The Mini Magic of Macro Photography

The grand scheme of things, the bigger picture, and the macro, are often overlooked as being superfluous. In terms of macroeconomics, sure a headache may result. In terms of macroevolution, sure, misunderstanding can occur. Macro photography on the other hand, is quite another story. Its just big pictures of small things. Simple.

I have set out to change the way that I approach and look at the details while shooting, and to slow down my process a bit. This is where macro photography comes in. By getting in that much closer to the subject, and slowing down to see just a bit, or a part, of its being even for just a few extra seconds gets the brain thinking more about the best way to take the photo.

In many cases, macro photography requires two things, a tripod, and a ring light. A tripod for stability during long exposures (common in macro), and a ring light to illuminate shadows that are otherwise cast by the camera, tripod, and photographer. Sometimes a remote or timer function can go a long way towards stabilizing the camera as well.

In my case, my Sigma 50mm EX macro lens has a fairly wide aperture of 2.8. Not too fast, but not too slow. Its use definitely called for a tripod, and the mini Gorillapod SLR and ball head mount served the purpose beautifully. I wanted to see if I could get away without the use of a ring light, because not only are they spendy, they are quite bulky. Mother nature and natural sunlight seemed to have worked perfectly outdoors in my case, as the setting sun did not allow for many shadows to invade my photos.

I settled down in the Hell’s Kitchen garden one block away from my apartment and got right to shooting the plants, flowers, and foliage, that had just recently peeked their heads out in search of Spring. The weather was warm, and the sun was close to setting, so I had a limited amount of light and time, but the results of actually forcing myself to make something nice in the frame, metering it perfectly, and making minor adjustments all while on the ground was actually quite fun.

I look forward to getting out this weekend some more to practice the art of seeing the bigger picture in a smaller subject. These are the kind of photos I was excited about while taking them, developing them, and even while scanning them, so be on the lookout for more soon.

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