The Difference Between Micro Photography and Close Up Photography

There are several important differences between micro and close-up photography. The first difference is the type of lens that is used.

What is Micro Photography?

Micro photography is usually taken with a macro lens. A macro lens should be capable of achieving 1:1 magnification. Remember, not all cameras that have “macro” written on them have true macro lenses. Close-up photography, however, can be photographed using any lens.

One way to tell the difference between these two photography styles is by looking at the photos. Micro photography involves taking photos of small objects, making them look big.  

What is Close-up Photography?

Close-up photography involves taking photos of objects of any size in close range so that they fill the frame. Sometimes, macro photography falls in the category of close-up photography also. Close-up photography doesn’t always fall in the category of micro photography, however.

Micro photography uses much greater detail than close up photography, making small things appear life size. For example, the veins in an insect’s wings or the hairs on a spider’s legs. Micro photography also allows for greater magnification, one of the reasons that it is used to photograph small objects, such as insects.

Close-up photography usually doesn’t have magnification as strong, nor as much detail, and is sometimes a bit blurry. Close-up photography usually isn’t taken as close as micro photography. The reason for this being that only a certain amount of detail can be obtained from a certain distance. Fish eye lenses are also used sometimes when taking close-up photography, whereas micro photography almost never uses fish eye lenses. Close-up photography also usually doesn’t fit the entire subject in the frame. It is usually a close-up section of a larger object. Micro photography usually incorporates the entire subject in the frame.