A new month and a new quarter! Somehow, Q4 has arrived and with it a fresh new challenge for October.

But first, thanks to everyone who submitted photos for September's “Animals” theme! We LOVED reviewing all of your photos! Scroll down or jump to view this month's shortlist and vote for a winner.

Now it's time to introduce October's theme: "Zoom".

That's right, this month we’re talking about paying attention to the details and zooming in on a subject! Whether you’re a macro master or are just getting started with some close-ups and creative cropping - this is a challenge everyone can enjoy!

For those of you who are new to this style of photography, you might be wondering what the difference is between zooming in and taking ‘macro’ or ‘micro’ shots? In a nutshell, they’re all techniques that achieve a similar effect - to make something tiny look really big!

However, straight-forward zooming in doesn’t always capture the crispness of the super-fine details - think snails' eyeballs and hairs on spiders! As for ‘Macro’ v.s. ‘Micro’ - I believe they’re just different terms for Canon and Nikon SLR lenses (respectively).

There will be hundreds of tutorials on YouTube for how to use different smartphones, DSLRs, and lenses, but to get you all started, we’re sharing five top tips for perfect photos that get up close:

1. You don’t need to leave the house to find cool subjects!

While many photographers fall in love with macro photography in their backyard (flowers, insects and water droplets are all amazing subjects to play with) there is just as much fun to be had indoors!

Toolboxes, sewing kits and the kitchen, in general, is usually a macro paradise - try experimenting with fruit and veg, herbs and spices, utensils or knick-knacks on shelves. For this cool shot, @pcoulson found inspiration in his wife's tapestry wool!


2. Get steady.

When getting up close to a subject, the tiniest of movements will be exaggerated in your shots. Where possible use a tripod or rest your camera on something sturdy.

We love how @kvphoto has caught a behind the scenes look at a macro shoot in progress!


3. Experiment with depth of field.

Create drama and contrast by making your subject pop against fuzzy surroundings. This is most often achieved by selectively focusing on a feature and adjusting your aperture settings - but be patient as you might need to tweak your shutter speeds to let more/less light in. We love this magical shot by @mzzhope.



4. Try moving your subject, not the camera.

Of course, this depends on whether you’re shooting flying insects or a piece of broccoli. But, if you can create a setup, like @mona65, which allows you to move your subject, it’ll make all the fine-tuning of your camera worthwhile - without having to adjust and change it every time you move.


5. Play with composition and focal points.

While it’s important to make sure you have lots of space around the focal point, try playing with your Rule of Thirds composition, or even the angle and location of the focal point on the object. You’ll most likely achieve more abstract shots and surprise yourself with the outcomes.

We love this unique perspective of a lily by @fr1da.


Whatever you decide to get close to - have fun and play! Experimentation and pushing comfort zones make for some of the most rewarding photography projects.

We can’t wait to check out your entries!

How to enter this month’s theme

When uploading your photos use the tag section (on the edit/organise screen) and insert this week's theme tag: theme-zoom.

Entry Guidelines: Photos must be your own and must have been taken and uploaded between Friday, October 1st and Sunday, October 31st. 6 finalists will be chosen in the first couple of days in November, then you'll get to vote for the winner!

p.s. Don't worry if you spot some tagged photos from a previous theme, when choosing our six finalists we'll use a special algorithm to only filter the images from October 2021.

Vote for a Winner of September's "Animals" Theme

It's no secret that September's theme was one of my annual favourites! And you folks did not disappoint, I loved reviewing your "Animals" entries! It was almost impossible to choose only 6 finalists, but now it's over to you to vote for the winner of the “Animals” theme.

To cast your vote, simply reply to this blog post with the number (in digit form) of the photo you would like to see win, before September 14th. We’ll announce the winner in a separate post shortly after!











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