Calgary Macro Photographer Cody James talks about getting up close and personal with the finer details of this world, showcasing his macro photography and how one lens opened a whole new world of opportunities.

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My most accomplished work has, and probably will always be landscape photography, it’s where I started and where I seem to excel the most. I do love how landscape photography allows me to get out and experience the world, capturing stunning views from around the globe, and sharing adventures from chasing storms to capturing mountain sides on a helicopter ride! But any chance where I am able to really stop and appreciate my surroundings usually involves my macro lens.

If you’ve never experienced the macro world I strongly suggest you give it a go rent/borrow/buy a macro/micro lens and start off in the woods, try and capture the details of a trees bark, or the edge of a pine tree, it’s incredible how different things are in an up close and personal perspective. The way you’re able to isolate an object like a flower to the finest of details, we’re talking about single silhouettes of a flowers pedals and make them stand out and look absolutely incredible is so awesome.

If that enthusiasm doesn’t convince you, it’s probably because you’re a photographer, and you are like me, you want visual proof! Take ten minutes to storm through some macro images on Flickr and see for yourself.

This image taken in Hawaii has the outer stems focused on the flower, gently blurring the background to give a seamless photo filled with vibrant color and detail.

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Another super close macro shot, the inside of a pine tree, again you can see the find details and with proper aperture settings you’re able to get a wicked blend of smoothly blurred background and fine details.

Smooth

Not as in tight as the others, but another example where you’re able to draw the details out from a fallen leaf, and capture the smallest of ripples in the water.

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Here’s where it can get incredibly cool. This is a Cicuta plant, it was captured in the middle of winter so the plant was dried up and dead, from an outside perspective you wouldn’t look at this plant twice, but when captured up close it’s incredible the amount of detail you’re able to capture and draw out from such a simple plant. The white snow below just adds to the stark contrast of the plant.

Cicuta

One guess what you’re looking at…..? Probably thinking some string of sorts, it’s actually a fraying end of a cowboys lasso rope, look at how you’re able to discern the tiniest of fibers around each individual twine. Intertwined

Obviously if you’re into bugs then a macro lens is for you no questions asked. Also look into getting extension tubes so you’re able to get ridiculously close, we’re talking the individual patterns of a bugs eye or the tiniest of hairs on a spider….

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There’s really endless opportunities when it comes to getting a macro lens, the one I have (Nikon 105mm VR) can also dub as an awesome portrait lens, is internal focus has a 1:1 shooting aspect, and rocks VR for improved image stability.  But the world of new shots from small creatures, to small details in a plant, and anything else you’d find interesting under a microscope definitely make the dive into the macro world worth while.

If you’ve found my Calgary Photography Tutorial series helpful, please share my site and Facebook page www.facebook.com/calgaryphoto and don’t forget to follow me on twitter @codyjamesphoto

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