How to Photograph Jewelry: An In-Depth Guide

Successfully selling a product relies heavily on good product photography. If you can’t showcase your product well, it will prove difficult to shift. Jewelry photos are infamously difficult to capture. Beautiful jewelry can look terrible if you use the wrong light, camera or lens.

Even hours of trial and error might not be enough if you don’t know what you’re doing. This page outlines the fundamentals of how to photograph jewelry. We’ll walk you through lighting setup, post processing and everything in between to help you make sure you get the best final image of your product.

The better you capture the beauty of your jewelry, the easier it will be to sell! We also touch on how to take great jewelry photographs at home.

how to photograph jewelry

How to photograph jewelry at home


This is perhaps the most important element of any image, regardless of your subject. When it comes to photographing jewelry, you’ll have myriad challenges with shadows and reflection. Each jewelry product comes with its own unique set of curves and reflective surfaces. You’ll have to spend some time getting used to the piece in question.

It’s important to use plenty of light when capturing jewelry images. Natural light that’s diffused and soft can work well, but is far from practical in many indoor settings.

A bright, large softbox is the best way to go when shooting jewelry indoors. They keep everything brightly lit without throwing up crazy reflections. The keywords to remember are soft and indirect. Direct light is your enemy with jewelry photography.

If you’re on a budget, a bare bulb shielded by a sheet of white paper can be a great source of soft, indirect light.

The position of your lighting setup will be determined by the jewelry piece in question and the number of light sources you’re using. Experiment with positioning your light overhead and directly to the side until you find the appropriate fit for your product.

Necklaces Vs Rings

Your approach to your photos and setup will change depending on whether you’re capturing a necklace, a ring or a different piece altogether. The reflections, shadows and composition all change each time.

Using a reflector and a black or white card will help keep unwanted reflections at bay. These can be bought professionally or made at home with sheets of card and tin foil. A closely considered home setup can still produce excellent shots.

If you’ve got great lighting, a good tripod and decent reflectors, it’s even possible to get great photos with an iPhone at home! Using an appropriate background is also important. A simple, plain background is best.


When you photograph jewelry, it’s important to know how best to showcase your product. The position of your jewelry in the frame and your camera’s angle are the main things to consider.

You may want to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you photographing a single piece or multiple pieces?
  • Are there particular colors you would like to draw focus to?
  • Which areas of your jewelry are the brightest and most eye-catching?
  • Which shapes and lines for the product are the most important to capture?

The answers to these questions will determine your approach to composition. For single pieces, it’s probably best to keep it simple and center your ring or necklace in the frame. For multiple pieces, following the rule of thirds will help you.

Consider your image as consisting of nine separate sections. Experiment with how your subject is balanced across these sections to produce a stunning photo. The angle of your camera will change the shapes and lines captured in your photo. An overhead shot might capture the overall shape of a piece but lack the depth you need.

A side-on shot might capture some interesting lines, but lose the overall impression of the piece. Experiment with your camera angle until you have the perfect shot for your product.

A good post production tip is to use the “Unsharp Mask” feature in photoshop. This can sharpen up your image when you need that extra boost.

Choosing a Background

jewelry sparkle

A loud, busy background is the last thing you want for this kind of photography. Rings and necklaces are full of intricate details that take a lot of work to capture properly. A loud background will only distract from this. Simple, block colors are usually best. Even a sheet of paper can do the trick.

Consider the colour palette of your pieces and choose a tone that will compliment it well. Would a white background work, or would something darker be better? You want your photography to celebrate your subject, so it’s important to pick a background that supports your work rather than distracts from it.

How to Make Jewelry Sparkle

If you get your setup perfect, it will be much easier to capture a natural sparkle in your pieces. Use our tips above for lighting, background and composition to get the image you’re looking for. Thoroughly cleaning each product before your shoot will also work.

A non-abrasive, cleansing solution can be used to get your jewelry photography ready. A little buffing with a microfiber cloth can really boost your images. The last thing you want in post production is to find smudges and smears across a necklace or ring. For some images, a white background may blow out the sparkle in your image.

Consider these tips on a case by case basis.

Which Camera is Best for Jewelry Photography?

There’s plenty to consider before buying a new camera for jewelry photography. In many ways, your lighting and camera lens are far more important. However, a larger, more versatile camera will give you the flexibility to play around with multiple lenses. A more adaptable model will also give you more freedom to play around in the studio.

For something as tricky as photographing jewelry, increased wiggle room can be a godsend.

Canon EOS 70D DSLR

It’s not the only option out there, but we think this is a great camera for versatile jewelry images. The EOS 70D is compatible with the full line of Canon EF and EF-S lenses, which should be more than enough to produce stunning product photography.

The intelligent auto mode, powerful manual control mode and smart viewfinder make this a handy piece of kit.

Which Lenses Are Best for Jewelry Photography?

The nature of this kind of photography means you should be using a macro lens. This will be far more forgiving when getting up close and personal to your subject. Some options are a bit on the pricey side, but if you’re photographing jewelry, they’re practically essential.

Luckily, there’s plenty of good macro products out there. Just make sure the lens you’re considering is compatible with your sensor and camera.

Canon EF 100mm

This is a stunning macro lens for close-up product photography. The inner-focusing system and full-manual settings give you ultimate control over your images. One thing you’ll need to consider for this type of photography is image blur. The image stabilization that comes with this model should help out a great deal.


If you’re working on a budget, this is a great option. This is a perfectly capable lens, especially considering the price point. The optical image stabilization and excellent close-up focus will elevate your jewelry photography. This model is particularly good at producing beautiful bokeh shots.

Camera Settings

There’s plenty to tinker with when getting great product photos of jewelry. The intricate details of rings and necklaces can make it difficult to find the appropriate depth of field. Another challenge, and one of the most important things to consider in this genre of photography, is your white balance.

jewelry photographs

White Balance

One of the most common challenges with jewelry photography is the images coming out with an orange hue. This is caused by the white balance setting on the camera fighting against natural and artificial light. As a general rule, daylight comes with a naturally blue hue and light from bulbs appears as orange.

The white balance setting on a camera is designed to “guess” the correct color when capturing a photograph. If it’s grappling with both natural and artificial light, excessively blue or orange product images are the result. It’s best to set your white balance manually to get the image right.

Experiment with your camera settings until you’re happy with the image.


Getting the right focus for shooting this kind of product can be tricky, especially when you’re not using a macro lens. No matter what equipment you’re using, you should get as close as you can to your subject while maintaining focus. Using enough light will go a long way here.

Once you’ve got at least one good photo with your whole product in focus, feel free to play around with focusing in on one spot in particular.


If you want more control over the focus for your photos, tweaking the aperture will help you. The higher your aperture number, the more of your subject will be in focus. This will let in less light, however, so it’s necessary to experiment and find a good compromise for each photo.


Photographing jewelry demands a bright lighting setup. As you’ll be working with a lot of light in your studio, it’s best to set your ISO to a lower setting. This makes your equipment less sensitive to light and will likely aid the look of your image.

More Recommended Accessories

Using the right kit will make shooting a whole lot easier. You want your images to look great, so it’s important to use the right tools. Consider the following accessories when working:

  • A tripod. Camera shake is one of your biggest enemies for this kind of work. Using a tripod will keep your camera steady and eliminate unwanted blur and noise.
  • A Lightbox. Lighting is probably the most important factor for any kind of photography. Use a lightbox to get soft, indirect light for your images.
  • A remote shutter release. To further reduce the risk of noise in your images, use a remote control to take the shot.
  • A stable surface like a table. It’s a simple one, but it’s important. A flat, steady surface for your jewelry is essential for crisp images.
  • Firm paper or foam boards. You can use these to block unwanted reflections from ruining your work.
  • Holders and props. These can prop your necklace or ring upright for the perfect composition.


It can be hard to find the desired look when capturing a necklace or similar jewelry. Photographing any subject comes with its own set of challenges. We hope you’re able to use the tips on this page to improve your work. If you only remember two words from this article, let them be lighting and macro.

Eliminating shadows and reflection, and maintaining close-up focus, are the two biggest challenges with this type of work. Soft, diffused light and a good macro lens are what you need.

Whatever your setup and experience level, we wish you luck!

Telephoto vs Macro Lens: Which To Use When

Macro photography and close up photography have become synonymous when discussing photos taken very close to the subject. While this is a convenient shorthand, a true macro photograph is one that was captured with a reproduction ratio of at least 1:1. This is sometimes described as 1 magnification.

So, a 1-inch flower would appear as at least 1-inch in size on the sensor of your camera. A macro lens lets photographers get extra close to their subject while maintaining a sharp focus. The resulting image can reveal small wonders that usually go unnoticed by the naked eye.

Close up shots are becoming increasingly popular, and a growing number of new photographers are wondering how to get macro results without splashing out on a new close-focusing macro lens. The best solution is using equipment that you already own.

Telephoto lenses are a common component of many kits and can be used to achieve the zoom necessary for imitating macro photography. Depending on your camera sensor, you may even be able to reproduce at a 1:1 ratio.

As a general rule, however, the larger magnification distances that come with these lenses mean that your ratio is likely to be less than true macro lenses.

Your focal length and image quality may change, but a telephoto lens can be a great option for getting stunning images of small objects with your camera.

Sony Alpha 70-350mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS Super-Telephoto APS-C Lens

Telephoto Lens Advantages and Uses

Taking a macro photo with a telephoto setup comes with a few distinct advantages. The most obvious of which is that many people already own one. Instead of having to buy new cameras and lenses, you can save a lot of money on your image if you use the gear you already own.

The next thing to mention, is that this type of lens comes with an increased working distance. This flexibility is where most of the telephoto benefits come from. When you use a telephoto setup to take macro images, you can take your shot from comparatively far away by using your available zoom.

The increased wiggle room with these lenses means you’re far less likely to bump into, or even scare away your subject. Let’s say you’re trying to capture a beautiful macro image of a ladybird on a flower. If you use a macro lens for this, your focal length means you’ll have to get very close to your subject. This could scare the ladybird away!

With a telephoto lens on your camera, you’ll be close enough to get the shot, but far away enough to stay hidden and leave your subject undisturbed. This increased minimum focusing distance also makes it much less likely that your camera will cast a shadow and ruin your photo.

It will be easier to frame your shot with a telephoto lens. As most lenses of this kind are able to zoom very well, it’s much less hassle to set up your image. These lenses have a better depth of field for this type of work. In certain contexts, this can allow for more flexibility when getting the right focus for your subject.

There are some great telephoto offerings out there from the likes of Olympus, Canon, and Nikon. Make sure the products that you’re considering are compatible with your gear and meet your requirements. The last thing you want to do is waste money on equipment you can’t even use!

Macro Lens Advantages and Uses

When it comes to maintaining a sharp focus at close range, your best option might be a macro lens. Nothing takes a macro image quite like a lens purpose-built for the job. These components add an unparalleled level of crispness and quality to your gear. If this matters to you, use a macro lens.

An f 2.8 macro option will offer an image resolution that’s great for most purposes. Where these lenses really shine though is with their f 4 and f 5.6 variants. These options offer phenomenal levels of quality for both professionals and enthusiasts. If you’re just starting out, an f 2.8 lens will save you money and still add tonnes of value to your gear.

The aperture that comes with your average macro lens means they’re more versatile than you might think. If you adjust to a broader focus, you’ll be able to capture excellent wildlife or sports shots. While it’s not the first thing that springs to mind with macro lenses, you can take some great wide-angle shots if you know what you’re doing.

If portrait or food photography is more your speed, then a macro lens can be a great choice. Their depth of field and ability focus at very close distances allow them to capture crisp, detailed shots of most things you throw at them. If you’re new to the field and looking to buy, a prime lens is the type to look for. Read our guide on everything macro to learn why.

Just so you know, the Canon ef series has some excellent lenses in a 100mm macro f 2.8 format. 150mm variants are available from the likes of Nikon, Sony, and Olympus.

Using a Telephoto Lens for a Macro Effect

So how do you get good close up images with a telephoto lens? There are quite a few obstacles when venturing into this type of camera work, so it’s definitely good to read up and come prepared.

One of your biggest challenges will be camera shake. As the approach here is to zoom in very close to the subject, even the tiniest nudge or change can cause your camera to move around too much. Use a tripod setup that uses a collar to firmly hold your device in place while you shoot.

It’s also worth picking up an IR shutter release. This way, you can keep your hands away from your camera once you’ve found the right zoom level. The less movement involved with your process, the easier it will be to maintain focus and get a crisp photo of your subject.

Use small aperture settings. When aiming for macro results with telephoto lenses, we’re dealing with excessive focal lengths and very close distances. This shrinks your depth of field way, way down. The right aperture setting will help with this.

Keep your sensor parallel to your subject if you want to maintain focus. Both your field of view and depth of view will likely be very small. For this reason, positioning your sensor correctly is very important.

If you want to give yourself a little more breathing room when shooting, consider picking up a teleconverter. This will allow you to stay the same distance from your subject while increasing your available focal length. This will add a welcome boost to your available magnification.

Keep in mind, that you’ll have to adjust your shutter speed and aperture settings if you add a teleconverter to your lens.

If your lens has the option, it’s time to switch to manual focus. You’ll need as much control over your shot as possible if you want the best results. This is one context where autofocus probably won’t cut it.



No matter which lens you choose, it’s possible to create stunning macro photos if you know what you’re doing. Macro lenses have a lot going for them, but a telephoto lens is no slouch either. If the tiny focal length of a macro lens is likely to cause issues for you, it might be worth looking elsewhere.

The increased distance that comes with cameras using a telephoto lens can be a breath of fresh air. If you’re constantly aiming your cameras at living, skittish subjects, a zoom or telephoto lens will help you avoid scaring them off. If you need your cameras to deliver unrivaled close-range focus and quality, a macro lens is the way to go.

Remember to use the right distance for your lens and keep camera shake to an absolute minimum. These are critical for macro photography regardless of your set up.

Whether Sony, Nikon, macro or telephoto, we hope this page helps you get the most out of your lens. The tips on this site are designed to make photography as accessible as possible for everyone. If you want to elevate your photo skills, then check out our other articles and guides. Feel free to contact us with any questions or article suggestions!

Why is it Called Macro Photography? Exploring the answer

When photographers take extreme close up photos of small objects, that’s macro photography. This is photography that makes very small things seem enormous. The art form has exploded in popularity over the past ten years as more and more people are able to see its stunning results online.

While describing macro photography as “close up photography” is certainly a great shorthand for describing the technique, it gets a little more complicated than that.

Technically speaking, true macro means the lens you’re using is capable of reproduction ratios of at least 1:1. So what on earth does that mean? A 1:1 reproduction ratio means that what you see on the camera sensor or film plate is at least the same size as the real-world subject.

It’s up to you as a photographer which subjects you choose for your macro photos. With the right camera and lens, you’ll be able to get close to the hidden, the minuscule, and bring focus to its beauty. Making the invisible seem life size is a tricky art, but with a little research, practice and the right macro lenses, your image quality will improve in no time.


Why is it Called Macro Photography?

In the normal world, the term “macro” is used to describe something in a larger scale. This is also true for photographers, but it gets a little complicated. Macro photography refers to photography that gives a large view of a small subject. The size and scale here refer to the type of photographs that macro lenses produce.

Your image will be a close, tight shot of usually one small subject. The result is an image where the size of your subject appears much larger than in real life. Hence, “macro” photography.

What’s the Difference Between Macro and Micro Photography?

So then what on earth is micro photography? How is it different from macro photographs? Can I still use macro lenses, or will I need a new camera lens altogether? A micro photograph is an image of a subject that cannot usually be seen with the naked eye.

Unlike true macro images, a micro image is produced by lenses that use a magnification ratio of at least 20:1. This means that what you see through your lens or on your sensor looks at least 20x larger than it does with the naked eye. Micro photography captures subjects that are “micro” -scopic.

So in short, you’ll definitely need different lenses to produce a micro image. A macro lens just won’t cut it!

How Does Macro Photography Work?

Magic. Just kidding, but sometimes it feels that way! Some photographers have been using a macro lens for years before they actually sit down to learn the science of a macro image. We outline the basics below.

The reason you can’t just grab any old digital or film camera, throw some lighting at something and produce a great macro photograph, is that the camera and lens just won’t be able to focus properly at such short range. A macro lens then, uses a focusing distance small enough to reproduce at a ratio of 1:1.

A macro lens uses a minimum focusing distance that can stay sharp when very close to its subject. Make sure you choose a macro lens with the right focal length.

Focal length varies greatly between cameras and from lens to lens. In the field of digital photography, it’s easy to get bogged down by technical terms and terminology. Non-macro cameras can still take stunning close up shots, they’re just technically only macro if this 1:1 ratio is used.

What Kind of Lenses do you Need for Macro Photography?

So we’ve learned that for great macro photographs, you need focal lengths that can hit that golden 1:1 ratio. So what makes a good macro lens? Are most macro lenses the same, or does one brand stand out from the rest? Canon? Nikon? Read on to learn more.


To cut to the chase, the macro lens you choose should use 1 magnification. This means you’ll get a magnification of at least 1.0x. Some lenses, like the Canon MP-E 65mm, offer a whopping 5.0x max magnification. It’s worth noting though, that this may be overkill for most photographers.

Some digital lenses are advertised as macro while only offering 0.5x magnification or less. These can still be great for close up photography, but if true macro is what you’re after then it’s best to keep looking. Even in perfect lighting conditions, these won’t focus in the way you’ll need them to.


Taking macro photos is often a handheld process. This means more vibration and less stable photographs overall. Plenty of modern digital lenses come with excellent image stabilization features. The Nikon AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR lens delivers great images with fantastic stabilization.

Focal Length

When you’re getting up close and personal with your subject, your requirements for focal length change. You don’t really need to cover wide angles or capture stunning landscapes in the field of macro photography. What’s important here, is your minimum focusing distance.

The longer this distance, the further away you’ll have to be from your subject, and vice versa. Choose a focal length that works for you. Your depth of field is the area just in front and behind the thing you’re taking photos of that can stay in sharp focus. Depth of field is affected by your focal length.

Think about the type of macro pictures you’re hoping to take and use this to find the right lens.


Macro point and shoot cameras

Open source focus stacking software


One thing to remember is that ultimately, if you enjoy the photos you take then it doesn’t necessarily matter what other people call them. However, learning the correct terminology and associated kit can really elevate your work as a photographer.

Our goal with this site is to make it as easy as possible for people to get into photography. No matter what camera, lens, or lighting conditions you’re working with, we’re here to help you stay on top of your game.

If you have any questions or product recommendations for us to review. then please don’t hesitate to contact us!

5 Open Source Focus Stacking Software(& Paid Options)

One of the most important things to consider in photography is the focus you set for your camera. No matter what subject you’re shooting, you’ll need to focus properly to capture each detail in all its glory.

Focus stacking software can achieve levels of focus that even a premium tilt-shift lens would struggle with. Its use is especially prevalent in fields like macro photography where close-up focus is paramount. Compare a focus stacked macro image to one you took yourself and you’ll likely be amazed by the difference.

Most people’s photography kits are already full to the brim with expensive tools. Why should focus stacking software be one of them? Thanks to the plethora of good quality open source options out there, editing your image focus is simple, easy and most importantly, free.

This page outlines some of the best free options available for good focus stacking software. We also discuss two premium solutions. Read on to find the best program for you.

Open Source Focus Stacking Software

This page contains a list of our favourite focus stacking software. Each program featured is compatible with windows and has been chosen for its ease of use, convenience and results. In most of the software on this list, a GUI is used to add your shots. These images are then auto-processed to produce a shot that’s virtually impossible to achieve alone.

1. CombineZPcombinezp

First on our list is a handy program called CombineZP. The user interface is refreshingly easy to use. Just click to add the images of your choosing and when you’re ready to start processing, click “So Stack” followed by “Go”. If you want to tweak your shots before stacking them, it’s easy to align your photos with the included align tool.

Your finished photos are exported to an output folder in a location of your choosing on your PC. If at any time you find yourself stumped using this focus stacking software, there’s a built-in help function that’s ready and waiting.

2. Picolay


Picolay is pretty amazing if you need software that can focus stack your photos very quickly. The process for adding your photos is just as simple as with other options. Just click the images you want for processing and let Picolay do the rest.

To create a stunning image stack with Picolay, click the “File” tab to add your images. Next, click “Stack With Current Parameters” in the “Stack Operations” tab. This will focus stack your images.

If you take a lot of macro or micro photos, then this is definitely a focus stacking program to consider. Just make sure you capture your images from a fixed point. For those who find the process of manually aligning each image to be quite time-consuming, the auto align feature that comes with Picolay will be a welcome breath of fresh air.

Among the other tools in this stack-happy app’s arsenal are auto-brightness tuning, colour based stacking, flat-field stacking and auto white balance tweaking.

3. Chasys Draw IES


This is another free piece of focus stacking software that’s worth a mention. The slew of tools available on this program can be used for editing a single photo or for focus stacking a huge pile of photos. As always, click to choose the images you’d like to stack and export them to your chosen output folder.

For best results, use images from identical shooting points where only the focus has changed. Other features on this open source software include image HDR, like-image averaging and auto white exposure tweaking.

4. Image J


This is a very modular approach to helping you stack images. Image J has a number of available plug-ins that add different features to the software. One of the most popular plug-ins for Image J is their stack images option. To create your focus stack, you’ll have to download the relevant plug-in.

Feel free to download other options if the idea of messing with plug-ins is off-putting to you. Once you’ve added the images you’d like for your photo stack, click the “Stk” button to combine the layers and get your stacked photo.

One of the features to be aware of is the “Stack Focuser”. This is a small box that gives you a preview of your chosen images. Here, you’ll be able to save in a variety of formats including tif, png and gif.

5. TuFuse


TuFuse is a bit different from the other options on this list. It’s a great stacking solution, but it doesn’t have a GUI. You’ll have to use a command line for this one. Don’t worry though, it’s not as bad as it sounds.

Here’s how to use the command line with TuFuse:

  1. Open your TuFuse folder.
  2. Place your desired images here.
  3. Click the address bar of the same folder and delete the contents.
  4. Now type “CMD” into the address bar and press the enter key.
  5. You should now see the command line.
  6. Enter this command to stack multiple images: tufuse -o output.tif input1.tif input2.tif input3.tif input4.tif.
  7. You should see your resulting photo in your TuFuse folder.


This process can be overwhelming at first but it gets much easier over time.

Premium Options

Below are two premium options for those looking for a more comprehensive piece of software for their stacking needs.

1. Helicon Focus


This is a powerful piece of editing software. For several years now, advanced technologies such as HDR and EDoF have been paving the way for a world where stacked images are the norm. Helicon Focus is purpose-built to accommodate that world.

As with other options, multiple photos are combined in a focus stacking process that delivers the best photo your camera is capable of. The output quality from Helicon Focus is quite remarkable. Other features on offer with Helicon include the run benchmark tool, folder monitoring system, color accuracy processing and advanced interpolation options. This is a killer feature set that begins to justify the price tag.

If you’re looking to create a high quality stacked photo, you may need to give Helicon Focus a try. It can easily handle raw files and can output in a variety of formats.

2. Zerene Stacker


Zerene Stacker is the second premium option on this page. It was designed specifically with challenging macro subjects in mind. Focus stacking doesn’t get much more sophisticated than this. If you need stacking software for your work, this may be one to consider.

While other options on this list are more versatile tools that happen to offer a stacking process, Zerene Stacker was purpose-built for stacking. For this reason, many photographers consider it the best option out there. This software works with virtually any camera you throw at it and is suitable for a huge variety of subjects.

No matter what setup you’re using, Zerene Stacker can probably handle it. The feature set on Zerene Stacker includes automatic alignment, ultra-high-quality interpolation, a large image capacity, advanced stacking algorithms and high output optimization.

If you’re a professional who needs to process a lot of raw files, Zerene Stacker is hard to beat.


What is Focus Stacking?

Using stacking software involves a process of taking multiple shots of the same subject using different focus levels. These files are then run through the software of your choice to combine the images. After some clever processing, the result is images that are truly stunning, with a focus level that captures detail vividly and authentically.

The focus stacking software automatically identifies the best focused areas of each image you add. These are combined to produce a far superior image.

Many fields of commercial photography are now almost completely reliant on focus stacking software.

Some of the following can be achieved with either premium or free focus stacking software:

  • Increasing the depth of field further than is possible by just stopping down
  • Maintaining a razor-sharp focus across the image
  • Creating a beautiful blurred bokeh while keeping the subject sharply in focus

These software work by using state-of-the-art algorithms to comb through each image layer you upload and combining the best aspects of each.


There are tonnes of great editing options out there for getting perfect stacked images. Before you decide which one to download, take a minute to think about your requirements. If you’re mostly a hobbyist photographer who just wants to do a bit of editing and share a nice image every now and then, it’s probably worth choosing a free option from the list above.

There’s no point splashing out on Zerene Stacker until you’re working in a professional context. If you work professionally as a photographer, or are a more experienced photographer with higher demands, a free solution might not cut it. Either way, we hope this page makes your decision that bit easier.

If you’d like to learn more about photography and boost your skills, then check out the other articles on this site.

How to Take a Picture of Your Eye: Tips and Tricks

Interesting composition in photography can take many forms. The photos that most consistently draw focus are those with intricate details, unique lines, and stunning spectrums of color. The subject is what makes the picture. Few things provide a richer territory for photography than the human eye.

Eye photography is one of the most captivating genres of macro photography out there and can be a good training exercise for photographers of any experience level. The details in the iris alone can take a long time to get right! Beginners often find themselves stumped when starting out with eye photography.

There’s a lot to consider and it can be difficult to know where to start.

picture of your eye

Photo by wendel moretti from Pexels

How to take a picture of your eye

Camera settings, shutter speed, depth of field, finding the right macro lens, focus, the list goes on. The tips in this article are designed to take the stress out of eye photography and help you take an excellent eye photograph every time. From lens considerations to lining up the perfect shot, we’ve got you covered.

Consider a Macro Lens

Make sure you’re using a lens that can maintain a sharp focus at a short distance. The fine details of features such as the iris can get lost very easily in a blurry photograph. Your best option for this kind of picture is a macro lens. Make sure you’re using a focal length of at least 100mm.

This will give you the flexibility necessary for getting a great eye picture. If you’d like to learn more about macro photography, our website is full of helpful content with tips for getting started!

Cheaper Alternatives to Macro Lenses

If you’re looking to take stunning eye photos but are still a beginner, it might not be cost-effective for you to splash out on a brand new lens. Some accessories can help you “cheat” your zoom and focus while still producing excellent photos. You can capture the beauty of the iris without breaking the bank.

Your options include:

All of these can be attached to a regular lens and will give you macro functionality at a fraction of the cost! It’s worth keeping in mind, that some of these solutions are more sensitive to light and may produce a photo with lower image quality. They can also make adjusting your focus less convenient.

However, if you want to use your existing camera to take great pictures of eyes, these accessories can save you plenty of money in the process.

Other Gear to Consider

Here are some other camera accessories that make it much easier to take a great macro eye picture:

  • Tripods: Eyes move around – a lot. The more movement you can eliminate, the better your macro photography will be. If you hold the camera for your pictures, both you and your subject will be moving! Use a tripod if you want a great iris / eye photograph.
  • IR shutter release: This will be especially helpful if you’re taking a macro image of your own eye or eyes. You’ll be able to activate the shutter without touching your camera. You can keep your hand away from your setup and focus on staying still for the photo.
  • Flash accessories: These can improve your lighting situation a great deal. As you’re taking photos of an eye, you’ll have to be careful to prep your model so that they don’t blink and ruin the shot. If you keep them on a lower setting, using these light accessories can really boost the results in your images.
  • A mirror: If you need to get an image of your own eyes, using a mirror may help. If your camera doesn’t have a reversible viewfinder, then using a mirror is a good way to frame your eyes for each image.

Other Considerations

So you’ve gathered the best gear for the job. Now it’s time to take the picture! Ask your subject to look at a fixed point either on your macro lens or elsewhere. Decide which part of the eye you’d like to capture with your camera. Does the color of the iris grab your attention, or does the light fall somewhere else that you could use for your photograph?

Make sure you look closely at each detail to choose the best part of the eye for your shot.

To take your eye photograph to the next level, you may want to use an artificial light source. Something you see in a lot of eye photography is a catch light. This is the small white spot you often see in close-up images of eyes. They’re usually caused by a continuous light source from ring lighting accessories or good natural lighting.

You need to get your lighting right when getting close and personal to the eyes with a camera. Avoid a setup that will cast a shadow on the eye. Using a tripod will hold your camera still and give you one less thing to think about. If you’re constantly moving your camera by hand, there’s a good chance you’ll cast a shadow without noticing.

One of the most common mistakes in eye photography is not getting close enough to the eye itself. This is why it’s best to use a macro lens. Using a lens like this with your camera allows you to get much closer to the eye without losing focus.

Get familiar with the zoom settings of your camera as this will help you fine-tune your position for the perfect eye photograph. Turn off the flash setting on your camera, as this will make the eyes blink and ruin your shot. Get a ring light and keep it on the lowest setting if you need to improve your lighting.

Can You Use a Smartphone Camera?

While shooting eyes with a smartphone doesn’t come close to a dedicated setup, you can definitely produce an eye photo that doesn’t look half bad! Your smartphone should have its own “macro” settings. If you’re lucky, it may even have its own “eye mode” to make it easier to capture close-up pictures.

You’ll need to consider a macro attachment for your phone if you need to regularly get close to your subject. Phone photography has come a long way in the past few years. A good camera from several years ago can be outpaced by a phone in some contexts!


This is an often-overlooked setting that is actually very important if you want to get a good image of your eyes. For a crisp, sharp image of your eyes, it’s important to set the ISO correctly. When capturing an image in a bright location, set the ISO to 100 to reduce the amount of “noise” you’ll have to deal with.

The darker your environment, the higher your ISO will have to be. Try not to use a setting higher than 800, as this can affect your image quality. In general dark environments are best avoided, as the colors in the iris get lost without enough light. The pupil also constricts in lower light which might not be what you’re after for your pictures.

Shutter Speed

While it’s not the most important consideration when shooting images of eyes, many beginners don’t use the right setting. If you’re a beginner who’s overwhelmed by the prep required for setting up each image, turn on the aperture priority setting and let your camera do the work for you.

If you want to set the speed manually, don’t go below 1/60th of a second. This would bring a lot of unwanted blur to your image. As the iris is full of detailed lines and shapes, even the tiniest amount of blur can ruin otherwise excellent images. If your automatic settings are going lower than 1/60, use a brighter light source.


Shooting phenomenal images of eyes means getting up close and personal to your subject. Getting this close involves a much smaller depth of field. Taking great images every time means using the right aperture setting.

The shallow depth that comes with f/18 is something you should avoid. It will make it difficult to achieve the crisp iris shots you’re looking for. Use a more narrow option such as f/11 or f/8 to make your life easier.

With these things in mind, check out this very helpful video on how to take a photo of your eye:



A beautiful macro image of an iris is the hallmark of a good photographer. The only way to get there is to try, and try again. The best photographers in the world know that you can’t practice enough! We hope this article has done its part in outlining the key things to consider when taking close photos of the eye.

One final tip: make sure to give yourself or your model plenty of time to rest between shots. Eyes are sensitive, and the last thing you want is them to get worn out. You don’t want the beauty of the iris to be overshadowed by redness!

This website is here to make photography as accessible as possible. We want even complete beginners to feel more confident when capturing an image. If you have any questions or suggestions for content, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Macro Flower Photography Tips & Photos for Inspiration

One of the first images people try to capture with a new macro lens is a beautiful flower. Macro flower photography is perhaps top of the list of priorities for a beginner macro photographer. It’s a great subject to get started with, but it can be difficult to master.

There’s a slew of potential roadblocks when it comes to capturing decent macro photos with your camera. Getting the composition right with flowers can be tricky, and if you don’t know how to get the most out of your lighting conditions, your lens could let you down.

A macro lens is only as good as the photographer using it. If you want to capture beautiful macro photos of flowers every time you shoot, read this post for our top tips. We’ve outlined what we think is a great beginner’s guide to photographing flowers. We’ll tell you everything you need to know to get the perfect photograph.

Macro Flower Photography Tips

There’s a whole world to explore when it comes to a flower macro. The textures, colors, tones, lines, and shadows of flowers make them a fantastic subject at any experience level. There’s plenty of satisfying challenges involved with flower photography for even experienced photographers. Newbies will learn a lot along the way.

If you’d like to improve your skills in portrait photography, trying your hand at macro flower photography will dramatically elevate your skillset. It can also help you add some wonderful details if your photography work involves wedding photography. Imagine the bouquet shots!

The Gear

Capturing flowers in detail requires the right gear. While a bad worker blames their tools, it also doesn’t hurt to get the right equipment for the job! If you want great shots for Instagram or your website, you’ll need to shoot with the right kit.

Most digital cameras have a built-in “macro” setting. While this can work fairly well for a basic photograph, your images will really improve with a dedicated setup. It’s also worth learning how to get the most out of the equipment you already have. If you can master the manual mode of your camera, you’ll be a much better photographer for it.

So what kit should you use for the perfect image? The next part of this flower photography guide will outline the things to take with you. Feel free to pick and choose from this list as you see fit. Make the most of what you have before buying something new:

  • Tripod: Macro photography involves getting much closer to your subject than usual. This means it’s far easier for things to wobble and ruin your images. A tripod will give you much more control.
  • Macro Lens: Not to state the obvious, but macro photography is much harder without the right lens for the job. That isn’t to say it’s impossible, but shooting a close-up image is so much easier when you have a macro lens. They come with the depth of field you need. Macro lenses come in all shapes and sizes and there’s a diversity of options for both focal length and width. As a general rule, 100mm is a great focal length to use. Bear in mind that the narrower your angle, the further away you’ll have to be from your flower.
  • IR Shutter Release: A small handheld remote can help you maximize the stability of your setup. They’re inexpensive, but can free you up and let you focus on other things.
  • Natural light reflectors: Depending on your lighting conditions, these can really help boost the photos you take of flowers. Small sheets of white paper can do the trick. If you position them correctly, you’ll be able to reflect the available light to where you need it, and get the most out of your natural light.
  • Other lighting components: A ring light accessory for your cameras can really elevate the photos you take of flowers. A flash accessory can also improve your lighting situation. Use them when natural light isn’t quite enough.

Focal Point

Getting the focus right is always important, but when it comes to macro photography – it’s everything. Choose the exact point on your flower you’d like to shoot. Manual focus will give you the best level of control over your photography. Continue to make adjustments until you’re happy with each image.

There’s a lot of detail to capture, so you want to make sure you have things just right.

Depth of Field

One of the best ways to achieve an interesting macro image is to make sure you’re using the right depth of field. The next time a photography post on Instagram catches your eye, think about the depth of field they may have used. It’s all about tweaking the distance between the closest and the farthest objects in focus.

Practicing your macro photography skills on a beautiful flower will help you learn a lot about this aspect of photography. Keep experimenting until you know you’ve got the right photo.

Shutter Speed

As macro photography operates at such short distances, even the tiniest movement can have the biggest impact. Flowers are constantly getting blown around and jostled. You should be using a speed setting on your shutter that allows you to produce excellent flower macro photography.

Composing Macro Flower Photos

Macro flower photography can be absolutely stunning. Photographing a flower with the right macro lenses can uncover a hidden world of beauty and intrigue. There’s plenty to consider when it comes to the composition of your macro photography. This section of our macro guide will outline some key details to think about.


Ask yourself if framing the flower directly in the centre of your macro photo would achieve the best results. Flowers are full of interesting lines that span out symmetrically from each other. Great macro flower photography captures this symmetry. Use your own judgement to decide what you need to draw focus to and what should stay in the background.

If you want to improve traction on your Instagram or website, you should be considering symmetry from day one.

Repeated Patterns

Another detail to consider when photographing flowers is the number of repeating patterns you can spot. It might be worth thinking about how to frame these elements. Would a wide shot work? We’re working in macro, not landscape photography, but you want to capture a photo that showcases all the details.

In some cases, the details will be best highlighted with a closer shot. It’s your call when shooting.


Macro flower photography is about finding a flower that will stand out. Can you find aspects of your subject that might catch the eye? It’s important to note, that “perfection” is not always the most useful inspiration. Try to look for elements that will bring an edge to your macro photography.

Has part of the flower been damaged in a way that draws focus? Does the light catch on an abnormality of the plant? Is it drying up and curling in its petals?

Use your camera and macro lens to capture the unexpected! Feel free to get creative. Thousands of macro photography shots of flowers get posted to Instagram every day.

A lot of them go unnoticed. If you’re creative, you’ll capture something nobody’s seen before!

5 Examples of Macro Flower Photos

Macro photography is a rich and rewarding hobby, but if you’ve been using a macro setup for a while, you’ll know that it can be easy to lose inspiration. We’ve found some stunning examples of excellent macro work with flowers to bring some welcome inspiration to your shoot. You’ll be setting up your tripod in no time!

macro flower photo

Credit: Rich_f28 | Flickr

macro flower 2

Credit: Jeff Turner | Flickr

macro flower photo 2

Photo by Jess Bailey Designs from Pexels

sunflower macro photo

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels



We hope our tips in this photography guide for macro flower photos have been helpful. Our goal with with this site is to help even the least experienced photographers get the most out of their camera, lenses and other gear. Macro photography can be seriously addictive once you get started!

The first time you create the perfect shot with your gear is unforgettable.

There’s so much opportunity to be creative in this genre of camera work. If you’re new to photography, it can teach you so much about the fundamentals. It’s important to remember the pointers we’ve outlined on this page to take full advantage of your camera.

Use the right gear for the job to achieve excellent results with your available light, lenses, cameras, and subject. With a little patience and a few free tutorials, you might surprise yourself with how creative you can be. Take a look at the rest of our website to level up your photography skills.

Have fun!

How many pictures can 2 TB hold? And how much video?

2 Terabytes is a lot of space: it is in point of fact 2 million megabytes, and that gives you a very large photo album indeed! A typical 2 TB storage can hold up to 500,000 pictures!

How many pictures can 2 TB hold?

Just imagine that you wanted to completely fill your space on your new 2TB external hard drive, microSD card, or your newly acquired cloud allowance.

An average 4 megapixel photograph is 4 megabytes, nothing special and no effects of any nature. Are you still fretting over how quickly you filled the 50GB you got free with your new iCloud account?

OK, let’s fill that space working on creating only 4 megabyte photographs using your handy smartphone. We are of course looking at the capacity of 2TB and not the 50GB we thought would serve our lifetime requirement.

Then you will need to take in the region of 50 photographs an hour for each of your 14 hours, every day for 2 whole years.

At the end of those 2 years you will have just about filled your space.

How many photos can 2 TB hold in different megapixel resolutions

Note: the calculations below use JPG 100% 24bit/pixel compression

Megapixels Average Megabytes Photographs in 2 TB
4 1 2,000,000
6 1.5 1,333,333
8 1.7 1,176,470
10 2 1,000,000
12 2.5 800,000
14 3 666,666
16 3.3 606,060
18 3.7 540,540

So as you can see from the table, there’s a lot of storage and that means a lot of photographs that you can take, store and keep forever.

But it’s not just as simple as all that because these are only average numbers and the actual file size will vary depending on the colors and amount of detail in the photograph.

But staying in the realms of average and the realms of reasonable expectations the table above shows what you can expect.

How much video can 2 TB hold?

Video sizes vary greatly and will depend on the colors and encoding your camera uses.

Let’s take a quick look at the statistics for videos.

Video size Megabytes Minutes of video in 2TB
720p x 1 minute 256 7,800
1080p x 1 minute 403 4,962
2k x 1 minute 430 4,651
4k x 1 minute 2000 1,000


Ok that’s a wrap! A 2TB storage facility, whether you prefer to go for an external hard drive, a Cloud option, or a memory card will give you enough space that you will not have to worry about your storage ever again.

Also and just think about, keeping your photographs in a digital format means they will always be available for you and if you want to print one out. That copy will always be fresh, clear and new.

So, stop worrying about if it’s enough, yes it is. Get yourself set up and do it now don’t procrastinate about whether you should take it, give it a shot. Or are you one of those photographers who keeps everyone standing until no one can hold that smile anymore!

UHS 1 vs Class 10: Understanding these SD Card Terms

Memory cards have evolved quite a bit in the short time since their development and when you go to buy a memory card today, you may find yourself overwhelmed with all the different markings and codes written on them. In this post, we’ll talk about two common SD card markings: UHS 1 vs Class 10.

UHS 1 Vs Class 10

Interestingly enough, comparing UHS 1 to Class 10 is like comparing apples to oranges, since both UHS and the Class denote different properties of the memory card.

UHS is the abbreviation for Ultra High Speed and stands for the kind of connection between the SD card and the device, whether it’s a camera, card reader, phone, or any other device.

UHS 1 is an evolution from UHS. UHS 1 is capable of transferring data at up to 104 MB/s. The earlier UHS was capable of just 1/4th of that.

However, here’s where things get muddy. Just because the bus can transfer data at 104 MB/s does not mean that the card can actually read or write data at that speed! The read and write speed is usually up to 10 times slower.

The speed used for writing data is denoted by the Class.

So essentially, a card that is rated to be Class 10 and UHS 1 can transfer, read, and write data at around 10 MB/s.

More about SD card markings

Now that we’ve covered the difference between UHS 1 and Class 10, let’s talk about the different kinds of markings you’d find on SD cards.

As you saw above, many cards are denoted as UHS 1 or UHS 2. UHS 1 maxes out at 100 MB/s, and UHS 2 is closer to 312 MB/s transfer speeds due to a higher quality bus system.

However, the transfer speed is limited by the read and write speed, which is where Class comes in.

  • Class 2: 2 MB/s
  • Class 4: 4 MB/s
  • Class 8: 8 MB/s
  • Class 10: 10 MB/s

Here’s where things get messy. It’s not completely clear whether UHS-1 and UHS Class 10 are the same thing, or they’re different.

If your card has the UHS-1 symbol, which is the letter I in bold capital letters, it indicates that this is UHS-1 and has the bus speed of up to 104 MB/s. Remember, this is the bus speed, not the write speed or read speed.

Next you have UHS Speed Class 1, which is a 1 inside a U, which means that the transfer speeds are up to 10 MB/s.

If this seems confusing, it is! These standards were developed by the SD Association, and to be honest, I have no idea what they were thinking before making such a mess of things.

SanDisk 128GB Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Memory Card with Adapter - 100MB/s, C10, U1, Full HD, A1, Micro SD Card - SDSQUAR-128G-GN6MA

This card has a marking for UHS 1 and Class 10

SanDisk 256GB Extreme microSDXC UHS-I Memory Card with Adapter - C10, U3, V30, 4K, A2, Micro SD - SDSQXA1-256G-GN6MA

This card has a marking for UHS 3 but no Class marking.


Is it all just a marketing gimmick?

To a certain extent, yes, UHS bus speeds and speed classes are indeed marketing gimmicks.

Instead of relying on manufacturer speed ratings, it’s better to dig up independent testing results as they’re far more accurate representations of what would happen in regular applications.

For example, Sandisk states that their UHS-1 cards can get

up to 30 MB/s read speed based on internal testing

The terms up to and internal testing pretty much skew the results as anything between 1 and 30 is up to 30.

Basically, it seems like marketing departments just have a lot of leeway to cleverly word their product descriptions and specs in a way that makes the speed of the SD cards seem very high, but you may not really see that in reality.

Putting the confusion to rest

All things said and done, it’s safe to say that it’s pretty certain that UHS-1 and Class 10 are equivalent because they can achieve the 10 MB/s speed.

Class 10 is the minimum requirement for most video cameras(action cameras and even smartphones if you’re using them for a lot of video), as anything slower will result in choppy video from the slow transfer rate.

The SD association could have done a better job of not caving into marketing speak and standardizing the terms so they would be easier to understand and interpret.

Frequently asked questions

Is UHS 1 or 3 better?

According to the SD association, UHS 1 is equivalent to Class 10 as it can sustain 10 MB/s transfer speeds. In the table they have on their site, UHS 3 has no equivalent Class rating, but they state that it can sustain up to 30 MB/s transfer speeds. Up to is the key word here.

Which is better, Class 1 or Class 10 SD card?

u003ca rel=u0022noreferrer noopeneru0022 href=u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022u003eHigher Class ratingsu003c/au003e means the read and write speed will be higher. For applications where you require high speed data transfer, such as gaming or photography, a higher Class card will be better.

iPhone Photography Tips: 26 Tips for superb photographs

Nowadays, you do not need an expensive camera to take great photographs. In fact, an iPhone can provide some brilliant pictures too. The iPhone comes with numerous applications to create beautiful photos, saving you time and money. But how do you take the best photographs with your iPhone?

iphone photography tips

The Best iPhone Photography Tips

1. Prevent Camera Shake

One of the issues you can have with iPhone photography is a camera shake. However, there are ways around that, especially if you use the volume button. By using the volume button, you can take the photographs without having to use the application.

There are other quick fixes for camera shake as well. These include cleaning the camera lens, resetting your phone, installing the latest updates, or doing a hard reset. Please only switch to these solutions if the volume button does not solve the issue.

2. Take Additional Photographs

To ensure you have the shot you want, we always recommend taking more photos than you actually need. By doing so, you always have several photographs to choose from and eventually edit to meet your requirements.

3. Capture Action Shots With Burst Mode

Action shots are some of the trickiest to take, even if you have some professional photo equipment. However, it is possible to do this with your iPhone camera as well. Simply use the burst mode on your iPhone.

The burst mode takes a sequence of photographs at ten frames per second and choose the best shot(s) from your burst.

4. Experiment With Perspective

Using different perspectives can deliver some amazing results on your iPhone camera. There are various ways to play with perspective. This includes but is not limited to shooting from a low angle, looking up at your subject, looking down at your subject, using reflections, and more.


Photo by Philipp Birmes from Pexels

This photo is a great example of perspective: by holding the camera close to the ground and facing the sky, the photographer has captured a really interesting photograph!

Check out this great resource for more ideas on perspective

5. Discover HDR Mode For High Contrast Photographs

HDR mode stands for High Dynamic Range. On the iPhone, you can use this feature to create your photographs with a much higher contrast. To do so, you iPhone takes several photographs rapidly after one another, and then uses those photographs to blend, highlight and create shadows.

6. Utilize the Rule of Thirds

One of the rules you want to keep an eye on is the rule of thirds, which is especially valid for the iPhone. Basically, it means that you can break up a single photograph into thirds, giving you nine different parts of equal size.

You can often see this rule of thirds visibly with the viewfinder on an LCD display, which is used to frame a photograph. Evidently, this rule of thirds helps you position the subjects of your photograph.

It helps you determine which point of your subject will become the focal point. So, if you never used the rule of thirds before, be sure to experiment with it on your iPhone to get some amazing results.

Well, if you have problems implementing that rule when taking your photographs, the iPhone does come with a grid feature that enables you to apply the rule of thirds without any trouble.

In the settings app, go to Camera and turn on the toggle for the grid.


By User:MoondiggerOwn work, CC BY-SA 2.5, Link

Check out this tutorial for more info

7. Utilize Portrait Mode For Bokeh

Bokeh is quite popular in photography these days, mainly because of its unusual visual appeal. The term bokeh is derived from Japanese and refers to the parts of an image that are out of focus or blurry.

Please note that there is difference between good and bad bokeh. The lens needs to generate the bokeh, not the actual camera. iPhone’s portrait mode allows you to do that without much trouble.


Notice how some leaves are in focus, while others are not: this is the bokeh effect

Check out this post for more info on bokeh

8. Add Depth To Your Photos

Did you know that the iPhone has a depth control button? By using the depth control button, you can add more depth to the photographs and get some amazing results.

Once you use the depth button, a special slider will appear just underneath the photograph. Then, move the slider until you achieve the desired result.

This is part of portrait mode where you can adjust the amount of bokeh.

9. Blur Backgrounds

Portrait mode is the easiest way to blur a background in a photograph. Simply select portrait mode and make sure your subject is approximately two to eight feet from the camera to get the best result.

10. Try Another Lens

Contrary to popular belief, you are not restricted to a single type of lens when you have an iPhone. In fact, you can mount external lenses on the iPhone, enabling you to experiment. Nowadays, you can get everything from a simple macro lens to the fisheye and the wide-angle lens for iPhone, so be sure to look into those if you want to expand on your phone’s photography capabilities.

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11. Check Out New Editing Apps And Filters

While the iPhone does provide its own range of applications and filters for photograph editing, there are plenty of third-party application providers that can provide some interesting applications and filters.

One of the best third-party applications for iPhone at the moment is the Photographer’s Ephemeris. The application provides suitable tools for all types of photographs, including landscape, architecture, and astrophotography. This particular application is also amazing for outdoor photography.

Check out this list of apps

12. Get A Quick Snap With Your Earphones

The iPhone has a lot of compatibility for photography. In fact, your earphones can even be used to snap a quick shot of your subject. While it does not exactly give you a lot of control, it is perfect for those unexpected moments you do not want to miss.

13. Keep Your Lens Clean

Everyone knows that the lens is one of the most important parts to deliver an excellent photograph. So, to take the best possible pictures, you must keep the lens on your iPhone clean and pristine.

14. Use Manual Override

If you have some issues with focus on your iPhone, then be sure to use the manual override. With the manual override, you can adjust focus yourself to get the best results possible.

To get your subject in a little smarter, be sure to use the lock focus function as well. Doing so will bring your subject in much sharper, and you do not have to do too much.

Use an app like VSCO to get manual control over your photographs.

15. Enhance iPhone Photography With Accessories

There are countless accessories you can use to enhance the photography capabilities of the iPhone. Here are some of the most interesting accessories to look out for.

iPhone tripod: The tripod enables you to get photographs that are much more stable and avoid blur in the process. You can also get matching remotes; you get the best image possible.

Battery charger: When you take photographs with your iPhone, you do not want to run out of battery and miss out on those special moments. Therefore, a portable battery charger is ideal to keep your iPhone going.

LED light: You can find LED lights that are compatible with your iPhone these days. So, if you take photographs in dim light or less than ideal environments, the LED light can become a great help.

Backup device: Make sure you do not lose your photographs and obtain a small backup device for yourself. By doing so, you can backup your photographs and keep them even if you cannot gain access to them on your iPhone or even the cloud.

Selfie stick: While most photographers do not like the prospect of the selfie stick, but do not be fooled, as this can be a powerful accessory. And the best thing of all, they are really affordable to boot!

16. Learn About Leading Lines

Leading lines can be a brilliant help for your photographs. If you are not familiar with them, leading lines are line shapes you can detect in an environment. This can be something simple as a road or a river. Evidently, these leading lines draw the attention to the subject of the photograph, so use them wisely in your perspectives.

Learn more about leading lines here.

17. Self-Timer

When you want sharper photographs, you always want to look into the self-timer. This can prove especially useful if you want to use a tripod and do not have a remote handy. So, why not use this simple feature that is already present in your iPhone.

18. Frame Photographs correctly

Framing is a term used to refer to the presentation of all the visual elements in an image. For example, how your subject is placed opposed to the other elements in your photograph.

By using this technique, you can make your iPhone photographs even more interesting.

This post is a great list of 20 framing techniques

19. Shutter Speed Creativity

It is possible to change the shutter speed on your iPhone. Simply look for the ISO icon above the shutter button, and then you will get the slider. Drag it either way to adjust your shutter speed and play around with different options.

20. Dealing With Low Light

Low light environments can be tricky to deal with, unless you have a camera that is designed to deal with such situations. If you want to avoid taking poor photographs in dim light, make sure to stabilize the camera.

You can use a tripod or the timer function we discussed earlier.

21. Post-Processing Benefits

When you use an iPhone for photography, you want to make the most from post-processing as well. Of course, there are countless techniques when it comes to post-processing, ranging from tips for beginners as well as the more advanced tips.

The in-built Photos app has lots of great basic post-processing features that you can use to crop and make basic adjustments.

There are also great post-processing apps like Afterlight and Polarr Photo Editor, which are both free with in-app purchases.

22. Check Out Backlight Options

Backlight can be brilliant for iPhone photos, so you should not be afraid of experimenting with it. Once you master most of our previous tips, this is certainly something to look into. Of course, it helps to invest in some additional lighting options to make your photos even better.

23. Shooting Modes

The iPhone comes with a bunch of shooting modes that can make things much easier for beginners. Of course, these shooting modes can also provide more advanced results for experienced photographers.

  • Photo: use this mode for standard photographs
  • Video: use this mode for capturing video
  • Time-lapse: use this mode for capturing long videos that will then be shortened into a small, fast-moving clip
  • Slo-Mo: use this mode for capturing slow motion video. Shoot slow motion videos in natural light for best results
  • Square: use this mode for a pre-cropped square image, ideal for Instagram
  • Portrait: use this mode to adjust bokeh and get a beautiful portrait with a blurred background
  • Pano: use this mode to take multiple photos and string them together into a panorama

24. Image Cropping

Have you taken a photograph, but not too happy with the location of the subject? Or maybe you forgot about the rule of thirds? No need to worry, because the simple image cropping feature in the iPhone’ Photos app helps you make your photo perfect.

25. Flash Away

The iPhone does come with a flash, which can be beneficial in certain situations. However, do not use the flash all the time, as this could actually ruin your photographs more than help them. So, only use the flash if you absolutely have to.

26. The View On Map Feature

Do you want to know where to capture the best landscape photographs? If so, then the view on map feature that is incorporated on the iPhone will give you some excellent examples.


The iPhone is a powerful photography tool indeed but has to be used correctly. Still, if you are a beginner, the iPhone can be one of the easiest ways to get into photography. It also teaches you some advanced photography techniques and methods, so be sure to take advantage of the iPhone and everything it has to offer.

47 Best stock photography websites(free and paid)

A key part of great website content is good imagery. We know how hard it can be to find good photos, so we’ve collected a list of 47 stock photography websites here.

Some of them are paid.

But here’s the best part: most of them are free!

From this list, you’re sure to find a good photography for nearly any topic imaginable.


Best Stock Photography Websites

There are many stock photo sites out there, and they are all vying to become the leader in this particular market. Even though Getty is still on top for now, the following sites may have more to offer in terms of free stock photos, high-quality images, or as a potential marketplace for photographers to sell their work.


1. FREE is one of the best sites for high-quality images. It is a popular choice for many website and business owners, since countless new royalty-free images are added on a daily basis. It is also easy to find a free stock photo you like, as you can filter by the amount of downloads.

It is worth noting that the photos are released as creative commons. In other words, their photographs are free to download for commercial use.

2. Pexels: FREE

Pexels prides itself on providing the best quality photographs only. So, while you will find less stock imagery overall on this website, the stock image quality you do find is unmatched by most free stock photo websites out there. It’s one of my go to sites for photos for websites.

3. Unsplash: FREE

Unsplash is not as widely known as Getty Images or Pexels. That being said, this public domain website does offer some amazing stock photos of high-quality. The site is particularly popular among website developers.

One of the downsides to Unsplash is that the keywords for their stock photos are somewhat lacking. While you may find what you need by entering your chosen keyword, the website uses so-called collections, which can sometimes hide the best stock imagery.

4. Burst: FREE

Contrary to the other stock imagery sites, you need to use another site in order to use Burst. In fact, Burst needs to be accessed to Shopify. This also makes their free stock photo offering a little more complicated. Some of the stock photos are released under a creative commons license, while others actually carry a Shopify photo license.

Burst is also quite a niche provider of stock imagery. The site was created specifically for business owners and entrepreneurs, so the free stock photo offering is quite centered around business in general. So, while not everyone will see Burst as one of the best providers of stock photos, this site could be favorited by many business owners.

5. Reshot: FREE

When you want one of the largest libraries with stock photos at your disposal, Reshot is the place to be. The site provides you with a large stock photography offering with various themes and categories. So, even if you are looking for stock photos to support a niche site, you will most likely find it here.

One of the other things that stands out about Reshot is that their photography offering is a little different from most commercial sites. Stock imagery is quite original and is bound to make your website stand out from all the rest. In other words, Reshot is extremely popular for new startups and websites.

6. Pixabay: FREE

Pixabay is arguably one of the best-known websites with free stock photos. Since the site has been around for a long time, you can expect an amazing stock image library with tons of free photos.

One of the unusual things about Pixabay is that the site does not solely offers stock imagery. In addition to a range range of photos, the site also provides art illustrations and vectors.

7. FoodiesFeed: FREE

When you need some excellent free photos of food, you need a public domain like FoodiesFeed. The site provides stock imagery that is completely centered around food. So, restaurants, hotels, and even food bloggers regularly obtain stock imagery from this site.

8. Gratisography: FREE

While most stock photo websites obtain their free photos from various photographers, Gratisography only uses free photos from the same photographer, Ryan McGuire.

You might believe that a site offering stock imagery from the same photographer may be quite limited, but this is not the case for Gratisography. In fact, you can count on free images being added every week.


Another great site for stock imagery is The stock imagery provider does not stick to a single niche and has a widespread offer of stock images. has enjoyed some mainstream success, so many businesses and individuals go to the website to find their free stock photos. Images on the website are free to use and can be downloaded without much trouble.

10. Picography: FREE

When you want stock imagery from well-known photographer Dave Meier, then you should head over to Picography. Whether you need an original stock image or something a bit commercial, the stock imagery from Dave Meier and other well-known photographers is bound to please.

11. Foca: FREE

Some stock imagery sites focus on particular topics and this is the case for Foca. Foca provides a stock image selection from photographer Jeffrey Betts, who focuses on topics such as workplaces and nature.

All photographs on Foca are of the highest quality, so you will not find any average images here. So, even the harshest photography critics can find some amazing stock imagery on Foca.

12. Picjumbo: FREE

While some sites focus on niche images or limit their amount of topics, other sites pride themselves on providing the most diverse topics possible. One of these websites is Picjumbo, who offers a wide range of stock image categories.

Picjumbo offers available images under categories such as fashion, nature, technology and more. By placing them in these categories, visitors can easily find a large stock image selection that is suitable for their sites.

13. Kaboom Pics: FREE

Like other websites that offer a stock image selection, Kaboom Pics allow users to grab images and use them for commercial ends. However, images that are obtained from Kaboom Pics cannot be sold or redistributed, so this is something that users must take into consideration.

14. SkitterPhoto: FREE

As we mentioned already, most sites that offer photos for commercial use get them from various photographers. However, this is different for SkitterPhoto, as the images provided are taken by the owners of SkitterPhoto.

While you may expect a limited style where photo offering is concerned, this is surprisingly not the case. There is a wide variety of images in various themes, and even the photographer styles are quite diverse. So, you will find all sorts of images on SkitterPhoto, even though they are offered by a limited number of photographers.

15. Life Of Pix: FREE

Life of Pix is offered by the LEEROY Creative Agency. The agency specialises in high-resolution photos without copyright restrictions.

On Life Of Pix, users can also find numerous Adobe Stock images, which has been integrated with Life of Pix. Adobe stock is a service similar to all the other providers of free images mentioned today. All photos on Adobe Stock are royalty-free and curated by the Adobe team.

16. Little Visuals: FREE

Nic Jackson is the man who started Little Visuals. He regularly uploaded amazing photos that could be used by the public. Unfortunately, Nic passed away unexpectedly in 2013. Since then, his family has maintained the website and keep the photos available for the public.

While Little Visuals is not as known among the the general public, it is certainly known among developers and blog owners. The website has 3.4 million users and a whopping 130, 000 subscribers. Once you see the photos from Nic Jackson, it won’t take you long to figure out why this site is so popular.

17. New Old Stock: FREE

We already mentioned that some websites are quite niche, but none is more niche than New Old Stock. As the name of the site already indicates, New Old Stock focuses on old images and photos, something that is not easy to obtain from other websites.

18. Jay Mantri: FREE

Some stock sites are named after the photographer, and this is the case for Jay Mantri. On his website, you will find some lovely photos with a variety of themes.

While the photos are offered for free and there aren’t any fees involved, it is a little difficult to find what you are looking for in terms of themed photos. You often have to scroll through an endless amount of photos before you find what you are looking for. That being said, the photos are well worth scrolling through, as each and every single one is amazing.

19. Picspree: FREE

This is one of our personal favorites for free photos. Picspree has an immense offering of free photos with a dominant nature theme. Interestingly, this site is backed by Getty Images.

We must mention that while the majority of photos at Picspree are completely free, there are some premium photos as well. Still, there are many photos you can obtain without having to pay a single cent.

20. ISO Republic: FREE

Another great suggestion is ISO Republic. If you are looking for a stock images site that updates its selection of photographs daily, then this is the option for you. All photographs are published with a CCO license as well, so you don’t have to pay anything to obtain photos for your blog or site.

21. StyledStock: FREE/PREMIUM

Some websites that offer stock photos make their money through advertisements, and this is most certainly the case for StyledStock. To make the majority of their images free, StyledStock uses lots of advertisements throughout the website. While this could be seen as a negative, it does provide you with a large range of photographs that are ready to use and won’t cost you anything.

StyledStock does provide a premium service as well, this in the form of a premium packs offer. The premium packs offer users a bundle of photographs under a specific theme. At the time of this article, premium packs included themes such as breakfast, bathroom and wedding.

22. Shutterstock: PAID

Shutterstock is arguably one of the largest providers of stock photographs. They have one of the largest libraries, suitable for niche markets as well as large cooperations. Of course, such a big library comes with a price.

To use the photographs offered by Shutterstock, you must create an account. But even with a free account you won’t get far. In fact, Shutterstock asks a monthly fee to use their photographs, although you can get one month free. Still, the overall costs of their images is acceptable with a small monthly fee. And, if you use stock photographs on a regular basis, then Shutterstock might just be a tiny investment for you.

23. Fotolia: PAID

Fotolia has been around for quite some time and was quite popular among users. However, the website was obtained by Adobe in 2019, which means the site has transformed into a license only photography provider.

While the offer of photographs is quite impressive on Fotolia, the prices for photo licenses can sometimes be shocking! As soon as the average user looks at the cost of an extended license, it is usually enough to turn that person away. We can’t say we blame them, as some of these licenses go over $50 per photograph.

24. Dreamstime: FREE/PAID

Some users value quality above all other things when they look for photographs to use. At Dreamstime, these users find all the photographs they could ever need, as the website has one of the strictest quality standards in he industry.

Photographers who work with Dreamstime get 25-50% of the sales prices, which is substantially more than other sites. If you like to use stock photography and want to support photographers are the same time, you can most certainly use this site.

Dreamstime works with a subscription system. Over the course of a month, you pay a free that gives you access to a certain number of image downloads. The lowest subscription pack offers you 10 images. The largest gives you a whopping 9000 images.

On the flipside, the subscription costs to get and use photographs from the website are not exactly cheap, although you are paying towards the hard work of the photographers. You can also obtain a one week free trial to use the service before you purchase it.

25. Stocksy: PAID

If you have not heard about Stocksy before, you are not alone! Stocksy is a relative newcomer in the world of stock photo websites, but the site is quickly getting noticed.

Stocksy was founded by 2013 by Bruce Livingstone. If you use stock photos regularly, this name may sound familiar, as Bruce was the original founder of iStock. Like Dreamstime, Stocksy focuses on paying its photographers a fair price for their work, giving them up to 50% in commission. Of course, this also means that you can expect to pay a fair price for the photos you use. On the flipside, you do support the photography profession.

Small bloggers are unlikely to use Stocksy due to the associated cost. However, larger businesses looking for advertiser materials and photos for their website can turn to Stocksy.

26. Crestock: PAID

Those who want to save some money on stock photography can head over to Crestock instead. The website offers in excess of 2.5 million royalty-free creative images and makes it easy to find the photos you need.

The cost for photos on the website can vary greatly by artist. Crestock also provides you with three payment options, including pay & go, subscriptions and credits. The pay & go option is suitable for those who need a minimum amount of photos, while the subscription option is great for popular bloggers who want a minimum of 20 downloads per day. That being said, the monthly subscription fee is not exactly cheap, so new bloggers and hobby websites are unlikely to use this stock website on a regular basis.

27. Bigstock: PAID

Bigstock is one of the biggest photography websites in existence today. Interestingly, the website was founded in 2004 but eventually taken over by ShutterStock in 2009. So, while you may not see the registered trademark of ShutterStock everywhere, this website is most certainly owned by the ShutterStock people.

Aside from high-quality images, BigStock provides videos and vectors too. It also provides an impressive library of more than 95 million files, which goes far beyond any other stock photography website today.

The files available for download at BigStock can be obtained for free during the initial trial period. However, be warned that the number of files you can download during this time is limited and that you are expected to pay a fee as soon as the trial has ended.

As for payment methods, BigStock provides several options to its users. There is the daily subscription plan for those who only need a small number of photographs and a monthly subscription plan for anyone that requires a larger number of photographs for their website.

Compared to most websites, BigStock is not less or more expensive when it comes to the cost of their photos. However, BigStock still stands out because of the amount of files they have on offer, which puts all other photo websites to shame. Still, if you don’t want to spend money to obtain royalty-free photos, it may be best to look elsewhere.


If you’re looking to contribute to these sites, you can even get started with a simple point and shoot camera.

28. Startup Stock Photos: FREE

As the name suggests, this website was created to provide new businesses with photographs for their website. The images are free to download and are easily found on the main page.

On the downside, Startup Stock Photos does not have a handy search feature, which would enable you to easily find the photographs you are looking for. Still, if you don’t mind a little scrolling, this website can help you with your startup.

29. Finda.Photo: FREE

While most larger database require a fee to use their photographs, Finda.Photo provides you with access to more than a million photographs free of charge. The photo supplies is available through the chamber of commerce website, through which you can also access other stock photo suppliers.

30. Magdeleine: FREE

Some sites can be hidden where photography is concerned, and Magdeleine certainly fits that description. While it is not the largest stock photography website out there, it does provide some amazing images. Plus, you get a new high-resolution photograph every day.


On IM FREE, you can find anything from templates to categories such as business, technology, health, icons and loads more. All can be used for commercial purposes without the need of investing your own money.

32. Superfamous

Superfamous is probably the least user friendly option in our overview. That being said, it does provide some amazing pics if you know how to find them. Still, new users may find it a little tricky to navigate around.

33. Getrefe: PAID

Getrefe is the most unusual supplier of photographs in this overview, as it is quite different from the other sites. In fact, the photographs are offered on a tumbler blog! Nevertheless, finding photographs is quite easy.

34. JeShoots: PAID

When you like to choose photographs from a slew of categories, or simply want a user friendly website to find them, then JeShoots might be the option for you. Spanning categories from casino and love to summer and coffee, there is something suitable for all kinds of people.

35. Public Domain Archive: FREE

Those who don’t like a lot of browsing and want to find things immediately will appreciate this one. Simply check the website to view thousands of images that don’t carry any royalties!

36. Snapographic: FREE

Snapographic has quite the diverse offering, bringing you stock photography as well as celebrity photographs, graphic design templates and graphics. So, if you need more than just stock photographs, Snapographic is the place to be.

37. SplitShire: FREE

This website provides countless stock photographs, but gets its revenue from advertisements. If you have adblock installed, be sure to disable it for this website before accessing it. If you keep your Adblock turned on, you might not gain access at all.

38. Realistic Shots: FREE

Realistic shots is a great place to get your photographs. However, it could use some more filters for easier user navigation. That being said, Realistic Shots has some of the best and most original photographs we have seen.

39. Stokpic: FREE

Stokpic is a little unusual, as they send 10 photographs to their subscribers every two weeks without any extra charge. Some of the images can also be downloaded for free on the website. Be careful though, as some are not cleared for redistribution.

40. Morguefile: FREE

Morguefile gives you instant access to tons of stock photographs, but not all of them are of the highest quality. Before you download, always check the quality of the photo, as some photographs leave much to be desired. Aside from that, you can find the occasional gem there.

41. Free Images: FREE

If you are looking for free photographs, but don’t want the fuss of registering or subscribing to a service, then you need Free Images. The website delivers a large database filled with free photographs, but you don’t have to register to download them.

42. Historical Stock Photos: PAID

Do you need a historical photograph, but not really sure where to start looking. In addition to one of our previous suggestions, you can choose Historical Stock Photos. As a search engine for stock photography, you will quickly find the historical pics you need.

43. Every Stock Photo

Don’t want to mess around with several sites to get the couple of photographs you need? Choose Every Stock Photo, a search engine that will deliver suitable results in a click of a button.

44. Splashbase: FREE

Splashbase is one of the more diverse sites in this overview. From historical photographs to nature photography, you can find it all here. It also features some illustrations from impressive artists.

45. Image Base: FREE

Don’t want to wade your way through countless photos to find that one free one you are looking for? Well, look no further than Image Base, as all the photographs on this website are completely free. There is one downside though, as not all of the photos are of the best quality.

46. The Pattern Library: FREE

Do you need patterns instead of photographs covering a specific subject? Look no further than the Pattern Library. On this website, you can find patterns suitable for commercial use. Just go to the start page and scroll down.

47. WunderStock: FREE

Wunderstock combines a large collection of public domain photos with a powerful Creative Commons search tool. The site’s speedy interface provides access to 3+ million free-to-use images in total. It also has a nifty in-browser photo editor. You can quickly apply filters and modify photos to make them your own.

How Do Stock Photo Websites Make Money?

Stock photography is extremely popular for the reasons we mentioned earlier. These websites basically make money by selling licenses for uploaded images. While the artist still gets a cut from the original sale, the majority of the profit goes to the stock photo website.

Of course, you can also find free stock images online. So how do sites offering free stock images make their money? Well, there are several ways for these sites to make money. Some of these websites only offer a limited amount of free images for commercial purposes.

Once you have reached your limit, you need to buy a license. Websites that solely offer free stock photos use advertisements to get their revenue.

How Much Money Can You Make With Stock Photography?

There is money to be made for a photographer in stock photography, but don’t be fooled into thinking that you can simply upload stock images and receive lots of money in return.

When you head over to a stock photo website, you will quickly notice that your stock images must be “sellable”. Otherwise, your uploads will be refused and you won’t make any money at all. That being said, some photographers have built their entire business on stock photo photography for commercial use.

There are lots of things you need to know before you upload your best stock photographs. For example, you need to determine the right keywords for your audience, check out supply and demand for free stock photos, rule out popular brands and logos in your stock images and more.

Some photographers create their own brand where stock images are concerned. Every photographer has his or her own style, and sometimes this style can be a massive hit among people who need royalty free stock photos. So, you don’t have to conform to mainstream stock images.

The amount of money you can make from your stock photo efforts depends heavily on your commitment. If you master keywords, supply and demands, but also use the best stock photo sites, you can make a living as a stock photographer.

Things To Remember About Stock Photography


If you are considering getting into stock imagery, be sure to do your research first. Even though there is a big market filled with stock photo sites, you do need to know what you are doing when it comes to your uploaded stock photos.

We recommend researching keywords, supply and demand, but also to take a thorough look at our recommend stock photo websites to find a place where your stock photos will stand out.

You can make a business out of stock photos as a photographer, but it always requires a bit of research. Hopefully, you will find the process a little easier thanks to our overview.

Those who aren’t photographers but are looking for the best free stock photos will now have plenty of options, since our overview contained some of the best free options out there. Of course, it also contains some websites that ask a small fee for photos. Nevertheless, you should easily find countless photos suitable for commercial use.