In Part 1, I gave an introduction to microphotography and the gear that you’ll need to take photographs on a very small scale. In this part, we will discuss the joys and challenges of working with tiny creatures and insects.
The world of insects, spiders and other small forms can be enjoyed on any beautiful day from early spring until late autumn. I can step out of my house on any sunny morning with a cup of coffee and leisurely browse the garden and see where the action is. Or I can choose my spot and watch and wait. And with a little patience, insects and spiders will show themselves and sometimes seem to pose for the camera.
Watching the world of gardens in this way quickly reveals that it is truly “a jungle out there” – a jungle of small predators and preys striving for survival. Microphotography can uncover amazing details of the mysterious world of insects. And yet, this amazing world of insects is right outside the door of virtually every home.
One of the most popular books that I read during my childhood was Eric in the Land of the Insects, written by the Dutch author Godfried Bomans. In this humorous fantasy, nine-year-old Eric enters the landscape painting that hangs on his wall and he discovers a world of man-sized wasps, bees, butterflies and other insects that is stunningly similar to the world of humans.
The book made such an impression on me that I have always wanted to explore such a world full of wondrous creatures myself. Once photography became a part of my life, I purchased the Canon MP-E 65 mm f/2.8extreme macro lens and my world was populated with grasshoppers, spiders, snails, flies, dragonflies and butterflies—Eric’s world.
What is Microphotography?
Microphotography (sometimes spelled as two words, micro photography) is an extreme form of macro photography.It is magical because it takes us into a smaller universe of vibrant colors, exquisite details and extraordinary patterns that can literally take your breath away. I photograph invertebrates so close-up that they are transformed into large subjects. Through my images I aim to highlight the different characteristics of a variety of species – and their individual charm.
In order to offer you a better in-depth article for our macro-photography introduction, you’ll find here 5 other tips from my own experience you might need if you want to go further in this magical photography field :
5. Live View. Use the live-view mode. It’s easier when you need to have your camera on the ground for creative perpectives and in the meantime you see directly the depth of field you have. It’s easier than to use the depth of field preview button when you are into the grass. By the way, remember to use enough depth of field. You will usually want to have the best bokeh ever but you will probably end up having almost everything blurry. Especially with extension tubes of course, the depth of field is very shallow.
4.Manual focus. I would usually recommend to use manual focus in order to be sure that the focus is made on the object you want. Otherwise you could be bothered by the Auto-focus choosing another part that you do not want as your main subject. Continue reading 5 Tips to Better Macro Photography (Part 2)→
Macro-photography has this little thing that makes it look magical!
Indeed, this technique transforms common objects into a strange or spectacular landscape. But as it is so small, it is often hard to see what we can get out of it. If you want to shoot insects, they’re quite hard to catch and don’t forget, the wind is your ennemy!
In order to make the most out of your new macro lens or extension tubes, here are 5 tips to improve your macro shots: