It’s a small world: The art of macro photography.

Where photography is concerned there are so many genres to choose from and I don’t limit myself to just one or two. I have to admit though that macro photography is one of my favourites and I try to dig out my 180mm 3.5 as often as I can. There’s something special about the world of super-close imagery and how usually boring every-day items can become interesting and quirky. The above image was shot for an Open University photography course that I did a couple of years ago. I got the shot simply by piling up some old watch parts on a circular mirror about the size of a cup coaster and placing it on a windowsill bathed in lots of natural light. This image has even made it to the bedroom wall as I had it made into a canvas, I’m proud of that one!

This next one was equally as easy to set up. A couple of strawberries, some natural light and a 00 gauge workman made for miniature train set layouts and you’re good to go. The possibilities are endless and you can really let your imagination run wild to get some awesome and really creative results. I created a similar image using a digging man and some coffee granules.

Here is another of my favourites using a peacock feather (obviously!) I love how macro allows you to see ordinary items in much more detail and makes them look totally different. Macro work is really good for creating abstract images too, you just need to look around you for ideas.

This last one is a bowl of bubbles. Again, easy to do. A splash of washing up liquid added to water, blow into the water through a straw and hey presto, bubbles galore! This one was a little bit trickier and I had to keep changing the focus as bubbles were constantly bursting.

I’m by no means a pro at this and there are far more skilled ways of using macro photography. Such as, taking many images and stacking them on top of each other using specialist computer software. I do this for fun (and it is fun!) give it a go if you can and see what you can come up with!

All images are owned by myself.

A tilted view.

If, like me, you love taking photos and you fancy trying something a little different I would strongly recommend giving tilt-shift photography a go. Now, taking photos is cool anyway but just imagine if you could make everything look tiny, like it was from a toy town. I first tried out my tilt-shift kit at my local railway station with very pleasing results and it was surprisingly easy to do. You don’t need any mega-expensive gear to start but just for example’s sake I used my Canon 5D mk IV with a Lensbaby Composer Pro with Sweet 50mm optic. You really don’t need a kit like this though and can use small and medium format cameras. The lensbaby was around £250 and does the job more than well enough for my needs but you can easily expect to pay upwards of £2000 for a pro-grade tilt-shift lens. Now for the tech bit. The tilt-shift comprises of rotation of the lens plane relative to the image plane (tilt) and movement of the lens parallel to the image plane (shift). So, you rotate and point the end of the lens towards your desired subject whilst keeping the camera body still. To get my images I placed myself on the bridge that crosses the railway line and got some fantastic shots with ease. It really is as easy as point, focus and shoot, moving the end of the lens around to capture what you want to be the main focus of the image. The lens beautifully blurs everything surrounding your subject and gives it the ‘toytown’ effect.

Although being a keen photographer and preferring to use my tilt-shift lens with my DSLR there are many apps available that will give a previously standard image the same effect. You can also edit your regular photos with photoshop and other similar software to give them the miniature look. It’s on my bucket list to take my kit to London and take some photos from The Shard, The Monument and some of the bridges across The Thames.