What is wide angle macro photography and what does the term mean to you?
Soon after getting into landscape photography I found out that ultra wide angle lenses have the natural ability to have close focus ranges. Once I found this out I did a lot of research and experimentation with what is known as wide angle macro photography. I quickly found out that there’s not as much information about this and it doesn’t seem to be widely popular among photographers. I find that I enjoy these types of photos a bit more than a lot of other types. The reason for this is because with just a macro shot, you have one subject that you see up close but not any of it’s surroundings. I do like macro photography but for me personally, I tend to get bored with it as there’s just not that many elements in the photo to help it stand out.
With wide angle macro photography, it still has the element of a small subject up close, but due to the construction of the lens, it allows for many more items to be in the shot. There are some additional things to consider with wide angle macro vs traditional macro though. Traditional macro utilizing a macro lens has a much much shallower DOF to work with. What this means is that you need to understand that you won’t get that small sliver of focus with a lot of nice bokeh, but instead a little bit more in focus with slight bokeh that you are still able to determine what the elements in the background are. In some cases, if the aperture is set small enough (large f-stop numbers), then the majority of the photo is in acceptable focus. This is portrayed in the two photos above. The first one with the snow, you can see that the background is more out of focus than the second photo with the waterfall.
Another thing I love about wide angle macro photography is that it changes perspective. It makes up close elements look larger than they normally are and far objects look smaller than they normally are. In the waterfall photo above you can see that the blades of the grass look large in comparison to the waterfall in the background. It also makes it look like the waterfall is farther away from the grass than it actually is. In the below images you can also see how perspective is changed as well. In the left photo puddle in the middle of a field looks as though it can be a large pond or small lake. In the right photo the rocks look larger than the sun.
I find that when I am out doing landscape photography I am always looking for small subjects that fit within the entire scene that I want to capture. This is also a little different than traditional landscape where you don’t care so much about the small things, but more about the entire scene. It’s also different than traditional macro where you only care about the small things and not so much about the distant objects for the most part. I find it both challenging and exciting as it can create some great photos that have more of a chance of standing out from the crowd.
Although all my examples above are shown with shots low to the ground, wide angle macro photography will also work with subjects at all different locations of the frame. In the gallery below I have included shots of all different types of wide angle macro photography that I have done. I know that this type of photography may be subjective as macro is defined as very large in scale, scope, or capability. What I consider wide angle macro is a close-up shot of any object in order to make it look larger than what it actually is compared to its surroundings. I also realize that some of the photos may not be considered wide angle macro shots, or borderline, to some people, but to me I think they fit my definition.
Some of the photos at the end of the gallery were taken at a botanical garden. I will be doing a post on this trip to show all the photos that I had taken when I get the time to put one together.
On a side note, I have been enjoying doing these posts and will try to make them a weekly thing as I come up with things to post about. Of course this is also pending that I have enough time to put them together. I like being able to help others explore possibilities they may not have otherwise thought of or even teach someone something new that they might enjoy. I always enjoy feedback and I also do not consider myself an expert by any means so if anyone has any additional knowledge it is always welcome to expand on my posts as well.