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Macro Photography – Lichen Branch

They say the devil is in the details, and those details can be captured with macro photography. Macro photography allows you to capture a world that goes otherwise unnoticed in a place where bigger usually equates to better. Getting closer to a subject can open your eyes to a hidden world populated with new colors, textures, and forms, which in my humble opinion is a photographer’s dream; we’re always looking to be different and to explore the unknown.

I’m always searching for new perspectives, and looking through a camera lens allows me to see the world in a completely new way. Our vision is approximately the same as a 50mm lens mounted on a full-frame camera, so we can replicate what we see with the naked eye using this lens, or we can completely alter our field of view by introducing wide angle or telephoto lenses.

Macro photography holds a special place in my heart because it allows you to literally see your subject from inches away – I sometimes feel as if I’m looking through a microscope, but I’m reminded that it’s just a 1:1 representation of the subject after looking at the focus ring on the lens.

You’ll need some photography equipment to do this right. For starters, a macro lens is a necessity. Then, you’ll want to invest in a tripod and a remote trigger release. You should also be familiar with how to focus your camera manually because the autofocus system is going to hunt for a focus point when you’re this close. You want absolute control of this, so manual it is.

Another recommendation, if you can swing it, is a macro focusing slide for your tripod; this allows you to make very small adjustments in both x and y coordinates to get the best focus. You can find phenomenal tripods and accessories over at Really Right Stuff; a little warning though… this stuff is expensive, but the quality is top of the line and it will last a lifetime.

Lichen Branch

Lichen is a really unique type of fungus that comes in different shapes and colors; it primarily grows on tree branches, limbs, rocks, and soil. It’s interesting that some lichen are used to assess regional air pollution as a few of the lichen species are sensitive to pollution and may die if exposed to it.

This particular lichen species is white and was found on a dead tree branch at the park. I love how macro photography blows the background completely out of focus here.

A dead tree branch filled with white lichen fills the frame with a blurred grassy background.

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