Looking for a new photographic activity to do by yourself or with the kids? Here's an easy and fun home macro project to do with minimal equipment!
Let's get started with macro photography!
- Vaporizer (Optional.)
- Glycerine (Found in any drugstore, on Amazon or at Wal-Mart. You can do without, but the experience will be a lot more pleasing if you use some.)
- A small and powerful light source (Any kind of LED light or cellphone torch.)
- A macro lens (If you don't have one, use extension tubes or a magnifier.)
Step 1: Mix the glycerin with water (equal part)
Step 2: Turn off all the lights of the room and shut the curtains
Step 3: Place your source of light very close to your subject (I'm using a plant and a mirror, but you can do it with ANYTHING)
Step 4: Spray and let the magic happen!
Tips for success
Even a slight change in your angle makes a huge difference in your composition. Go ahead and move around your subject with your camera. Same thing with your light source. Look at the result when it's closer or further away. Move your magnifier in the front of your lens as well (if you're using one). Small changes make significant differences when it comes to macro.
If you get a few snaps that you really like, don't hesitate to do a quick edit to make them pop a little more. I've used a different technique to enhance my own such as black and white, split toning, adding structure, and/or contrast. Since macro calls for an artistic approach, there's absolutely no limit to what you can create.
These kinds of images have plenty of purposes. You can naturally use them by themselves, but you can also print them or use them as a background to your other pictures. You can also use them as layers to add textures.
I love this project because the macro is absolutely captivating to me! No matter whether you use a "real" macro lens or a magnifier, the results always turn out to be beautiful and different. The macro creates crisp and delightful textures and patterns. The magnifier allows for more of an artistic feel, changing shapes, and shifting colors. In the end, I even tried to put glycerin straight on it - which brought an additional dimension to my shots.
Creating art out of nothing
I did this project on my kitchen table - between a pile of paper and my cereal bowl. Believe me, this setup had nothing extraordinary. I did with what I had in hand. Yet, some kind of magical happens when you do macro photography. My favorite images (the ones shown in the video) turned out to look very cool, and I really like them!
This project done alone is almost meditating. You get lost in your thoughts as you look through the lens. I haven't done it with kids yet (still working on that...),but I am sure this could be an entertaining activity. It's an excellent way to introduce them to photography... and make the hours go by very quickly!