I’ve been struggling a little for photographic inspiration just lately and have been relying on my photo archive to maintain my blog. While it’s been enjoyable to revisit old images and evaluate them with a fresh perspective, today I felt a strong need to create some new work.
I have an office at the bottom of our garden and I’m quite busy writing a report for a client this week, so I don’t have a lot of spare time. Certainly not enough to go out on a photographic expedition. However, it’s been a beautiful day and, as I was looking out at the garden, I remembered that there is a whole world to photograph just steps from my desk. So, at lunch, I decided to get some more practice with my macro (close up) lens.
Macro lenses are beautifully engineered, allowing photographers to capture incredible detail up close. But macro lenses also present a number of challenges. The plane of focus can be incredibly narrow with a macro lens, which means you need to give considerable thought to the angle you will photograph from. If you photograph an object from front to back, it’s extremely difficult (if not impossible) to get the entire object in focus. If you want to capture as much detail as possible, it’s often better to photograph side on, as I have done with this snail. You can see that the tip of its tail (do snails have tails?) is out of focus, even though there is a relatively small distance from its head to its rear.
In macro work, the out of focus areas can really add a beautiful dimension to an image. But it’s quite a skill to control the parts of the image which you’d like to be in focus and those which you want to be blurred. It’s a skill I’m still working on and I am going to try and spend more time in the garden this summer with the lens.
For those of you who are interested in the technical side of photography, this image was taken with a 105mm Micro Nikkor lens. The image has not been cropped and I only made very slight adjustments to the exposure, highlights and shadows in Lightoom.