Monday, April 20, 2015

The beautiful world of macro photography


“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” 
- Ansel Adams


With the coming of spring and summer besides gardening there is another activity that makes me squeal with excitement: macro photography.

Few years ago I became interested in finding out how exactly do photographers capture extreme close ups.  As I explored the surrounding world with my camera, I wanted to capture everything closer, much closer than I was able to capture with my regular lens.  I wanted to see the bee's face, zoom in on fly's eyes and have a staring contest with a spider.  Regular lens just couldn't get me close enough.  After a short investigation, I found my answer.

Macro lens.

That was not a cheap venture but I splurged and I got my lens.  It was money well spent.  As I started snapping, I discovered a whole new world beneath my feet, a world buzzing with life and a world threatened with innocent activities as simple as weeding a garden.

Through the last several years I've collected countless photographs of little critters, tiny flowers, curious spiders and others.  The first year when I got my macro lens it wasn't to unusual to go hiking in the area and find me laying across the trail starring intensely at something on the ground, trying to get a good shot.  I was obsessed.

Some photographs came with stories attached such as the story of the jumping spider who gave me one of my favourite captures.



I was in my yard looking around for little critters to photograph when I noticed a movement near one of the deck boards.  I took a closer look and noticed what it looked to be a jumping spider.  He wasn't very big, maybe an inch in size or less.  At first I thought he disappeared into the crack but then I noticed that he was hiding in the shadow as if waiting for me to leave.  When I came up closer, he came out of the crack waved his green little fangs at me and retreated back into the crack.  Incredible. I had a genuine human to spider interaction happening.

Over the next half an hour I kept this spider cornered in the little crack.  I called him Hairy.  If I zoom in on the picture I can see me and the camera in Hairy's eyes.  The black blob in his eyes is my camera lens.  Every once in a while he would come out of his little crack, angrily wave his fangs at me and retreat back.  Over and over.  I just laughed and kept shooting.  The lighting wasn't too great around the crack and it was cloudy that day so getting a good shot at Hairy was easier said than done. Besides, I was so very new at this.

After half an hour and three hundred shots later I thought I had what I needed: a connection with a spider, a fun experience and a shot clear enough to remember all of this by.  Once I took my camera and stepped away from the crack, Hairy took off in a flash never to be seen again.

Besides spiders, bees have always been my other favourite subject to photograph.  They are simply beautiful. Flying from flower to flower, minding their own nectar gathering business, covered in pollen and completely oblivious to a crazy woman with the camera literally inches away from them.


Dragonflies are a toughie.  After couple of years of trying I finally got some shots last year.  We have some dragonflies in our area but not many and when they come they rarely sit somewhere accessible to shoot.  This one came and sat on my orange sweet pepper plant last July and I was more than thrilled to whip out my camera and take advantage of it.


And then there are the dew drops.  Those have to be captured first thing in the morning while the world is still in the process of waking up.  They are tiny, they are temporary and they are so beautiful.


Now that the spring is in its full swing and the whole world is waking up from winter slumber, my macro lens will be busy again.  As a matter of fact it's already been dusted off and attached to my camera.  I'm thinking of dedicating one post a week to the wonderful subject of macro photography. There are still so many things I haven't captured.  The macroscopic world beneath our feet is vast and teeming with life and I'm sure there is not enough time left in my life to capture it all.

Namaste


11 comments:

  1. You have a wonderful blog here, most awesome photo's and interesting to read.

    Yvonne.

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    1. Thank you very much Yvonne, I'm so happy you stopped by. You have a great blog yourself, I'm very much enjoying reading your poetry. Nice to meet you friend. :)

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  2. So stunning...I am amazed at these gorgeous captures!
    Fantastic photography and photographer ;)

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    1. Thank you so much Jan, I'm so happy you like them. :)

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  3. I love macro photos and yours are magnificent! It must be so fun to take these shots.

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    1. Thank you so very much Debra. Yes, it's so much fun to take them. Macro lens was probably the best purchase I've ever made. :)

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  4. I am crazy about macrophotography and I'm so impressed by your photos! It has me inspired and I can't wait to get my macro lens out and push the limits of what I've done so far. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. You're very welcome Monica, I'm so glad to have inspired you. Thank you for your lovely comment and have fun with your camera. :)

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  5. Lovely macro shots. I believe Hairy is a Phidippus Audax. They have excellent eye sight. One of my favorite spiders!

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