Makeshift Macro

After spending enough time in one place we get used to our surroundings. We stop noticing things because they drop below our perception threshold. It’s easy to forget how narrow our perspectives can be.

I love macro photography because it forces you to look closely and see things you’ve never seen before. Instantly a 1×1 foot of grass becomes an entire universe, filled with intricate patterns. Parks I’ve walked around and photographed dozens of times feel like completely new environments. Simply changing the optics allows for so many new opportunities.

These various perspectives expand infinitely in both directions. We can always look closer and we can always step back and see a “bigger picture”. Despite all these perspectives many of the shapes and patterns we see at one level are present in others. Every day we pass by beautiful works of art, big and small. It should be encouraging we have so much to look for.

A Pretty Picture
Fungus growing on a tree stump in Rahway Park. Taken with a6000, Voss 75mm enlarger lens, 50mm Pentax lens.
A Pretty Picture
Found growing on the side of a tree. Reminds me of clownfish.
A Pretty Picture
A close up of a small knot on the bark of a tree.
A Pretty Picture
Inside the top of a cupule


A good macro lens is expensive, but all you really need to experiment are two lenses. All of these photos were taken with a Sony a6000, Pentax 50mm, and a Voss 75mm enlarger lens. By taking a second lens, turning it around, and holding it up to your primary lens on your camera, you can create a macro. Below I have a few photos of this makeshift setup. The vignette is because the front lens I’m using is rather small, I like the distortion though so opted to use it instead of cropping.

If you are interested in making a more legitimate version of something like this here is a great article detailing a cheap way to make a macro with Canon glass on a Sony camera – CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE

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