Macros and Close Up Photography

Post 1 – Finding subjects

So what’s the buzz about?

Stingless bee, Belize © 2014 Bob Harvey

Stingless bee, Belize
© 2014 Bob Harvey

Bob caught this bee after studying the flight patterns of the bees at El Pilar Mayan Site in Belize.  Harmless bees, a lot of patience, and a quick trigger finger!

On the trail in Costa Rica © 2014 Diane Kelsay

On the trail in Costa Rica
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

Not all images require patience and timing, but some do require that you LOOK when hiking down a trail.  I like to turn around occasionally when I see a potential subject and check the lighting from the other side, as well as alternate compositions.  Do watch where you are walking though, I sometimes get carried away looking backwards and … ooops!

And speaking of views from the ground…

Hosta, at home by the patio. © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Hosta, at home in the garden.
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

I spent a lot of time composing this one.  The morning rain left gorgeous drops on leaves (it also left the ground very wet).  I set up my tripod and got down on the ground, being careful not to bump the plant. I played with the aperture while looking at the image with depth of field preview on.  Notice the reflections of other hosta leaves in each drop.  I wanted every drop in focus but no more – more depth of field would have made the background distracting.

Heliconia, Belize © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Heliconia, Belize
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

Opposite strategy, little depth of field – I placed a flower right in front of the lens to make the red a soft focus framing for the stark black and green lines.

Butterfly, Costa Rica © 2014 Bob Harvey

Butterfly, Costa Rica
© 2014 Bob Harvey

As with the plants, you don’t always need to show the whole critter.  Sometimes an abstract design has greater impact.

Sea anemone © 2014 Bob Harvey

Sea anemone, Oregon Coast
© 2014 Bob Harvey

I do love this photo of Bob’s.  What a great design! You are seeing about 1 inch of a 5 inch anemone.

Basilica, Quito, Ecuador © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Basilica, Quito, Ecuador
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

After photographing numerous shots of stained glass windows and the light patterns on the stone walls, I moved in close to capture the texture and color of a small space.

Sunlight on ice, Yellowstone winter © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Sunlight on ice, Yellowstone winter
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

I worked with a few of our participants to find ways to capture the glow of the backlit ice.  We had lots of fun moving around in the snow and finding great angles.  I then taught them how to include a starburst in an icicle by stopping down the aperture and shooting with a wide angle lens.

Wolf print in the snow, Yellowstone winter © 2014 Bob Harvey

Wolf print in the snow, Yellowstone winter
© 2014 Bob Harvey

On our trips, we are constantly looking for surprises.

Bacteria mats, Yellowstone winter © 2014 Diane Kelsay

Bacteria mats, Yellowstone winter
© 2014 Diane Kelsay

Close-up potentials are everywhere in Yellowstone – sometimes you do have to lie down on the boardwalk and lean over the side! Yellowstone, Belize, Costa Rica, Oregon, and our own backyards are some of our favorite places to work with macro lenses.  We also like to use telephoto lenses and extension tubes and sometimes wide angle.  I will be posting more on this subject. We would be happy to work with you to develop more macro skills.  It is a great way to look at the world. Email me for more information – diane@naturephotographyadventures.com

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