Formally known as photomacrography, macro photography is defined as extreme close-up photography, mostly of very tiny subjects such as insect eyes, dandelion seeds and snowflake. Typically, the size of the subject on the image sensor or negative is greater than life size.
In today’s digital era, macro photographs are defined as photos whose subject has a vertical height of 24 mm or less. Photomacrographs emphasize pattern, texture and intricate details of the subject that cannot be seen with the naked eye and they are typically taken using a lens at its maximum reproduction ratio, which rarely exceeds 1:1.
The reproduction ratio represents the ratio of the subject size on the sensor or film plane to the actual subject size. Reproduction ratios which are greater than 1:1 are known as photomicrography and they can be achieved with the aid of a digital microscope that uses optics as well as a charge-coupled device camera in order to output a digital image to a computer monitor.