Zoomed In: My Macro Obsession

I love to pretend that I’m an actual photographer.

I say pretend, because in reality, the only things I know about the act of photography are from YouTube tutorials.

I use a 55mm Nikon D3400 DSLR that’s about 3 years old and was on sale at Costco for around $700, and I have a small accessories kit that includes a remote, some extra lenses, and a couple tripods. I do not have anywhere near a professional setup.

I still take tons of photos, and imagine that I’m some knock-off version of Ansel Adams. (My mother had a print of Ansel Adams New Church, Taos Pueblo, New Mexico c. 1929 hanging in our upstairs hallway when I was a kid. I always wanted to jump inside that black and white, New Mexican landscape and runaway and live clad in turquoise jewelry forever. I still might.) I, mostly, take photos of nature, sunsets, my kid, weird and random things, and I used to take hundreds of pictures of my dog.

I take them, edit them, and then they sit there for years without me doing anything with them, and then I periodically batch delete them.

In fact, just this morning, I took about 100 photos of myself because the light was ok and my friend just cut my hair, so I wanted to send her a pic of my bob for posterity. Found the one picture I deemed decent enough to send, and now, at some point, I’ll have to spend some time deleting them all.

However, I digress. This post has nothing to do with my weird habit of taking a lot of photos and then ultimately deleting them. (I just always want to solidify just how weird I am for you all.) Instead, it’s about my newest obsession, macro photography.

Blossom from a squash plant. If this doesn’t blow your mind, are you even alive?

Macro photography is basically just extreme close-up photography.

About 5 years ago, a friend of mine had ordered an inexpensive rubber band macro lens from Photojojo (which I’m sorry to say, no longer exists) for her smartphone, and I was intrigued, so I ordered one too. (Here is the link to a smartphone macro lens that is nearly identical to the one I have.)

I used it a couple of times, but could never really figure it out well enough to take non-blurred photos, so it gathered dust for years in my camera bag.

Then, the other day, I was feeling spunky, and I busted it out. Now, I’m obsessed.

I’ve been taking macro shots all over the place. Most recently, I took it on one of our hikes and obsessively took photos of the moss growing on rocks.

This is moss!! Is there a scientific field just for moss? If not, there should me. (I will now be googling to see if Alie Ward has covered this “ology” on her show yet. Would it be mossology? I’d get behind that. Also, if you don’t listen to Ologies, you should start, immediately. *Update: Shut the fuck up! I just looked on her site, and I shit you not, the latest episode is about MOSS!!! The cosmos have aligned in my favor. Moss science is apparently called Bryoloy.

More moss!!

Macro photography is basically every science nerd’s dream imagined. I love being able to investigate things on such a close level.

It always feels refreshing to see things from a new point of view.

I’m assuming this black spot is some kind of parasite, or maybe an egg sac? I wonder if the leaf turns into Lady Macbeth and furiously tries to get it off while yelling, “Out, out, damn spot!”

It’s been a pretty poignant learning moment at a time when I’m working so hard to slow down and be in the present moment.

To see things on such a microscopic level has made me really stop and think about how we are all just walking around living our day to day lives, but there are so many worlds going on around us that seem small, but are actually incredibly complicated. It makes me really pause and think about how much is going on inside each and every one of us on a cellular level. It’s incredibly mind-blowing, and it gives me the same small and connected feeling I get when I see the stars and space. We are all a part of this incredibly intricate and interwoven fabric of the earth.

All of that from a photo of some moss.

I’m deep, folks.

So, I will continue my journey through a macro lens, and then when I feel like I’ve reached my zenith, I will batch delete all of my photos and keep moving forward, because stagnancy always seems scarier than death.

Do you fancy yourself a photographer too? Have you ever used a macro lens?

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