Macro Filming Part One

Nature

Macro photography done well offers an incredible look at the mundane and everyday in a new, interesting way.

Here’s an interesting slideshow of insects shot using the macro technique:

Even the foreboding “hospital-of-doom-waiting-room” soundtrack couldn’t detract from these great photos.

And if pictures are great, then video must be better. I was under the impression that macro filming would be as easy as just sticking the camera as close to the subject as possible and mashing the focus button until something is visible in the viewfinder. You would probably be able to guess that was my method based on the results I got:

After doing some research, it turns out (surprise) there’s more than that to getting good footage. Though an interview with an Australian documentary film maker shows that I was only 99% wrong.

He said moving the camera instead of trying to focus the lens was helpful in getting never before seen close-ups of the Great Barrier Reef. And, if you couldn’t tell from the shaking, move the camera I did. Here’s his brief interview, again with some great footage included:

So instead of mashing buttons to get the shot in focus I should, you know, set up a good shot first.

After watching more videos, such as one of a hoverfly in slow-motion:

I realized I had also completely forgot about sound. The buzzing of the wings was surreal when paired with the close-up of the fly. The filmography was able to transform a common nuisance into a marvel of natural engineering.

For my next attempt I will be sure to use an external microphone in addition to steadying the shot. The pitter-patter of ants on the march to slaughter each other can be beautiful if done well. Though technically impossible for me to emulate at this point in my career, this final video represents the peak towards which I strive:

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