My Journey into the World of Macro Photography
Written by Matt Kovalik - Jun 17, 2020
I have been an avid photographer for quite a while now, and when I discovered macro photography, I became instantly hooked. After I acquired my first macro lens, I have learnt so much about this type of photography, and continue to practice it in New York, where I currently live. I found out about the Customer In Focus section as I regularly frequent the Digital Camera Warehouse page for any product updates and photography news. This is where I source a lot of my information that has helped my photography journey, which you can read about below.
All it took was a dandelion and a cicada, and I was hooked.
I had always liked photography but never took it seriously or really knew the ins and outs of what each setting meant, how it affected my shot or what the little tulip icon on my camera meant. That’s all part of the fun of learning I suppose.
When my son was born, I needed a camera and started with a Ricoh 2.1MP point and shoot and recall paying $60 for a 32MB (yes, MB!) memory card. Not long after I moved to a Fuji with 10x zoom which was huge back then. They felt worlds apart but I’m sure they weren’t that far.
It was at work in summer that a friend showed me his Olympus E500 camera. I fell in love! It was big and had interchangeable lenses; something I was yet to experience or really understand. It just so happened that my friend was selling the camera and lenses and allowed me to “test-drive” it.
I got home from work and went straight to the backyard to take some shots of the kids and some Myna birds using two of the lenses in the bag. Next up was a 35mm macro lens. I have to admit, I had no idea what macro was when I started using it.
A quick glance around the yard and there it was: a fluffy dandelion. I focused and was enthralled at the detail I could see before me. It was a different world. After a look around, I found a cicada on the screen door. The eyes, the hair, it had me hooked on macro in a handful of shots.
I was lucky enough to live near the Botanic Gardens in Mt Annan so each weekend I’d try something new to shoot. Thankfully, dragonflies and damselflies were always about although can be painful to shoot. Macro photography, especially with bees, spiders or other stingers feels a bit risk versus reward. I’ve not been stung or bitten and the sounds of wasps buzzing around can be daunting but if you can get something that is composed nicely and is in focus, it’s worth it.
Flowers are a different beast altogether. Wind is your enemy and balance! The number of missed shots because I could not stay still while shooting would be enormous. Similar to insects though, the details on stamens or the petals is something to behold.
The world of macro photography is not only fascinating, it gives you a perspective the eye generally doesn’t see and it’s a good learning tool for children. Pollen on bees, stamens of flowers, hair and wings of insects, what more could you want!
For those looking to get into macro photography, there is plenty of cost-effective options out there to get started and it’s now a lens I couldn’t live without and I try have one in my bag at all times. Whether using an adapted legacy lens or something newer, you don’t have to spend big to get started and you don’t necessarily need autofocus. I prefer to manual focus myself. Sometimes the best tools for a job is what you can afford but also the patience to get that desired capture.
What are you waiting for? Go get started!
Matt Kovalik is a keen and passionate photographer, originally from Australia but currently residing in New York. He has a keen eye for detail and uses this this to snap some incredibly breathtaking images. With a wide range of photography skills, Matt manages to capture intricate details of the world that you normally would not notice with the naked eye.
We have been loving seeing the different adventures and photographic journeys our customers go on, and we don’t want it to stop! No matter what kind of photography is your forte, or whether you find beauty in your own backyard or all over the world, we want to see and hear about what you have been capturing.
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