"Macro Art In Nature"

Explorations in the artistic world of macro photography.

Macro Photography. “The Baseball Approach”.

I am a pitcher.
I enjoy a mixture of pitches, and I especially enjoy keeping the batters back on their heels.
When I take to the mound, I must have a good mixture of pitches and have good command of those pitches, … or the batter will figure me out and take it to the house.
I love to throw the batter a good curve ball, or maybe a change up.
Mix in a slider, a good sinker, an occasional fastball … and I’ve got something going.
But my favorite pitch of all, … is the knuckle ball.
The knuckle ball is a pitch that the batter sees coming to the plate, … but he sure as hell don’t know where it’s going to wind up at!
That is the pitch that I dearly love.

There are those who love to throw the fastball.
They will throw it, … throw it, ….. and then throw it some more.
Soon, their arm will tire and wear out.
Those fast balls many times will start to rise, until they eventually have trouble finding the plate.
Sometimes they will throw a wild pitch, which overall can be a bad thing in many ways.
They throw fastballs until they are weak and wild, and/or until the batter loses one into the stands.
The pitcher now needs some relief.
How does he find it?
Someone comes in and takes his place, putting him on the bench.
That pitcher is now a bystander, and will not be called upon again.

In macro photography, and in some of the forums that I visit, I see lots of pitchers.
I see lots of pitchers who have command of their pitches, but lately, it seems that there are only a few who dare to master many pitches.
I see lots of pitchers who are throwing nothing but fastballs, mixed with a rare curve.
They are good. They are damn good!
But it seems that they are happy with one or two good pitches, and are hoping to that they will be able to live with just those couple of pitches.
They have all of the technique needed to produce those couple of pitches.
The batter soon figures them out, as they continue to throw the same thing out there over and over again.
Soon, the batter swings, … connects, ….. “rejected” into the cheap seats!
They will connect over and over again after they see that same old pitch enough times to get their rhythm.
It’s the same old thing, … over and over again.
So, … a good pitcher can be a master of a few pitches.
A Cy Young type of pitcher will be the standout among all pitchers, and know how and when to mix things up.

The following are some of my favorite pitches.
They are all knuckleballs!

© 2009 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited


© 2009 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited
Japanese Maple Leaf


© 2009 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited
Pond Scene – Conversion


So, I guess what I am trying to say here is this.
In macro photography, which I honestly believe gives far more opportunities to create something uniquely different in nature photography than any other form such as landscape, wildlife, etc., … that macro seems to be lacking the punch that it once enjoyed a few years ago.
I view many different blogs, websites, and forums which feature a lot of great macro photography, and although there is some absolutely stunning macro work to be found, … well, ….. it seems to me that many pitcher’s arms have given out and the batters have them all figured out.
Someone in the bullpen is waiting!

Are you a pitcher, ….. or a batter?
If you are a true pitcher, … then when was the last time you tried throwing a few knuckleballs?

Image info:

Image #1. I will keep that info to myself for now.
I know that many may not care for this type of imagery, but I am not afraid of stepping up to the plate and saying, … “I do”.
All done in camera.
Canon 100mm macro, 2X teleconverter.

Image #2 Japanese Maple Leaf
Canon 100mm macro, 2X teleconverter.
To much of that empty space?
Well, … I like this one too!

Image #3
A pond scene that was converted to black and white, but then I did something that I hear is a big no no in some circles.
Even though you can’t really see it in this small jpg., I added a touch of cyan/green to the overall image which looks a bit different to the viewer when printed larger.

So now, ………. there are my knuckleballs!
Can you, … the batter, … figure out where the ball is heading?
Sometimes, … just sometimes, … the pitcher does not have a clue as to where it is heading neither! : )


Michael Brown – Photographer
“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

June 28, 2009 - Posted by | abstract, art, art buyer, art consultant, blog, botanical, canon, composition, designer, Digital, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hiking, horticulture, insects, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | , , , , ,


  1. The last one… reminds me of when early prjnts were using any kind of substrate that “worked”. The result was that those B&W images had any sort of tint, depending on the material. And sometimes they were even painting the result by hand. So some circles may object to your artificial coloring but really who cares: the photo is great! Keep throwing your knuckleballs!

    Comment by Massimo | June 29, 2009 | Reply

  2. I’m not familiar with baseball, don’t even know what a knuckleball is ;) but I get your point! In the beginning my challenge was to get as many bugs as possible before the camera and get them real sharp in focus … but it gets boring after a while and you start looking for a new challenge. During that time I stumbled upon your photo’s and I’ve found my goal ;) Great series, for my especially number 1 and 4.

    Comment by MoniqueSamui | June 29, 2009 | Reply

  3. Interesting analogy…thought provoking. I only occasionally dabble in macro, so I am not sure if I would be considered a pitcher in that scenario at all. I haven’t thrown enough pitches yet I suppose.

    I like all of these images. My favorite is the last one.

    Comment by Laurie | June 29, 2009 | Reply

  4. Thanks guys!

    Overall, in the world of macro photography I do think that the creativity has become much much better over the past few years and it use to be a constant, but seems to really be lagging right now.
    Maybe it’s just me and I am not looking in the right areas.

    Massimo, I sure do love some of those older images that had that tinting, … whether it was added later or during the initial process.
    The last image had color running throughout the entire image.
    All that I did was to remove all the colors, leaving the cyan/green that already existed, and then removing a small percentage of the cyan/green, leaving only a hint of color.
    I will continue to throw those knuckleballs! :)

    Monique, … your macros are the type that I enjoy viewing.
    They are refreshing, … different, … and I love “different”!

    Laurie, … you are a pitcher. You enjoy pitching.
    The thing is to learn a few pitches, … to master them, … and then start adding a few more pitches and mastering them as well.
    Continue to do this, and your arm will have a longer life! ;)

    Thanks again,

    Comment by macroartinnature | June 29, 2009 | Reply

  5. great analogy– I think the ‘umps’ need to be rotated a bit more often (in photography forums anyways) as they more or less set the rules of the game, and that is always so subjective. As with baseball, even if a few peeps in the stands disagree with the call, the ump has the final say. I’ve long believed that most forums really don’t foster creativity and originality and imo it should be applauded!
    Ok, where’s the hot dogs ;)

    Comment by Cindy M. | June 30, 2009 | Reply

  6. btw, forgot to add I really like your knuckleballs

    Comment by Cindy M. | June 30, 2009 | Reply

  7. This just may be the best post I have read in months. I immediately saw myself as a fastball pitcher with just an occasional junk pitch thrown into the mix to keep the hitter honest. Oh the junk pitch may vary – a slider here, a change-up there, maybe even a knuckler or fork ball, a spitter, nah, not me! But only rarely do I deviate from the good old fastball. Time to change that! Thanks!

    Comment by edvatza | June 30, 2009 | Reply

  8. Number 4 is killer man. Keep up the good work.

    Comment by Mark | June 30, 2009 | Reply

  9. Cindy, … Edward, … Mark, ….. thanks you guys.
    Really appreciate your time and thoughts.

    Take it easy gang,

    Comment by macroartinnature | July 1, 2009 | Reply

  10. What…No spitter !!

    Great post Michael !!

    Comment by Bernie Kasper | July 13, 2009 | Reply

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