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Photo Quest March 2020: Macro & Close-Up

Spring in Southern California, with its blooms of wildflowers, bushes and shrubs alike, with morning dew on fresh growth and if we’re lucky a bit of rain as well, is a great time to make macro & close-up photos. And if the weather is really too bad to be outside, you can explore the details of everyday objects inside your house – or whatever you want to inspect up close with the camera for our March 2020 photo quest:

Macro & Close-Up

As a general guideline for this particular topic – if you think you’re close, get closer! 😀 Macro & close-up photography is not meant to result in still life images or portraits of an apple. If you think apple, think of the texture on the skin of the apple. That’s how close you want to get. The same goes for any other subjects that you might want to explore up close. It’s not the pennies on your desk. It’s the scratches in the metal of the coins. You get the idea!


You have a number of options for getting really close. It doesn’t have to be an expensive macro lens – but if you do have one, manually focus it to its minimum distance and then move in to your subject. You’ll be surprised how close you can get! Other gear: use a retro adapter to mount a prime lens reversed for incredible close-ups. Close-up filters (really lenses) that attach to the filter ring of a standard lens or even a cellphone are another option. Last not least, extension tubes increase the distance between the lens mount and the lens, allowing you to focus (much) closer – turning every normal lens into a macro lens (at the expense of focusing at infinity). Some of these techniques can be combined too, of course: stacking a macro lens with a reversed prime will result in magnifications far beyond 1:1.


  • Make a new photo for the quest – no digging in the archives! Get out with the camera!
  • Your photo must be made between now and March 31st, 2020
  • This is a members only activity (a link to submit your photo will be in your email inbox)
  • Only one submission per member, please
  • Give your submission a descriptive filename and/or add add title & caption via IPTC fields
  • Color, black & white, DSLR, mirrorless, phone… doesn’t matter, but please…
  • no digital art/compositing

We expect technically solid photographic work without obvious flaws (take care of accurate focus, proper exposure, balanced composition, keep your work free from digital processing artifacts like halos, sensor dust, etc.).

As usual, this is not a competition. From your submissions though, our curator (chair Alexander S. Kunz) will hand-pick up to three photos that interpret the theme best. The better the expression of the theme in your photo, the higher is the chance that it will be featured as an “Editor’s Pick” at our meeting the following month.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask – simply leave a comment below, or ask in our member forum. Last not least – this theme may or may not coincide with our March 2020 activity, where we’ll go out for a short nature walk at Lake Hodges. 😉

“Raindrops on Agave”, 3rd place in the 2019 club-internal contest, “Macro” category.

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