Macro Photography

People photograph what they find interesting. What is interesting is often heavily subjective, and I find that such motivations are driven by both, experience and circumstance, much like our personalities and behaviours. As such, being a scientist who yearns for the outdoors and is obsessed with detail, it makes sense that I am interested in the photography of both landscapes and ‘macro’ entities, or more specifically, surface features. Specialist photography however, comes at a price. My camera, a Canon 500D, was bought for around £700, complete with two basic lenses that would suffice for anyone starting out in the world of dSLR photography. There comes a point when some individuals desire to take more than the casual photograph at various social occasions. And for that person, to some extent, the subsequent path to technical and artistic progression is blocked by the requirement for another large-scale investment, or two.

I myself am at this particular stage, and am both, ruing the day that I decided against getting a single, all-round lens of a better quality instead of the two cheaper products that I have, and also despairing at the fact that I must now fork out at least another £600-700. For the forseeable future this is pretty much impossible, and thus, I have sought after temporary quick fixes, of which there are a few!

Firstly, we have a DIY macro lens hack, that I found on everyone’s favourite DIY instructions site, Instructables.com:

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-very-effective-and-cheap-macro-lens-/#step1

I slightly modified this design for my own phone and available materials, but to tell the truth, despite some limitations, (available light and the fixed focal distance and zoom), I’ve managed some interesting photos which I will post shortly.

Another tip, again from Instructables.com, is to use a technique called Reverse Lens Macro. This entails using a lens coupling ring, which screws on to one lens thread, allowing you to affix another lens in serial. You have to be a little careful with this technique, as the rear element of the front-mounted lens is exposed to the air. As such, I have had little opportunity, (or courage!), to use this to any real benefit as of yet. Anyhow, the following two links have some good instructions on how to do this:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Double-lens-reverse-macro-for-an-SLR/step1/What-youll-need/

http://www.instructables.com/id/super-macro-photo-with-a-coupling-ring/

And now for some photos!:

My first attempt. I jammed an LED torch into the corner of my eye and took this in the mirror.

My first attempt. I jammed an LED torch into the corner of my eye and took this in the mirror.

 

HH base layer

A Helly Hansen Dry baselayer top.

Flowers, in Bruges

The cut surface of a felled tree.

The cut surface of a felled tree.

The bark of a felled tree.

The bark of a felled tree.

Leaf & Water

Can make out the delicate veins and 'crinkled' surface of the wings.

You can make out the delicate veins and ‘crinkled’ surface of the wings.

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