Appreciating Little Things Around Us Through Macro Photography
I describe myself as a family lifestyle photographer who is very much moment driven. I love capturing emotions that come out of sessions wile photographing kids, moms-to-be on their new journey and newborns. When it comes to daily life and/or lifestyle imagery, I have always loved shooting the details from various perspectives. However, once in a while utilizing macro photography with my noot-so-human subjects is something that is refreshing for my soul. Within macro photography itself, I enjoy photographing details of my kids and other still life, but shooting flowers is my absolute favorite. It opens up a whole new world of exploration for me, something that helps me to take a moment to pause and observe the little things around me.
Here are some of my tips on appreciating the ‘smaller’ and simple things around us.
Step outside the house or plan a picnic and take your macro lens only.
Macro photography requires focusing on details, an eye for looking out for the smaller things. Taking the time out to appreciate them is sharing the world and nature alongside with us.
Many days, to re-inspire myself and take a break from my usual subjects, I like to step outside in my backyard just looking for little things that I normally wouldn’t notice otherwise: the dew drops on the leaves, the pattern of the leaves themselves, the honey bee that has been trying to find a place to settle on a flower, the little bug resting on a leaf, dandelions around me. All of that.
Planning a trip like a picnic with the family to the nearest botanical garden or even a simple park helps to get out of a rut and pause for a moment to find things to photograph which we wouldn’t otherwise notice.
Buy some flowers for yourself and photograph them in different ways.
Many days it may not be entirely possible to get out and shoot your favorite macro subjects. It may be winter time when it can be impossible to plan anything outdoors. If the temperatures are bearable, you could try to shoot some macro of the snowflakes. Other times, it may be difficult to find inspiration to step outside during rainy or snowy days. Those days, I typically buy some flowers for myself and photograph them indoors in various ways. If it is difficult to find flowers because of the season, I try and find details within the house to photograph and highlight.
Macro photography doesn’t have to be only flowers or insects around us.
It can be about highlighting little details in your kids’ lives, or smaller objects around your own house. Some great examples would be photographing your child’s lashes, movement of their hair, or maybe the way they hold their crayon to color. It can also be inanimate objects like details of food, still life or anything else you can find in your house that you may not have observed before.
Consider a minimalistic approach when it comes to macro.
When it comes to photographing macro taking a minimal approach often works best. In some of my images you will notice, I isolate the subject, this helps the subject stand out much better while highlighting the focus where I want it to be.
With regards to equipment and lenses for macro, you can always purchase a macro lens but a good pair of extension tubes (around $80-$100) attached to even your nifty fifty (50 mm 1.8 prime lens that costs around $120) can do wonders without breaking the bank. Another technique to experiment with for macro would be using a tilt shift lens similar to a Lensbaby or even freelensing, a method where you detach the lens from the camera body. I would love to hear what other techniques you have experimented with when macro shooting!
Macro photography can be very rewarding when you want to take a break from photographing your regular subjects/people and want to simply be still with nature. It helps you to slow down and observe the little things around you and explore your creativity as well when you are in a creative rut.
Jyo Bhamidipati is a lifestyle and family photographer serving the Sacramento area. You can find more goods from Jyo here:
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