When you think of nature, what’s the most impressive thing that strikes you about it? Is it the grandeur of the landscapes? Is it the minutia of the small components that make up the world? For me, it’s definitely the scale of nature that always strikes me as majestic. I can climb a mountain that towers above the plains; but even on the peak of this mountain, I can find the tiniest flowers. In focusing on the small elements of nature, I’ve found some fascinating photographs.
Even before I had my DSLR camera, I found a setting on my point-and-shoot digital camera that could be used for macro photography. Being able to get close to something and capture it in a picture felt like I had the world under a microscope, even if the capabilities of the camera were limited.
One of the first lenses I had to purchase once I bought my DSLR was a macro lens. The kit lens just couldn’t get close enough to focus on the small details of nature that I wanted. Of course, once I got this macro lens, I found that taking pictures with it wasn’t as easy as it once was. Maintaining focus on my subject proved to be difficult without a steady hand. I could open up the f-stop to increase the depth of field, but then I’d lose the sharp focus of whatever I was taking a picture of.
In the end, I enjoy the small details present in nature, and I’m willing to “smell the roses” as it were. I wouldn’t consider it shoegazing as much as appreciating the things in life that help paint the mosaic of a landscape. We may not be able to see each individual leaf on every single plant when we look at a landscape, but knowing that they’re down there and have their own, intrinsic beauty just adds to the picture.
I would encourage you to kneel down sometime and take a closer look at the nature around you. You might be surprised at what you find!
As always, have fun!
– Benjamin M. Weilert