prefers hands-on activities, I’m not providing any printables or such. Instead, consider these two options:
- Macro Scavenger Hunt
- Macro Matching Game
Macro Scavenger Hunt
Depending on the age of your kids, you can either hand them a camera and turn them loose to find things. This is basically a more specialized version of my photo scavenger hunt — you’ll be looking for anything that you can photograph up close and personal. Bugs, plants, rocks …might be subjects for an outdoor macro scavenger hunt, whereas colanders,, seat cushions, staplers, and bobby pins could be photographed indoors.
Take this a step further by playing a game afterwards with the abstract pictures. Try to guess what each is; you’d be surprised how difficult some things are (check of these fine art abstractions).
Macro Matching Game
Again, you’ll want the camera handy. Or some existing pictures. Photograph a number of objects both normally and macro. Then, print them out, and try to pair the macro images with their proper pictures. Or, you could just print out the macro pictures, and have the items you photographed laid out on the counter — let the kids play detective and try to figure out which picture goes with which object.
The possibilities are endless.
Do you have any ideas for helping kids learn about macro? I’d love to hear them in the comments below. Also, Make sure to check back next week for the next post, where I’ll share an activity for the letter N. You might also enjoy revisiting last week’s activity where we learned about how lenses work.
Join Betsy as she works through the alphabet in this educational series for kids… The ABCs of Photography! We’ll cover topics from A to Z, with activity ideas for both younger and older kids
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