Macro Series, Part I: Why Macro?

June 09, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

Macro photography has never interested me, that is until now. Sure, great macro imagery has always been fascinating to look at, but for some reason never inspired me to try it. Perhaps the reason for my lack of interest was that I never owned a macro lens and the once when I played with a friend's lens the very narrow depth of field (the small part of the image that is in focus versus the large parts of the image that is out of focus) was off putting. This especially bugged me since I was a landscape photographer wanting everything to be pin sharp.

          So why the sudden interest in macro now? And why should you be interested in macro too? They say that necessity is the mother of invention, or in my case the mother of inspiration.  Nebraska is not renowned for its exotic landscape scenery. So I was forced to branch out into other genres of photography. That got me into bird photography. Yet, certain seasons are not the best for bird photography as many of them are migratory. What then was I to photograph now that landscapes have generally been ruled out and birds are not always present? This is where macro photography enters. This is what persuaded me to enter this genre and why perhaps you might want to as well:

  1. Macro opportunities are everywhere. There is no place where you cannot shoot macro. In winter you can shoot snowflakes. There are always plants that can be explored with a macro lens. There are always bugs. Anything can be interesting when seen through a macro lens.

  2. You don't have to travel. Macro possibilities abound anywhere and everywhere, right where you are.

  3. Weather almost does not matter. The time of day does not matter. Yay, no more getting up hours before sunrise. Everything you shoot in macro is in the shade of your flash diffuser and lit by your flash.

  4. It is reasonably cheap to get into, relative to some other genres of photography. You don't need a fancy flash, a cheap one is just fine. A manual focus macro lens is cheap compared to many other lenses. We will talk about equipment in the coming weeks.

Do you notice the heart just above this ladybug's head? Yes, I have come to love macro photography. this is one of my very first macro images. And yes, the narrow depth of field is still frustrating, but we will solve that puzzle in another part of this series. Macro allows you to enter another small world. It lets you see details that you have never seen before. Come follow me through this series as I share my macro journey with you and teach you what I have learned. Perhaps it will inspire you to try macro.


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