I believe there is a name for this particular type of photography where the subject is close-up such as the below examples:-

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I'm trying to search for photography like this on the web but unsure of the correct terminology to use. Sorry for not being able to make my question any clearer.

  • Some would consider them "macro" - but, as the image is unlikely to be 1:1 (or greater) on the film/sensor, that term is a little incorrect here. – dav1dsm1th Apr 1 '14 at 11:18
  • @dav1dsm1th - Yes, that's good enough for me, this returns loads of what I'm after and is exactly what stores online (i.e here) appear to label this type of photography as. Thanks (if you add as an answer, I'll accept it when I can). – zigojacko Apr 1 '14 at 11:24

From the two photos you shared, I can claim that you are interested in macro photography.

Macro gives you the opportunity to take a photo of an object far closer than a close up. There are some subclasses, such as the already mentioned here. But in general the main category is macro. Macro can achieved with macro lenses, like Canon 100mm 2.8. Don't confuse macro with close-up: a true macro photo has magnification at least 1:1.

However, for super macro you can use lenses, like Canon MP-E 65mm 2.8, in case you want to get even closer. The particular lens has magnification up to 5:1.

The 1:1 means that it is a true representation of what you are photographing, not a magnification of lets say 5 times bigger than the object really is, comparing always the image sensor with the object. For more details on magnification, I would suggest you reading here: http://www.dpreview.com/articles/6519974919/macro-photography-understanding-magnification

Not to confuse you, there is a debate about if a true macro is 1:1 only or 1:1 and more. Some say that macro is only 1:1, others than it is 1:1 and more, like 2:1. But don't let this confuse you any further.

Just keep in mind that with a true macro lens you must have magnification 1:1 and not less than this.

There are several sites/books, focused on macro photography, which involve specific techniques and photos you can be inspired by.

Hope that helps!

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    I have edited the content to make it even more understandable. Hope that helps you even more! – Morpho Apr 1 '14 at 13:17
  • Also, there is debate on whether it's the actual sensor size, a theoretical 24x36 sensor size, or the final screenview/printout that should be compared to the subject size. Thus, there are at least six different definitions for what "true macro" means. :) – Guffa Apr 1 '14 at 14:26
  • I haven't heard about this debate. From what I know, we are talking about the actual image sensor, not the screenview. :) After all, we are interested in the image sensor and the comparison should be made between the object and the image sensor. The screenview serves only as a ''tool'' to see the result. – Morpho Apr 1 '14 at 14:30
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    Based on the raw definition of the term macro, I think that means any lens that offers at least 1:1 magnification of your subject ON THE SENSOR would qualify for the term. That means lenses with 2:1, 3:1, 5:1, 10:1, etc. magnification factors would all qualify. The 1:1 designation is the minimum, since at that magnification your subject, ON THE SENSOR, is the same size as in real life (enlarged onto a computer screen or in print, it would be much larger than in real life). If your using a FF lens on a crop sensor, then the 1:1 designation is a bit dubious...it would really depend on exactly... – jrista Apr 1 '14 at 21:38
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    @Guffa: I strongly dispute whoever wrote that Wikipedia page, then. I've had too many conversations about macro photography to count since I first started photography. I have NEVER heard of anyone referring to print or screen magnification when talking about the magnification ratio of a lens. Magnification ratios of lenses has always referred to the reproduction size on the sensor. Every lens has a magnification ratio, commonly around 1:4 - 1:10...that magnification is always relative to the sensor. When Canon puts 1:1 on their lens, that SPECIFICALLY means relative to the sensor. – jrista Apr 1 '14 at 23:39

I think what you are looking for is "High Speed Photo"

Below are some examples which resembles with your example photos. http://photography.tutsplus.com/articles/freezing-time-80-inspiring-examples-of-high-speed-photography--photo-340

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    While the second may be high-speed photography, snails aren't famous for moving quickly! – Philip Kendall Apr 1 '14 at 12:13
  • Macro photography seems to be a better match as to what I was after although the high speed photography at that article is equally pretty awesome. Thanks. – zigojacko Apr 1 '14 at 12:53

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