The Secret World of Macro
Macro photography can be great fun, but at the same time our images can get a little stale. What do I mean by that? There is a tendency to take close up images of subjects where the subject is clearly identifiable. There is nothing wrong with this, but after a while it is easy for both you and your viewers to get bored. Consider the following image:
This isn't too bad. There is a slight angle to the subject which helps to show some depth, and the background is slightly blurred, but still gives a sense of the environment. There is a lot of interesting details that you can see in some of the petals.
The issue is, that if this is all we are doing with our macro images, after a while interest will start to wane. One answer is to go for the details. Here is another shot of this same orchid:
In this image, by limiting the depth of field and ensuring the subject is sharp, we get a completely different view of this flower. The angle makes it look like a tiny spaceship.
We can also play with angles, conditions, lighting etc. If you have attended my lecture on flower photography, one of the things that I mention is "when shooting flowers, look at several different aspects and angles. When you think you have photographed all the options, look for one more. That image is typically the one that you will like the best. Why, because it is unique.
Here are a couple of more images to help provide some inspiration for your next macro shoot.
Here is a milkweed photographed under very windy conditions. The wind pushing against the seed pod makes it look like a flower. This can be a very challenging shot to get, but with some patience and studying the movement of the subject, interesting results can be achieved.
Side angle view with a small insect to add some additional interest. In addition, the leaf fading off into the distance helps to give the image some depth. Here there were two things that I did in addition to the angle. I waited for the hover-fly to get into the right position, and I pre-focused on the stamens to make sure that the insect would be sharp.
The backside of an orchid. Sometimes these shots can be extremely interesting. I like this one because of all the lines and textures, along with a very soft feel. This is an example of working all the angles including the backside of the flower.
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