Let me start by making it clear that I am not a professional photographer. Yes, I’ve been paid for a few jobs here and there, mostly friends and family who are looking for some nice portraits or maternity photos. Photography for me is, at the least, a hobby and at the most an artistic pursuit that allows me to flex my limited creative muscle. I enjoy all types of photography from landscapes to portraiture and everything in between. That being said, I think I can say, without hesitation, that it was macro photography that really got my interested in pursuing the art of the photograph.
I’ve always had a mild interest in photography ever since I took a photography class back in high school (which was long enough ago that i’d rather not specify). But it was just a few years ago that I got my first DSLR and started playing around with it. I took pictures of my kids, the dog, some sunset shots, you know, the stuff us amateurs take pictures of. Then one day I was taking some pictures of my kids at the park and I decided to take some extreme close-up shots of some things around the park. The subject matter wasn’t anything overly exciting but I really liked the shots. There was so much detail in these little things that you just never notice with the naked eye. The photograph unlocked these tiny worlds for me to explore.
After this I started shooting more and more macro style photographs. Flowers, bees, insects, water droplets, etc. But I didn’t stop there. I started reading articles, watching tutorials online, and trying different photography techniques like HDR and long exposures. I got a few new lenses and experimented with them. I did some portraits for family members that they were very happy with. I’ve even got into astrophotography. I can trace this newfound passion back to those early macro shots.
I still shoot a lot of macro and close-up work to this day. There is just something magical about being able to find those tiny worlds that are hidden away at the edges of our perception. Finding these shots can be an adventure in it’s own right. You don’t have to be in an exotic location or have the perfect model or even the perfect lighting. You can go out your front door, get down low, and find an endless supply of tiny little worlds ripe to be discovered. When I’m not feeling overly inspired or I’m having a hard time finding a good shot I tend to take a step back (or down) and find some interesting macro shots. They’re never hard to find and you usually don’t have to look very far.
So, what does macro mean to me? It’s a gateway to another world. It’s a place where I can always find inspiration even when I’m struggling. It’s the catalyst for my love and passion for the art of photography.