A Macro Holiday

Taking a Break from Landscape Photography

As passionate as I am about my landscape photography even I need a break from it every now and again. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been on holiday enjoying some welcome time with my family. Normally when I go away for my summer holiday I don’t bother taking my D850 but this year I decided that I would. However, I didn’t take it to do any landscape photography.

If you are a regular reader of the blog you’ll be aware that I tried my hand at macro photography for the first time earlier this year. You can see my first attempts at macro photography here and here. From those two experiences I knew I wanted to do more macro photography and I promised myself I would invest in a macro lens in 2020.

The reason I took my D850 on holiday was that I knew the person I was staying with had a Nikon mount Sigma 105 macro lens and a garden full of life. I could borrow his lens and without having to travel anywhere get some macro photography practice in.

My time with the camera on holiday was still going to be limited though as I had a lot of other priorities, but I thought I would share with you some of my macro holiday snaps!

Flower Bud

Looking around the garden I could see a lot of flowers in bloom and my first instinct was to photograph them. Looking more closely though I discovered that the flowers that hadn’t fully bloomed were far more interesting!

I like a few things about this photograph. I like the colours, composition and the subject itself. Technically speaking though, it’s not perfect. I could have probably done with a fraction more depth of field as the tip of the flower is just a little out of focus. I would have opened up the aperture a bit more, but this would have caused more of the messy background to come into focus.

Despite the technical issues with this picture it is my favourite from this collection.

Flower Bud - Nikon D850, Sigma 105mm f/2.8, f/5.0, 1/400th sec at ISO 64

Green Bug

OK, firstly, apologies for not knowing the name of this particular bug so you will have to excuse me referring to it as just a green bug. Names aside, what drew me to this composition was colour contrast between the bug itself and the fruit it was sat on. Unfortunately I couldn’t get close enough to isolate the fruit and bug from the rest of tree but I thought it was still worth taking.

I very narrowly missed out on nailing the focus for this one. If you look closely the eyes are just a little out of focus. I think the eyes are slightly further away than the front of the head and the part of the head behind the eyes as both of those parts are in focus. It just shows you how razor-thin the plane of focus can be in macro photography.

Obviously I have much to learn in this area of photography and plenty of practice is required!

Green Bug - Nikon D850, Sigma 105mm f/2.8, f/6.3, 1/100th sec at ISO 64

The Fly

I have to admit that I’ve never found the humble fly that interesting until I took a macro photograph of one. Now, I did cheat a little bit with this photograph. I couldn’t get very close to this subject but thanks to all those megapixels in the D850, even with a heavy crop, there is still loads of detail to be seen. Sure, a heavy crop isn’t the way to approach a photograph like this normally, but I just found the photograph too fascinating not to share. Does anyone have any idea what the red blob on its mouth is? You can even see my reflection in it!

The Fly - Nikon D850, Sigma 105mm f/2.8, f/5.6, 1/125th sec at ISO 64

I know these macro photographs aren’t going to win any awards. My composition and focusing needs a lot of work but that didn’t take away any of the enjoyment I got from capturing and viewing these images. The macro world is absolutely fascinating and these holidays snaps have only firmed up my commitment to doing more macro photography!