I think you hit the nail on the head: It's the shallow DOF you get with closer focus that's probably causing the issues. I can think of two ways to tie macro shots in with the rest of the world:
1 - Rather than dropping straight from wide/distant to close/narrow, make it a progression. Photograph the wider scene, then get a LITTLE closer, but with the same subject in the same place in the frame, shot from the same angle. Then a LITTLE closer, etc. until you're right up next to it. The effect in the synth would be like a helicopter sequence in a movie where you start high and eventually land the camera on the scene.
2 - Give your macro shots more DOF.
I hope #2 has people laughing, at least a little. Shallow DOF is characteristic of a macro shot. This is one of the reasons why most macro lenses on the market have apertures that can produce ridiculously small f/ratios. The one on my Canon will do f/32.