Photomacrography, sometimes referred to as photomicrography, is extreme close-up photography, a step beyond macro photography. It is an area in which I have become increasingly interested in recent years, due in part to a variety of circumstances which limited my time and ability to get out into the woods and nature reserves as much as I’d previously been able to do.
My studio space at Oxheys Mill Studios in Preston was mostly used for artwork photography but I also used it for photographing seed pods, dried plants etc. After we lost the building, I then set up a small dedicated studio space in a spare bedroom at home, on top of my Dad’s old artists’ plan chest. Setting up lights, tripod, Manfrotto autopoles etc and a black canvas backdrop I then adapted an old copy stand along with a set of vintage bellows, a lab riser, macro rails, clamps and various other bits and pieces that I either found in the kitchen or in my late husband’s garden shed, or adapted from other things.
To get even closer to the subjects, I acquired a Zeiss microscope objective lens and an adapter so it could be mounted onto a camera lens. I tried it firstly on my Zeiss Touit 50mm Macro lens with the Fuji XT2 camera and whilst the results were good, I wanted to get closer still. I then picked up an old manual Zeiss Jena 135mm lens, some extension tubes, a Photax x2 teleconverter and an M42 adapter.
Wow, did I have some fun with that lot?
I started photographing my seed and botanic collection in even more close-up detail than I had ever previously been able to do and was really pleased with the results. A few insects from the garden also became models. Then I acquired a set of old botanic microscope slides and was amazed at the detail I was able to capture with this rather old and antiquated equipment.
This is an ongoing project. I continue to experiment and try things out as opportunities arise, as I am just not quite getting the results I am hoping for as yet. Quite sure my sons think I have gone completely bonkers but to me, this is what photography is about – exploration and experimentation, plus persistence. Just because I haven’t been able to get out and about as much in the past couple of years, I at least have somewhere to go and play!
Watch this space.