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Macro Photography allows us to see an entirely different world that is filled with an abundance of details that usually go unnoticed by the naked eye.

Definition of Macro Photography

Close-up photography of usually very small subjects. The classical definition is that the image projected on the "film plane" (i.e., film or digital sensor) is close to the same size as the subject. - Wikipedia, the free encyclpedia

The term "true Macro" refers to: 1:1 up to 22:1 magnification ratio, image-on-film size: to actual subject size and Does not involve "zooming" into or getting close to a subject

Close-up Photography - 1:1 to 1:10 magnification ratio and Telephoto lenses have macro capabilities

Macro Lenses

50 - 60 mm range typically used for product photography and small objects
90 - 105 mm range the standard focal range used for insects, flowers, and small objects
150 - 200 mm range gives more working distance - typically used for insects and other small animals
a few zooms provide a macro option, but they generally do no allow a 1:1 magnification

Problems with Traditonal Macro Photography

  • Environmental Conditions - motion caused by wind will make the photograph look blurry
  • Subject Matter - Insects and bugs will come and go as they please.
  • Time Consuming - Waiting for the right lighting conditions and for insects to land on the spot where your camera is pointing
  • Depth of Field - More magnification the shallower the DOF is thus making the photograph look flat.

Computer-Generated Images

While a photographer has to adapt to the problems that arise with macro photography in order to get the perfect photo they want, digital artists have full control over all aspects. Thus allowing them to create any scenario that they can come up with and are not dependent on the right conditions.

Insect Anatomy

The pictures below are images that I have collected of the anatomy of each insect I will recreate digitally from various textbooks. Each image will illustrate the anatomy of the insects, head, body, legs, and wings (if applicable). This is to gain a better understanding of the insect so that the 3D models will be more precise.

Butterfly Anatomy

To my surprise I found out the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History was holding a special exhibition of Live Butterflies, in Washington, DC. It was a perfect place for me to gather some great photo reference for my thesis project, I wished I had a macro lens at the time because I would have been able to get even better photos. Nonetheless, I was still excited to be able to gather as many photographs as I could with my telephoto lens. Below are the photos that I took while in the Butterfly Pavilion at the Smithsonian.

Reference Photos

Spider Anatomy

Dragonfly Anatomy

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