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  • Writer's pictureBetty Girardeau

Into the Very Heart

Macro photography opens another layer of the world. Our tendency as we walk through life (or all too often perhaps, run) is to see beauty as a surface decoration of our world. Sunsets and sunrises, beautiful views of mountains, streams, and the countryside, to name only a few, are typically the subjects of most images. When you have been traveling, have you ever watched what other people photograph and how they do it? With the advent of the selfie stick, it is even more obvious. Not only is the average travel picture of a famous place, it is of that place with one of more family member as well as the photographer lined up with that famous location or building used as the background of the picture, a surface decoration. What do they really plan to do with these pictures when they get home besides show their friends that they really did travel to such and such place and they have pictures to prove it. Now I have certainly taken my share of beautiful vistas and famous places and will continue to do so, but I think macro photography is what can really take you to the very heart of something. Yes, there are special macro lenses for your camera, but actually you can take some pretty amazing ones with your smart phone. The image above of the backlit petals of this iris in my neighbor's yard is such an example. You just need to get up close and personal with your subject and you have to pay attention to the lighting for the best results. But what a world of wonder and magic is revealed when you do it. I have some macro images that are so close up on the detail of a single petal that the viewer almost needs to ask "what is that?" I also have some where another world of tiny insects was revealed that I never knew was there when I planned my shot. Or others where I wanted to reveal the intricacies of a certain texture. Macro photography takes you into the heart of your subject and that place is an entirely different world from the one we walk through every day.

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