Close-ups of organic textures such as tree bark, leaves, and the skins of fruits and vegetables can make fantastic abstract images. Follow these tips to make your macro photographs work:

•Use a lens designed for macro.
•Stop down to at least f/16–22.
•Focus carefully to ensure enough depth of field to show your subject’s texture.
•Use a tripod, since the exposures at small apertures may be too long for you to hold the camera by hand.
•Look for textures and colors that are truly abstract, ambiguous and open to interpretation—it may be tree bark, but does it feel like something else?

Adapted from The Art of Plant & Garden Photography_ by Clive Nichols (Argentum, 2007, $25)._