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This is another composition that I took during the Mike Moats Macro Boot Camp. This palm-sized, sandy-colored piece of flat stone with dark contrasting veins immediately caught my attention and I was quick to grab it when the class began the working portion of our day. I was quite charmed by the outline of the “face” which wasn’t even apparent until after I’d captured with my camera.


The hardest thing about macro (for me) is that I don’t have the right gear. Sure, I have a great camera that takes fantastic pictures, but my foundation is all wrong. Based on what I’ve learned, you can take some pretty amazing macro shots as long as you have the right gear, which I don’t. For example, my tripod is set up with a panning ball head, which is perfect for shooting herding events and fast action, but stinks for taking super close macro shots and stills. When you’re laying on your belly in a swamp you don’t want to have to spend fifteen minutes twisting and turning three handles to get your camera positioned and locked down where you want it. And you can forget about shooting macro without a tripod … the slow shutter speeds totally prohibit hand holding your camera. So for now, tripod manipulation and operation is my most formidable obstacle. Sure, I could get a different ball head for my tripod, but then that leads to needing a different bracket to attach the ball head to my camera. It never ends., this constant wish list of “necessities.”


March 26, 2011 3:02 PM EST.

Canon EOS 7D

ISO: 200, 90mm, 1.0 sec at f/11

Lens: Tamron 90mm




2 responses

  1. Marc

    A couple of thoughts, beyond all the ‘gift’ ideas you can now give to family and friends centering on macro equipment! These last two posts scream “ART!” to me. I fully understand it’s a personal relationship I have with what my eye perceives and then how my brain processes that information. I have been very impressed with your nature photography and photos of horses as well as some of the ‘structures’ pics you’ve taken (especially that one shell of a building you took during autumn) but there’s something about these last two pieces that really appeal to me. I see – and experience – depth and rich texture with this photograph, and it works my imagination, which is just what we want art to do, right? Good stuff.

    March 28, 2011 at 10:08 AM

    • I think you are correct in that macro lends itself well to those who want to take a more artistic approach to photography. I’m not saying landscapes aren’t artistic … they are. But when shooting a landscape you don’t generally get the same kind of artistic license that you might have when you shoot macro. Not that every macro composition is hand “created” by the photographer, but they often CAN be, which is more than I can say about shooting a barn or farm at sunset.

      The interesting thing about macro is that each composition is a unique shot of what the photographer chooses to see (or create) and shoot at that very moment. If the composition includes natural elements, then most of those photos will be a one-of-a-kind shot; there one moment and gone the next. Granted, some macro shots are simply small segments of a larger object that will never change, but often they are more like living, evolving “mini landscapes” … a macro term Mike has accurately coined.

      The other interesting thing I learned (and agree with) is that the people who view macro as an artistic expression are usually other artists. The general public tends to like a composition (or not) because the subject of the photo resonates with them, not because they think a composition is artsy. Mike backed that opinion time and time again by showing us some of his most artistic shots, to which the entire room of photographers responded with deep appreciation. He’d then surprise us by telling us how each and every shot WE loved has bombed at every art show. Artists appreciate art, but the general public wants clear, simple pictures of things they can identify and relate to.

      Abstracts and highly artistic compositions seem to draw great admiration and praise from other photographers, but few photographers want to buy your photo and hang it on their living room wall! 😉

      March 28, 2011 at 3:03 PM

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