Photographers might be struggling with coming up with interesting photography ideas when cooped up at home to stay safe from COVID-19 or because the weather is bad. In this 7.5-minute video, Photographer Spencer Cox shows that great photos can still be made despite these challenges.
Cox came up with five macro ideas that you can try at home that do not require any special equipment and use common household items. He says that in order to try any of these shots, all you’ll need is a tripod, an off-camera flash, and a backdrop – a shirt can work for the latter if you don’t have a dedicated backdrop.
“One of the biggest strengths of macro and close-up photography is that you can do it anywhere, including in your home, and get amazing results,” Spencer says. “Even kit lenses tend to have pretty decent maximum magnifications around 1:4 or so, which is enough to take great pictures of most of these subjects.”
The first idea that Cox demonstrates involves using a CD and a spray bottle. By playing with the angle light hits the CD and the water droplets, you can get some really interesting results.
The next photo involves creating clear ice – conventional ice from your freezer might not be particularly photogenic – which Cox shows how to make in the video above. Once you have done so, Cox suggests shooting the ice by lighting it from below. You can get different results depending on the shards of ice you use, but this is what he was able to create by focusing on the ice crystals:
Cox’s next idea involves capturing a water dropplet falling into a pool the moment before they disappear. While there are tools that exist specifically to do this perfectly every time, you can still get great shots if you time them properly. For his example, Cox shows what he was able to capture using food coloring droplets.
The fourth idea Cox suggests is photographing oil on the surface of water. Cox says that the results can look like you’re shooting something on another planet, and while the setup is a bit more complicated than what he has shown thus far, it still doesn’t’ require any special equipment other than what you can likely find in your home:
Cox’s last idea goes back to something more straightforward and involves dropping fruit into water. It’s a classic advertising shot that you will still see employed today to advertise fruit-flavored liquids. It involves the same general process as the water droplets example, but this time you have to try and time the fruit as it falls.
“I also recommend searching around and coming up with your own ideas for this type of photography,” Cox says. “With some creativity, there’s really no limit to what you can photograph.”