Just after lockdown I wanted to look for another style of photography, and having a camera with a fantastic resolution I decided to enter the world of Macro photography.
Macro photography means shooting at a magnification ratio of at least 1:1 and a ‘true’ macro lens has the ability to produce a magnification ratio of 1:1.
Macro photography is extreme close-up photography, usually of very small subjects and living organisms, like insects, in which the size of the subject in the photograph is greater than life size (though macro photography technically refers to the art).
Going from fast moving birds with my 600 zoom lens to a very small insects and flowers was a big change and needed a different approach all together.
I didn’t have to venture far because the garden is a fantastic place for spiders and all species of insect.
The woodlouse was making it’s way across the garden when I spotted it. Instead of trying to hide, it curled up into a tight ball – something I have never witnessed before.
Focusing with macro photography is very different than what I am used to with bird.
Using depth of field is critical when photographing insects – you must try and capture the whole insect in focus and this is more important than the background to your subject.
A week passed with some nice images from around the garden, but I really wanted some bee and wasp images.
Close to where we live is a small nature reserve with some nice wild gardens. The light was great for bees, and I found a nice suitable place to sit with the sun behind me.
After a short while trying to capture bees on flowers, I changed settings and used my birds in flight settings to follow the bee in flight.
I wasn’t expecting to capture and bee or wasp in flight, but on returning home I loaded the images into the laptop and got a big surprise – some were 100% in focus.
What a amazing experience to be in their world for a short time, observing the way the fly from one flower to another looking for their harvest. They never seem to stop and rest – its a constant battle to collect as much pollen as possible.
Macro photography is about slowing down and and seeing things from the subject’s perspective, entering a world of miniature creatures that move quickly and then stop for a brief moment.
Watching certain species of fly or bee was very interesting. The different colours and designs are incredible.
My first experience with the macro lens was very interesting, and as the days passed I kept noticing insects wherever I went in the garden.
Not all insects were easy to get an image of so its going to be a case of patience and time spent in their world.
As I photographed the insects, I could not help but notice the wide variety of plants and leaves that in their own way had amazing colour and detail.
A simple cobweb takes hours of work to build and with the morning dew on it glistening in the morning sun, it is stunningly beautiful.
Detail and image quality are the two most important things I look to achieve when I take photographs of anything.
From portrait to landscape, photos of birds or insects all have to be meticulous to show the scene or subject in the best possible way.
How lucky we are to see this miniature world captured in outstanding detail that many people rarely see or know about.
I really hope this blog gives the reader an insight into the world of insects.