Seeing familiar things in a new light has always fascinated me. From the time I first took close-up photos of flowers and insects, and then bark, pebbles, grass, even flaking paint and specks of rust, I could not wait to process the films. Mostly, the results were disappointing and out of focus as my lens could not get as close as I wanted and still produce sharp images, but occasionally there would be an arresting image where just enough was sharply focused, leaving the background soft and surreal. I was hooked! The most wondrous gift I ever received from my husband, apart from my four beautiful children, was my Nikon macro lens a couple of years ago.
Balloons & Stars
Since then I have photographed every imaginable object and subject with that lens! Zooming in on ordinary everyday objects like flowers, toothbrushes, baby pacifiers, fruit and vegetables, textured fabrics, kitchen implements and even hair clips and floor boards, I have discovered a wealth of creativity right under my nose - and without even having to leave home!
I love the way macro photography can transform the familiar into the alien and uncover detail I never believed existed.
Red Stamens of a Poinciana Flower
It's as addictive as travelling to exotic places! Everywhere I look, I see something that I could explore with my lens. It's also challenging and mind-expanding as I find I am always thinking outside of the box in trying to achieve an insight into something most people would find mundane and ordinary.
And no subject is ever finished with. I constantly revisit the same flower or a favourite spot in the garden, an angle of a willing subject's face or a particular feature of one of our many pets.
There are so many variables that can change the resulting image - the time of day, the light dancing off the leafy branches and illuminating the fine markings on a tiny petal that I have not seen before, a gentle breeze causing a soft breath of movement that gives the image a dream-like quality, that magic few minutes just after a shower where everything is fresh and new and reflections abound in tiny raindrops...
Opportunities for creativity are everywhere! Macro Photographer Robert Thompson says: "The subject material is infinite; the creative potential is limited only by the imagination."
Take time to smell the flowers
Working with macro has dramatically changed the way I view my life. I am now so much more aware of the intricacies contained in the detail that we so often miss. It has made me look just a little closer at the facial expressions of the people I photograph, at the tiny lines and creases, and how the light plays across their features making them unique, giving me a glimpse of the beauty in all humanity that is so often hidden behind the masks we choose to wear.
If we take the time to pay attention to the detail in our everyday lives, we will realise just how incredible the world really is!
Pastel Lily Stamens