When there was nothing, there was Flickr. Launched in 2004, Flickr is like a social media dinosaur, no wait, dinosaurs have extinct as have so many other social networks launched around that time, but Flickr has come a long way. I actually quite despise Instagram and Pinterest for taking the limelight away from Flickr as the supreme photo sharing platform. Flickr has evolved and shaped itself as per the need of the hour and has since become a favourite among professional photographers who seek some real meaning in sharing their work. They want to be inspired from each others work, give and take constructive feedback, collaboration opportunities, assignments, and more importantly they want to challenge themselves.
This article is about one such challenge. The group, Flickr Photo Walk gives weekly / monthly photography tasks and assignments to its members. This week, they called for a worldwide photo walk on 9th or 10th July on the theme of macro photography. The Macro Mondays, one of Flickr’s most popular group, has chosen Macro Textures as its theme for Monday, July 11th. So photographers are encouraged to capture macro textures and add to the group pool.
These walks are open and free, anybody can coordinate or lead a Flickr Photo Walk in their city. I looked up the list of locations and found out there was no walk in Delhi. So I volunteered to coordinate the Delhi Walk. I created a Facebook event page, shared it with 2-3 Delhi based photographers groups on Facebook. It reached about 12,000 people, 625 viewed, 100+ responded, 43 marked as ‘going’ and only 1 turned up this morning at Cannaught Place.
Besides one participant, who didn’t have a camera and came only to meet photographers to learn about what camera she should pick, there was me and a fellow photographer who had agreed to mentor the participants. So after few minutes of chit-chat I suggested that they carry on, while I did my macro photography walk in Hanuman Mandir area alone.
About Macro Photography
Macro photography is taking close up shots of very small objects like insects, flowers, water droplets with such precision that you can see the micro details of the object. If you Google the term you’d come across technical term that I don’t understand so I won’t talk about them. There are special lenses to be used for macro photography, these are usually the lenses with long focal length like 85mm, 105 mm and so on. Taking a wide angle lens very close to a small subject would not have the same result. You need a narrow lens. I have a Tamaron 70-300 lens which has a button which converts the lens into macro lens at the focal range of 180 to 300mm.
Macro photography doesn’t always mean photos of insects or flowers, which are most common, but any object when captured from real close with its micro details intact is a macro capture. That’s where macro texture is a challenge in particular because the image you get is a flat image, you don’t have protruded details, like the sting of a bee or tentacles of a spider or wings of a fly, so it seems it is just a close up of flat surface. But the details of the tiny portion of the surface which you captured adds drama and character to the photo, that is the key to macro texture. Here’s a video tutorial that might help. Here are some stunning images of macro photo.
The idea of this shoot was to find texture in everyday object. Any object when a portion of it is shot from close up its colour, pattern etc can become a texture. These textures are useful in graphic design, they work as good wall paper, background image for posters, website, presentations. Macro photography opens your eyes to things ordinary people cannot see. The photos you see here, all the colous and patterns are found by me in the most common and unattractive places like a lamp post, an abandoned wooden shack, a rusted iron shutter in a shop, a dilapidated wall where the plaster is chipping off or water is seeping making it damp. In my shoot I found such beautiful patterns and colours in such unlikely places, I was filled with joy. I had a wonderful time shooting these images. It was like true colour therapy. There is very little post processing in these photos, I have just increased the contrast and clarity, but the colours are all real colours. We just need the eyes to find them.
This one actually looks like a world map to me, doesn’t it?
This is a sack in which tea leaves must have been transported. The outline shows two women picking tea leaves at a tea garden. The sack was abandoned near a closed shop at Hanuman Mandir complex.
These are ladies glass bangles displayed at a shop
An wooden table on which the street vendor spread out their products
Scratched surface of a lamp post
A flex banner
Closed wooden door of a shop
Brush strokes on a random wall by unknown street artists
Visit my Flickr Album for some more of macro texture photos.