Macro photography helps you see the magic and wonder of small creatures says Yuwaraj Gurjar who has launched a free mobile app ‘I love butterflies’ as the butterfly season begins.
Macro photography is extreme close-up photography of very small things where the images are larger than life size. Yuvraj Gurjar is one of the leading macro-photographers of India. He has been in the field for the past three decades and has written over a thousand articles in English and Marathi. He has a very devoted following on social media and has recently won an award from National Geographic Traveller.
He is great proponent of macro photography because he feels it is as dramatic, colourful and mysterious as wildlife photography and can be done even on a terrace garden.
“So many times people go to a tiger reserve and come away saying we did not see any tigers. But it is teeming with all kinds of life, deer and birds and of course small reptiles and insects. It is just a way of seeing things.”
Macrophotography also does not need very high end equipment. Many mobile phone cameras are good enough , and most DSLRs have a setting for macro photography. Later, one can go in for a macro lens which may cost around Rs 25,000. What one does need however is a keen power of observation, patience and practice. Gurjar spends every weekend in some forest, mostly at Yeoor in Thane and is still discovering astonishing things.
His latest discovery is the praying mantis fly which mimics the bigger insect. He often spends the nights in forests when he knows it is time for a pupa to burst forth into a glorious butterfly. The process happens in less than a minute and he says it is a truly magical moment.
Gurjar is also the author of a free mobile app called ‘I love butterflies’. You can download it once and then use it without the internet anywhere to find out the name of any butterfly. He has to date covered all the butterflies in Thane and Mumbai region and will be covering butterflies from all over India soon.
Gurjar is hoping to bring out a book in three volumes on all his research of three decades with good photographs which will be his contribution to nature conservation soon. He is also the founder member of DCP photography club which works for conservation photography.
Some Macro-Photography Tips For Beginners:
1. The field is vast and technical details will help you improve. Do not stagnate because you get a few ‘wows’ from friends on Facebook.
2. Lighting is very important so try to catch the early morning light. Experiment with a flash.
3. Use a greater depth of field to keep the subject fully in focus.
4. Know the features of your camera, most of them are unused. Read the camera manual.
5. Learn about habitats, seasons and habits of insects. Just as you cannot hope to find a tiger in a city you must find out from the net for instance which butterfly can be found where and in which season.
6. Do not make superficial attempts, be patient. Visit a site many times.
7.Your photograph should tell a story. Two males fighting while a female waits, a fly laying eggs — wait for the dramatic moment.
See more of Gurjar’s fascinating work in the gallery below: