Taking great close-up photos is much easier than you think. Based on the multitude of blurry detail pictures I've seen on ebay and craigslist, it must be a skill many don't possess. With these skills I've become that guyat work they come to when someone needs a good picture.

(This is an entry in the photo contest, so please vote if you like it!)

Note (10/29/09) - Thanks to everyone who voted for this!  Your participation is appreciated.

Step 1: Executive Summary

I'm going to start with the executive summary instructions for those who don't want a big explanation, then go into the how and why of it all for those who do.

Set the focus to macro mode, turn off the flash, and set the timer.
Set up the camera on a tripod, or on a table so it won't move.
Place the object to be photographed in front of it.
Press the shutter button and take your hand off the camera.

That's all there is to it. If you want more of an explanation, read on, if not I hope this helps you.
You can use the narrow depth of focus to your advantage. Pair it with close cropping to create layered, dynamic compositions. :)
<p>Good instructable. I've just done a photography course to learn what sort of 'decent' DSLR I should buy. However I also discovered things my 10 year old and very basic Fuji Finepix camera could do that I never knew about. These included exposure compensation, white balance and bracketing. I suggest people read their camera handbooks, set to Manual and try different settings - the results will surprise you. </p>
<p>Great Instructable. If you do much of this kind of stuff, invest in a cheap mini tripod. It frees you from the tabletop and lets you take overhead and other interesting angles. Ditto the light box. A cheap white styrofoam cooler (usually) has soft, rounded internal corners so no sharp lines in the background. You can even shine light through the styrofoam for a great diffused look. Don't forget color. A few colored LEDs can add an element of mystery or glamour, little pinpoints reflecting off the shiny parts. Finally, you might experiment with a dark colored backbround (velvet?) for light colored objects.</p>
<p>Had a funky keyboard at work that quit working. Put it in the top shelf of the dishwasher then put face down on my workbench for a couple of days to let all the moisture evaporate and it worked fine afterwards. </p>
I always wanted to know this simple trick :). Thank you for sharing your awesomeness :)
can i use the same trick with my smartphone?
Yes, to a limited extent. My phone (iphone 4) can't focus closer than about 4&quot; away, and even then it can be kind of grainy compared with a the regular camera. However, the same basic principles apply. Keep everything still, minimize camera movement and good lighting.<br><br>Also, most phones have tiny lenses and sensors compared with almost all point n shoot cameras. There are macro and zoom lenses you can get for smart phones that range from cases with built-in lenses to ones held on with rubber bands. I've never tried either so I can't say.<br><br>That said, you would be the best person to answer this question! Try the process with your phone and see how the pictures turn out!<br><br>Good luck..<br>
thanxa bunch really its the quickest and deatailed answer ill try it out and let every one know
Thank you! I have been using the same camera while traveling, and it's been hard to take good pictures of stuff up close. This is soooo helpful!
thank you this was very helpful :)
Thank you! I've learned something I didn't know and have needed!
I think for macro photos that small fruit like blueberries and strawberries work and they look cool. If you decide to do this, I recommend using a background of the same or similar color, and bright lighting. It turns out really neat!
I also forgot to mention that your coin idea is awesome and I'm going to try it at home!
how do you make the coin stand ?
In that picture i used a push pin into the corkboard. Look close and you'll see the yellow pin behind it.
This instructable changed my photo taking life. It's all so incredibly simple, but something I just didn't previously understand. Thank you.
great dude....its much helpful.....thanks a lot...@@@<br>
I am learning how to take images of the jewelry I make; which can be rather small. Great details. I would like more details from AMmunish4u911ex if he gets the chance. <br><br>Some jewelry makers pay a pro to take their photos but I want to do that myself.
Lighting is very important with jewelry, if the light is too &quot;yellow&quot; silver pieces look like gold in the shots. I had an older friend who owned his own knife shop and had a forge and a bunch of other gear and made his own damascus style steel for his blades that he sold to tourists coming through Juneau, Alaska. The trick was he also included a small brochure about the process and a website address where he sold his knives, I was kind of amazed at the number of people who buy knives for their loved ones for birthdays and holidays. Anyways, it took us a while to find &quot;white&quot; lights that didn't color the photos in weird ways.<br><br>Also get yourself a light box or build one yourself on the cheap. You need soft lighting for shiny objects so you don't get hotspots on them from your lighting. It's fun though, once you get everything you need some of the macro shots we took came out looking amazing.
point and shoot awesomeness
Wher has that keyboard been?
it's been EVERYWHERE!!!!<br><br>That's a very old microsoft &quot;natural elite&quot; keyboard that's curved and split in the middle. It has outlasted It's great if you know how to type the &quot;correct&quot; way. If you hunt n peck, it's not for you. i work in a shop, so my hands get greasy. that's genuine shop grease, not human filth.<br><br>vince<br><br>
Thanks. This simple instructables has changed my closeup photos . I never took a picture before that was suitable for an instructable.
Thanks for the tips, <br>I felt like a little play with the camera today.<br>I thought i would post the image . fingers crossed it will upload. <br><br>Rated 5, Cheers.
Check out my new instructable: <br>http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-DIY-tattoo-machine-for-less-than-2-/
Great&nbsp;Instructable, I'll use this method when taking pics for my next project! 5/5 stars!<br> <br> But... Eww! Your keyboard makes me want to throw up!
Woah! After I rated, the rating went up to 5.00 stars! I didn't know that was possible on Instructables!
Actually I think it's just a change in the rating system; I've noticed a lot of Instructables with unusually high ratings by the old standard.
Thanks for the rating.<br><br>That is a very well used keyboard. Many, many years of shop grime and grease on that. I'm a hands on person and it shows there! The palm rest area is polished to a high sheen compared with the matte finish on the rest of it.<br><br>Vince
Oh, okay, knowing that that's shop grime makes me feel better. One of the keyboards in the library of my school likes like that, and it's disgusting knowing that the only source of filth there is the people's hands...
here you go&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Memorex-10OZ-152A-DUSTER-32028021/dp/B0007YZTSC">http://www.amazon.com/Memorex-10OZ-152A-DUSTER-32028021/dp/B0007YZTSC</a><br>
I don't think that would work, looks like he needs a Magic Eraser!
what works really well is to take off all the keys the put them in a bowl of soapy water and rub the dirt off each one. as for the board you can just spray it down with a hose, but you have to make sure it dries COMPLETELY before you use it, a week or so should be enough.
I once had the same camera. But then i got the great idea to film my brother riding his scooter down a hill by following him using my old &quot;heelys&quot; (shoes with wheels in the heel) and filming at the same time. Needless to say the lens was all bent up, and it was totalled. The best part was that it filmed the crash, and I managed to get it on the computer.<br /> <br /> I regret nothing.<br />
Where can i see that video???
Thanks for your instructable, looks cool
Nice heavy-duty tool...<br>I wonder what and how many things I could make a hole on...
Evidently the SD card in may camera was bad, took it out, and the camera no functions as it should. Fist attempt as using the macro function free hand with flash of that removed SD card, second of a minimag belt holster.
Minimags ftw :D
I think he took a photograph of a picture of his camera.
and thank you fro a real answer! You win sir
Thanks for this great Instructable! Well written, thanks again, very useful.
i love the powershot line i do this all the time with them(i have a 720 is) <br>ill post some of my nicer ones when i can find them
Thumb tacks, awesome idea!<br>Hadn't thought of that!<br>Thanks bud :)
and here is my try: www.makroshots.com :) photos taken with sony ericsson C902 + dvd lens.. <br />
scan and crop the pics from the camera box or phamlets or from internet of course.<br />
You dont need no expensive cameras!!! just have a look at the pics I took with my sony ericsson k310i camera (VGA!) &amp; using a tiny lens from a laser pointer:<br/><br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://picasaweb.google.co.in/munish4u911ex/MyMicroscope">http://picasaweb.google.co.in/munish4u911ex/MyMicroscope</a><br/>
Do you have an instructable to show us the lens and setup?<br /> <br /> Awesome photos!
Hi rustygray, thanks for watching the pics. Unfortunately I do not have a instructable for it now, since it was not really some special setup but i accidentally fitted the <a href="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_Njeu3g-Ugm0/Sg2O4cz1Q7I/AAAAAAAAAIY/OeGzty2xnlg/s800/SIM06.JPG">lens</a> on the <a href="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_Njeu3g-Ugm0/SuFoV-H6WVI/AAAAAAAABDw/pDOVvdmPRis/s800/k310i.jpg"> K310i</a>. But now I'm thinking to write one! <br /> <br /> The lens was around 5 or 6 mm in width &amp; fits almost nicely on the phone. The K310i's camera is a little deeper than the rest of the body so it provides the space for the lens to fit. I took it out from an old, 3button cell run, laser pointer. I think it's focal length might be 4 or 5 mm. It has both sides convex, but one side has a little more curvature. Only from one side the pics look uniform, if you try to see through the other side, image is somewhat blurred at the periphery (the 'zoom into' effect)<br /> <br /> For now, I have lost the lens somewhere... But I'll do more experiments on this concept &amp; will surely post an instructable. Might have to buy a new laser pointer :P<br />

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