It has been said that nature is the ultimate form of art. It is in nature that we find an infinite array of colours, shapes, patterns, and motion, giving artists an endless choice of subject matter. This can be found especially in the art of macro and close-up photography.
The definitions of close-up and macro photography are different. Macro photography is photography that is 1x magnification(1:1) or greater. For example, an insect that is 1/2 an inch when photographed on film at “life size” , it will take up 1/2 an inch on a piece of 35mm film. The term close-up photography is usually applied to photographs that are taken with the subject closer than normal (1/10th of life size or greater). An example of this would be a wildlife photographer taking a close-up photo of a subject that is 15 feet away.
Both macro and close-up photography allow us to experience what we would normally fail to notice with the naked eye. Up close, the eye of a lizard becomes a beautiful textured landscape, a tiny dust mite becomes what could be a creature out of a sci-fi movie, the fly on the wall seems to have an expression on its face.
Macro photography is to me, an art form that reveals the inherent beauty and art that is the natural world. It inspires artists and non-artists alike to look at the world in a different way and to discover new worlds in the intimate details of the everyday.
To see more macro/close-up images, visit the “Closer and Closer” group on Flickr or see the source links below.
Understanding Close-up Photography
Digital Macro Photography
Close-Up Photography in Nature
Sources: Flickr (Steve Wall), Flickr (Cyrus Khamak) Wired, Igor Siwanowicz, Close-Up and Macro Photography