Why Macro photography is my new form of meditation. Bringing myself completely into the moment, this exact moment in time when this beautiful wild flower looks exactly as it does, the light reflecting off it. My excitement grows as my awareness increases. The more I look, the more I see. It’s addictive this macro photography.
My girlfriend jokes that I get Photo Face. My eyes narrow, a tiny smile spreads across my face, my eyebrows crease slightly and I look into the middle distance.
When she follows my gaze, she doesn’t see what I’m looking at because it’s bigger than the subject immediately in front of us. I’m a light gauge; I’m looking at the composition of light and shade, form and that insubstantial magical quality that makes a photograph pop.
It’s taken her a while to connect with what photography means to me but then we went out shooting local wildflowers.
Our three dogs were kicking around the valley, snooping amongst the spiny bushes, chasing the scent of wildboar, hightailing after rabbits. Meanwhile, I was getting my groove on.
The wildflowers seem to change weekly, if not daily. And every day when I take the dogs for a walk, I thrash through these same fields only partially paying attention to what’s around me. But with weddings postponing and cancelling, my schedule’s opened up. The time to get out and photograph for the sake of pleasure lured me outside.
Screwing my macro lens onto my Canon 5D, I plugged in my headphones and headed out. Photo Face came out to play.
As I walked through the familiar terrain, hacked through the long grass, I was in a different frame of looking: I was paying attention to the detail. A spot of colour would lure me closer.
Settling down to pull focus on the flower’s details, I remembered how hard it is to focus in macro setting. But, I got there.
Normally, I wouldn’t shoot in bright mid-morning light but this time, with the petal’s glowing in the sun’s light, the vivid splashes of colour contrasted beautifully with the shadowy leaves. The form of each small flower became crystal clear then abstract as I focused on the edges where the light fell, highlighting the curious shapes these amazing flowers take.
As I knelt amongst them and looked deeper, as I paid more attention, more and more detail came to light. The life within the plants, the miniature spider nested down under its fine web, the insect life upon the petals.
I set my camera to record mode to capture the motion as the wind caressed the plants and I concentrated upon holding my camera still enough to avoid judder. Sure, I should have taken my Manfroto tripod, I realised with hindsight.
The sun upon my back. The light dancing before my eyes. Nature’s vivid palette striking my lens. How often do we stop and absorb so completely what’s before us?
On a practical note, it was fun learning the names of the plants that I see every day, however, I’m not a botanist so if I have misidentified any please do let me know.
Tips for macro flower photography
Get down close, use a macro lens if possible or on a phone use macro setting, decrease the exposure a little so the colours are not bleached out. Try to photograph when the light is not too harsh. However, I shot these with high light as I wanted to create more artistic, contrasty images with deep shadows.
If you can bring a tripod to ensure you keep the camera steady.
Please send me a message for more tips and maybe advice if you want to get off auto mode on your camera x stay safe everyone xx
Copywriting gratefully received by Anna Loewy
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