One of the things that I love most about photography is the ability to capture the smallest of detail in so many things - including sometimes the most mundane of objects. As a child I grew up in rural, country area. I remember on many occasions while hiking the local woods laying down on the forest floor and staring at the life otherwise unseen. Moving of a fallen branch, the brushing away of leaves, peeking into a crevices of a tree trunk can all reveal a tiny world if you will just get down and up close enough to see it. For most of these explorations I am left with only fantastic images in my mind – and while that is a wonderful thing, sadly, I cannot share the experience with others.
It is for this reason that I believe I have a fond attraction to macro photography.
Take this photo for example. Earlier this year, I added a new macro lens to my gear and was walking around my back yard searching for things to shoot with the new lens. My first inclination was to shoot the leaf of a potato vine that as hanging out of a tall cast iron urn. Once I got close, I noticed a tiny bug on the leaf. The bug’s size was so small that I thought it would serve well as a macro model. The little critter was so docile, that he allowed me to measure him with my architect’s scale. He measured just under 1/4 of an inch in length and about 1/16th of an inch wide. I took a few shots and returned to my studio to begin downloading the images from my camera for developing. What I saw was utterly surprising.
This miniscule, bland, rather ugly little bug to my naked eye became a spectacular little specimen with brilliant tropical colors and striking contoured markings – even its body shape and “construction” was absolutely fascinating to me.
Since posting this photograph on my flickr page, one of my viewers emailed me to tell me that what I had captured with the lens was a Red-banded Leafhopper a.k.a. Candy Striped Leafhopper (graphocephala coccinea). He wasn’t much of a hopper, thank goodness, but he certainly did like that leaf.