I have been writing some articles lately on getting into the swing of shooting macro photography. There have been tips and tricks and ideas on how to improve. The truth is once you get the basics covered it’s all about practicing. And then practice some more. I have found that going on some Macro photography adventures is a great way to spark the imagination. Don’t forget if you’re shooting in dull, dark areas you can always throw a flash into your kit.
Around your house
Explore things around your own home, particularly great if you cannot get out of the house, due to say the weather. Many people say they do not keep such items that would be suitable for macro, but I am sure if you search really hard, and dig in cupboards and drawers, most people at least have a junk drawer! Once you have found a few treasures, I want you to get up close to get some great macro shots. Anything in your house can be a macro photo – so always be looking and taking photos of random things to see what you can come up with;
- flowers — fresh, dried or even artificial
- books spines on shelves are fascinating in macro
- small statues and nic-nacs
- coffee mug (edges and handles are terrific)
- cutlery, cookie trays
- new & old technology
- what about what’s in the fridge or the fruit bowl?
In your own backyard
I am so lucky to have a beautiful back & front yard, with fishponds and native plants, although not very many flowers. My plants are more structural with lots of grasses. But so many things to explore, if you have a garden, even a small one I am sure there are things you can find to photograph, even if it is only cobwebs, spray them with a water bottle (but beware the spider) and capture the beauty there. If you have no garden, perhaps go on a small walk in your neighborhood, there is always something to capture, whether in the country, suburbs or in the city.
I have a neighbor who has a fabulous rose garden, with her permission I am allowed to photograph any of her flowers, I am also allowed to cut some to use in my images as well. Perhaps you have a similarly nice neighbor with an amazing garden of flowers?
Explore your local neighborhood
Now that you have explored your house, inside and out, it’s time for a little field trip. Grab your camera and your lens and go for a little walk around the neighborhood, perhaps it is the route you take your dog for his walk? There are probably all sorts of things you have never noticed before, have you ever noticed just how fascinating everyone’s mailbox is? All so different, numbers on fences and houses? Gardens with so many different flowers than what is in your own. Do you have a local park? Dandelions and seed pods, bark from trees, Autumn or Spring leaves and twigs, so many options.
The Botanical Gardens
In virtually any town I have driven through, stopped at or visited there is always a Botanical Gardens, some large, some small, but either way they are a wealth of photographic material, from the plants and grasses to trees with interesting textures, seedlings and seed pods and of course, the array of bird, insect and animal life that inhabit them.
Your local gardening center
I am so very lucky to live at the base of the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria (Australia), not 15 minutes away from a sub temperate rainforest and so many gardens. There is a lovely gardening center attached to a nursery and magnificent gardens. Only 45 minutes to the Yarra Valley, which is a treasure trove of spots to explore as well. I am sure you have a nursery near you or a gardening center you could visit nearby. These garden centers are wonderful for capturing plants and flowers, you may not normally get to see in your local area. Herbs and seedlings are wonderful in macro as well, not to mention a few knickknacks.
Out in nature
If you are lucky and live in the country, perhaps you could mix this up and visit the city, but for the rest of us who probably live in a town, a city or the suburbs, perhaps plan a trip out into the country. Pack a picnic lunch and share with an accommodating friend or partner, I am lucky as many of my friends and my Hubby are photographers too.
It really does not matter where you go, it does not have to be far, or you could make a real day (or even weekend) of it…if you are restricted by time choose somewhere local. Or if the idea of a trip into the city gets you excited…go for it!
If you would like some more adventure ideas and even more tips and tricks, there is always my original macro photography class — The Magic of Macro, which is currently only AUD$25.00.