Chris Fedderson — MacroFine Musings
Hello! Thank you for stepping into my world for a bit. The world of close-up and macro photography. Of hanging around outdoors, in the flower beds, by the ponds, out in the woods. Of communing with nature and listening to the tales it has to tell, and seeing the beauty it has to offer. Oh yes, and scratching mosquito bites, wiping sweat from my eyes, flinching from the sunburn on my neck. This is my life and I love it!
I grew up in Southern California, so was outside about 370 days a year. Being among the bugs and plants and dirt is in my soul.
Even way back then, in my Polaroid and Instamatic days, I was intrigued by the tiny component parts of the grand scheme. We’d go to Yosemite and I’d take pictures of tree bark and lichens. Oh, I loved the grand view, too, but my soul went to the minutia. Not surprising that my professional work gravitates to macro photography.
“Don’t you mean ‘micro’?”, you ask. You’d think so, but no. Macro refers to photography which takes the small and makes it big; the micro is made macro. In macro photography the subject is recorded on the sensor (or film) at the same size or larger that it appears in life. A 1/2 inch fly will be a full 1/2 inch (or larger) on the sensor; a 1:1 ratio.
Macro shots cannot be done with a 35mm camera and a 3 inch butterfly because the sensor isn’t big enough to record the whole butterfly at 1:1; the sensor isn’t 3 inches across. This shot is Close-Up Photography; it is not a 1:1 but rather might be 1:2 or 1:3 meaning 1/2 or 1/3 life size. You could, however, take a macro shot of that butterfly’s head because the sensor is big enough to record the whole head, at life size, 1:1.
Micro photography refers to photography using a microscope. You might be achieving a 20X magnification, or 20:1.
The ratio notations are confusing, but think of them like this:
So you can see how Micro Photography is really Super-Macro since a shot at 20X is 20:1 or 20 size-units on the sensor to 1 size-unit in life. Sheesh! Now I’ve confused myself!
Let’s move on to something easy. Topics for future posts. I do love photography, but I love a bunch of other stuff, too. Yardening, for one. Not gardening, cuz I’m not a farmer but rather a landscaper. We “planted” a really fun yard project recently involving fun, brightly-colored pots, random arrangement, and some “thinking outside the pot”. Look for all the How-To’s coming…
Since I’m a Photographic Artist, naturally I will talk about fun topics relating to photography and The Arts. Maybe “Overheard At An Art Fair”, or “So You Wanna Be An Artist?”, or how about “You Call That ‘Art’?”. Whatever the topic, my focus will be to explain it in plain language, but also to find the fun in it; to bathe it in a bit of humor — with just a touch of technical stuff.
Thank You for visiting,
P.s. Do you have photography questions? Comments or viewpoints concerning The Arts? Something art-related that opened your eyes or presented an interesting concept? Or how about some of your own ideas for fun yard projects, fun photo ops, or any other fun topic? Write a comment; let’s see what others have to add.
If you have a particular something you’d like for me to take a stab at, lemme know about it. If I get asked similar questions often, I’ll see if I can answer them — in plain language. If I’ve got anything to say on the subject, believe me, you’ll hear about it!
I am a Virginia-based photographer and gather my images while hiking in parks and natural areas here at home and in the locations I travel to. I also love to visit arboretums and botanic gardens to find unusual and exotic subjects.