seeing nature through a macro lens


Taking photos with a macro lens gives you a glimpse of the incredibly complex small organisms and the ecosystems they contain. This world that we are mostly unaware of exists at the edge, and beyond our capacity to see it and its intricate detail.


I look at this cicada shell and think about the dangers the vulnerable cicada was exposed to as it clung to the blade of grass and shed its old skin.




Seeds and seed pods are such opportunists. I imagine the sticky seed pods having a conversation that goes like this. 'It's cold today. If she comes into the garden she might wear her fluffy jumper. Let's get ready to hitch a ride.'



In spite of appearances, this isn't a cucumber. It's a Plumbago seed pod.


 Cutting Potter's hair deprived the sticky seed pods from hitching a ride, or at least made it harder for them to get a grip.


I like this photo and think it provides an interesting contrast with natural organisms. The little balls are made of polysterene and used for stuffing beanbags. Unlike natural phenomena, they are simple, symmetrical and all identical.


This shows a nut or seed pod together with the cupule to which it was attached. The cupule was part of the plant until it dried out and fell off.


This acorn cupule has a different appearance to the one above. It is relatively smooth. Some cupules contain sharp spikes to protect the seed pod from being eaten.




This cupule has lots of little tendrils that, when looked at closely, house lots of tiny insects.





This is a closeup of dried out lichen. Lichens are not plants. They don't have roots to absorb water and nutrients like plants. They produce food from sunlight, air, water and minerals in their environment. They can grow on almost any surface. These were growing on the timber of the deck.


Sometimes photos look like abstract art. I love this photo. It's a glass outdoor table, that looks pretty clean and smooth until you look at it closeup.



This is a dead Dasygnathus trituberculatus. It's a male. This beetle species is native to Australia. They often get attracted to lights. Colour varies from dark brown through black. I wonder how and why it died.


To end with, a positive, cheerful photo, of busy worms chomping away to produce mulch and compost for the garden.

Comments

  1. A naked cicada! Indeed looks vulnerable. The closer we look, and the smaller and smaller what come into view, the larger the world becomes.

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    1. Hi Lucy, yes - it's like there are lots of little worlds inside the large world.

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  2. Very interesting photos. Science fiction movies come to mind. It's amazing what co-exists with us that we are barely even aware of.

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    1. Hi Jane - I think of sci fi too when I look at some of these pics!

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  3. never got that close to Plumbago but I can vouch for its extra-industrial strength velcro on our cats. Chocolat HATES when we try to tease the seeds off his fur!

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    1. Chocolat and Potter - geographically distant but sharing the pain of plumbago seed displacement!

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  4. I have a soft spot for macros. One of my favorite subjects is moss. I think we (including me!) take it for granted and forget how beautiful, colorful, and complicated it is--except on a smaller scale. You've shared some amazing images here! I clicked on each one so I could see the amazing details! :)

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    1. thanks Beth - so pleased you like the photos and even clicked on them to enlarge them.

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  5. I loved this post! I have always enjoyed macrophotography, which reveals fascinating details of the world around us. I especially like your images of the cupules.

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  6. It's fascinating what you can see through a macro lens. Quite often I've taken photos of flowers and only realised they were harbouring an interesting insect when they were blown up on the computer.

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    1. Hi Pauline, That has happened to me, too. It's amazing that through photography we can see details we wouldn't see otherwise.

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  7. Great photos! This just makes me want to buy a macro lens even more.

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    1. Thanks, Amy. I recommend you do buy a macro lens. It's such fun to use. You'll need a tripod as well, if you don't have one.

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  8. I have close-up lenses but not a macro. Not sure I want to really see a bug's eyeballs...

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    1. You're so funny, Linda. No buggy detail is too much for me ...

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  9. You've inspired me to dig out my digital SLR! I'm relying far too much on my iPhone but your photos are so much better. I love the tiny details.

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    1. Hi Carol, I don't have an iphone. I think the photos they take are pretty good, but I don't think you have as much flexibility compared to a SLR. The camera I use is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, not as heavy as an SLR.

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  10. I wish I had a camera with changeable lens...I would definitely have a macro lens. I love how you can see so much of the world we miss....these are incredible shots that give us that glimpse into the tiny world of seeds.

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    1. So pleased you liked the shots, Donna. It is definitely fun - and an eye-opener, to have a camera with interchangeable lens.

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  11. Fascinating, just like looking through a microscope.

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    1. yes - it's amazing, I can see things I couldn't see otherwise.

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  12. Beautiful images Sue. Isn't nature fascinating... I like that beetle, I am sorry it's dead.

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    1. It's the second dead one I found - I'd love to know how it died and what, if anything, killed it.

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  13. I have two macro lenses and don't use them as often as I should. I love when the insects are back in the garden just for the 105mm. It gives such a unique and unseen view like you mentioned. Like you I use my 60mm for abstracts too. Fun to see what one can find.

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    1. It's fun altogether to change lenses and see different views of the same things. I love the way photography can intersect with art.

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    2. I wanted to tell you, I was looking for a certain fern for a friend's container and I did not know its name. I thought she could buy it as a houseplant, but could not find it. I remembered your post and the "fuzzy" fern. You gave me the name, Foxtail fern, and now I have it to ask when I am looking, rather than saying "fuzzy fern". Thanks.

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    3. I'm SO pleased I was able to help. It's a wonderful plant, seems quite indestructible (cross fingers)

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    4. I'm SO pleased I was able to help. It's a wonderful plant, seems quite indestructible (cross fingers)

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