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Explore your own backyard with a macro lens

Feeling a little caged in after spending the last few months indoors due to the weather? Now that the weather is a little bit nicer, maybe it’s time to grab your camera and macro lens and go exploring your own backyard (or front yard) a little. We don’t even have to go too far, but when you look at the world with a macro lens, you don’t have to.

Welcome to my garden

I live in Melbourne, Australia. It is now spring here, but even in autumn there is plenty happening in the garden, even weeds have some pretty flowers when looked at through a macro lens. My garden is mostly filled with native plants, which are more structural than floral, but I still have plenty to turn my attention to. So welcome to my garden — let’s have a little look around.

Everything is fair game

I always think it’s amazing that even cobwebs, weeds and insects take on a whole new intrigue when viewed through a macro lens.

When you dive into the world of macro, it’s all about finding the tiny little details. Dewdrops and sunrays can become magical. Look for the extraordinary; fine cobwebs and rusty nails, dewdrops refracting in the light and tiny insects leading their little lives.

Enter the world of macro

It might be spring here in Australia, and there is plenty of new growth. My Protea King White is bursting back into bloom, and I have a wonderful garden full of fantastic, structural and unique plants. My grevillea is in full bloom and the wattlebirds and honey bees love it, even the spent flowers are so interesting, beauty in decay, especially when compared to the flush of new growth.

The cycle of life, death and rebirth is so evident in the garden.

A world bursting with life

The birds and the bees (and other insects) are super busy in my garden. Native honey bees, which were placed in danger with the bushfires a few years ago, are busy collecting nectar from my bottle brush and grevillea. Just be careful not to get too close and make them angry.

Avoid harsh light

Avoid the harsh light during the middle of the day. Try early morning, with dew drops on plants and lots of activity. Alternatively, try late in the afternoon, before all the animals bed down for the night. There is usually a bustle of activity as the sun is going down.

What gear to use

Ultimately it does not really matter what you use. I used my Sony a7R III and my Sony 50mm f/2.8 macro lens, but you could use a 90, 105mm or whatever macro you have. If you don’t have that try looking at extension tubes, I really like my Vello ones; they get me in even closer … just be wary around stinging insects!

The added bonus

There is an added bonus to having some fun in the garden and getting some fresh air, sunshine and a bit of exercise.

Now that you have that all in-camera, grab a cup or tea or glass of wine and spend a few hours editing them in your favorite software.

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Rafael Jones

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