"Macro Art In Nature"

Explorations in the artistic world of macro photography.

Backlit Macro Photography.

Backlit macro photography is something that is rarely seen anymore.
Over the years, the majority of written articles on macro photography have preached about things such as “maximum depth & details”, “using a flash for even lighting”, “fill the frame”, … and so on.
All of this is good of course and something that should be learned, but some of the most dramatic macro type images can easily be obtained with some good ol’ fashion harsh type lighting, … or strong backlighting.
You can see wonderful examples of strong backlit subjects in nature photography, such as those wide open landscapes, animals, trees, and so on, … but again, rarely do you see it in the areas of macro.

Try it sometime!
Just find a area out in nature with some interesting subjects, a place that looks like it could offer up some uniquely different compositions. Have some fun, and create something new for a change.
Use the available light for some dramatic and stark looking silhouettes, then if you wish, you can practice balancing out some of the lighting by using a flash.
Personally I do not like using a flash. I will use it when it is absolutely the only way to obtain the needed results, preferring natural light along with some bounce lighting using various reflectors and/or mirrors.

© 2007 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.
“Halloween Pennant” Dragonfly – Odonata
“In Their World” – Series


Canon 100mm macro and 2x teleconverter
1/160 sec. @ f9 – Cable release
ISO 100
Gitzo Explorer 2220 tripod
RRS BH-40 Ballhead

It was a wonderfully cool Sunday, … at least it was much cooler than it had been these past few weeks.
I sat at the edge of the pond, my pants slowly soaking up the moisture from the ground, watching the sun approach the tops of the trees, and witnessing the golden light that occurs late in the day.
I had the Gitzo Explorer tripod low to the ground, with the center column tilted 90 degrees over to its left and at eye level. All I had to do, was to lay there, watch, listen, … and only slightly moving my head and eyes to the camera.
A very relaxed position while one just lays, … and waits.

It was not long at all before all of nature came to me. I was now a part of it.
I was just sitting, … just watching, … just listening, ….. and learning.
I only took a few shots that day.
It is remarkable what one can hear, but only if one chooses to do so.
To hear a grasshopper land on a dried and hollowed reed with a distinct “click”.
To actually hear a dragonfly.
To hear the echo from a bull frog, with the sound starting clearly from the other side of the pond.
To hear the cranes coming in from a distance and then right over your head.
To hear a turtle slip below the water’s surface.
To hear the carp.
To hear the wind.

For many years, I had said it was nature talking to me.
But finally, I learned that it has always been another who was doing all the talking!

My day of shooting was postponed until tomorrow, so thought I would post something here today.
Thanks again for visiting gang, and will see you all again in a couple of weeks with some more of my ramblings! :)

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

September 5, 2007 - Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, dragonflies, dragonfly, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hiking, horticulture, insects, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, odonata, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | , , , , ,


  1. “For many years, I had said it was nature talking to me.
    But finally, I learned that it has always been another who was doing all the talking!”
    And that’s why nature photography is so much more than equipment and technique, at least for me.

    Comment by Photo Buffet | September 5, 2007

  2. What an incredible shot. Love the backlighting – that really gives it a unique “feel.”

    He does love to talk during these quiet times, doesn’t he?

    Comment by HeyJules | September 5, 2007

  3. Seriously wow! I love the almost desaturated look of this photo has, with only the dragonfly to add colour. I can also easily relate to the feeling you describe. When you allow yourself to let go and be right there in the moment the most amazing things unfold right in front of you. Things that would usually pass you by unnoticed.

    Comment by peter | September 6, 2007

  4. Absolutely amazing shot – dream-like… Superb.
    Paul @ http:\\www.photographyvoter.com

    Comment by Paul @ www.photographyvoter.com | September 6, 2007

  5. you hit the provebial nail on the head with your words.. those that are wrapped up in techs and ‘getting the shot’ miss so much.. such joyful noise.. love the image- hold your palm out in the sun w/odes, many will land on it and theyre truly amanig creatures,,plus the’ll nab those horrid deerflis that love to bite scalps.. a good sound..CRUNCH ;)

    Comment by Cindy | September 6, 2007

  6. You were meditating. All of mother nature responds to the energies emiited from one who is completely mindful in the state of meditation. Photography your path to it. Im glad you had that moment, i can only image it was a beautiful one, with a beautiful photograph to remember it.

    Perhaps in a new blog you can share some secrets to your abstract works? The pastel colors and strange focusing… the combination of movement blur and still sharpness. I would love to open my mind to that.

    Comment by Sarah | September 7, 2007

  7. Beautiful, no other words.

    Comment by Andriy | September 11, 2007

  8. Beautiful thoughts and a beautiful photo.

    Comment by Laurie | September 12, 2007

  9. Great Motivational post!!

    Comment by Charlie Tan | September 13, 2007

  10. Something nice, and peaceful about that image. Once I read your text, I understood why.

    Beautiful work Michael, makes me almost wish I were there…

    Comment by solaria | September 16, 2007

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