How do I add macro lens effects like this via Photoshop:

  • 3
    That's not so much a 'macro lens effect' as overexposure and chromatic abberation... Jul 9 '14 at 11:46
  • 1
    That's not a caterpillar, it's a microscopic animal, and it's a microscope photo. Where did you find it?
    – Jasmine
    Jul 9 '14 at 16:58

For the bloom you can duplicate the layer, blur it and set its transfer mode to screen or add. You might need to play with a curves adjustment to control how much bloom you have.

The blur on the caterpillar might be recreated with a directional blur on a smart object and then some masking to limit it to desired locations.

A shallow depth of field is hard to recreate in post, but you can try using the lens blur and masking, similar to the blur on the caterpillar.


I believe @Jasmine is correct and just so you know, there's really no such thing as a "macro lens effect." Macro photography usually means that the size of the subject and the size of its reproduction on the sensor/film plane are the same, 1:1. Think of photographing the head of a bee, in the case of macro photography the image of the bees head on the sensor/film plane and the actual size of the bees head would be the same.

The picture of this little animal is well beyond 1:1 magnification. With something this small and close to the lens the DOF is miniscule. Just as with macro photography a small aperture is needed to have enough depth of field which requires more light, a higher ISO, or more time for a correct exposure. This is going to be even more extreme with this subject, so much more light is needed, hence the "overexposure." It also may be that we're seeing this suspended in a liquid which would add to its aesthetic quality.

My Disclaimer: The info on microscope photography comes not from any direct experience but general photographic knowledge and a conversation about a year a ago with friend who does do microscope photography.

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