iPhone macro photography. A human eye.

iPhone macro photography. A human eye. Photo: Karleen Minney

I'm having so much fun with my iPhone right now I just needed to share. One word - macro. Macro photography is the shooting of things very close up, not through the use of a zoom but by physically getting very close to your image. Todays' technology makes art happen in the palm of your hand. Stuff you might even want to hang on a wall.

Go go gadget. I recently spent $20 on a photography gadget that opened my eyes to a whole world of teeny-tiny things. It's a magnetic lens for my iPhone that doubles as both a fish-eye and has a macro component. It allows extreme close-up photography, of the very tiniest of subjects and the big advantage is that it is with me all the time. Compared to my regular kit, it's also lightweight and easy to manoeuver into tight spaces and allows a free hand to use to stabilize a flower, herd an ant or chase a cricket back into shot.

Become a contortionist. Did you recently see someone hunched up in an urban drain like a discarded scrunchie? That was me. Shooting those ants. Blocking your light source is so easy to do when your hand and phone are a thousand times bigger than your subject - not to mention your whole body. So you have to remember to position yourself in an awkward, out-of-the-way position to let the sun shine in.

iPhone macro photography. The eye of a bearded dragon. Click for more photos

Macro photography taken with an iPhone

iPhone macro photography. The eye of a bearded dragon. Photo: Karleen Minney

Watch your back. The ingredients of a successful photo are focus, light, composition, the ''rule of thirds'' and a subject that stands out. More so when you shoot at this distance. With a macro lens your subject will certainly stand out and the background will quickly drop out of focus producing a definite and beautiful bokeh effect. Don't forget to look at your background, too, and compose for maximum effect.

The angle of the dangle matters. With the shallow depth of field produced with this little beauty, you will notice that altering the angle of your phone ever-so-slightly will dramatically change your photo. Tap the screen where you want to get the crispest focus and experiment with your angles for varied options of the same subject.

No heavy breathing. The slightest motion when things are magnified this way is massive in terms of focus and composition. Like a sniper or a hit-man I find I need to hold my breath so my own breathing doesn't create movement - it's not long but it does seem to transfer a stillness to my images.

Take out your earbuds. Did you know your Apple earphones can double as a remote shutter button? Great for macros or low light situations because you can reduce camera shake dramatically. Just click the + (volume up) button.

Come closer, my pretties. If you're anything like me, your first few photos may come out blurry. A problem that was solved when I simply got closer. These amazing little lenses will take you closer than you expect and only record the sharpest of detail when you get right in there.

Apps can help. If you need an app to get more out of your new gadget the Camera Awesome app has a "Fast Burst" option that comes in very handy for things that fly, jump slither or crawl. You can also lock in the focus - sometimes good, sometimes a hindrance. Photoshop for iPhones is basic but a great help in getting a balance of colour or further crops done with a simple screen swipe. Snapseed (Android or iOS) is a very popular app allowing after shooting correction. But the fun is in the experimenting 'til you it get it right first time .

Free features rock. Use your HDR mode in camera settings. The camera will make two images, one normal and one HDR. HDR works by taking multiple images and through software processing combining them - the highlights and lowlights are levelled and in some cases can create sharper looking images.

Keep working at it. It will hardly seem like work but the more you shoot the ''insignificant'' things you notice the more fun you'll have.

Karleen Minney is photographic editor of The Canberra Times.