I used to think I was very observant. And then I bought a macro lens for my DSLR. #macrophotography #fmfparty #improveyourphotography #write28days #blogger #instagrammer #photogrpahy #DSLR #camera #selfcare

I used to think I was very observant. And then I bought a macro lens for my DSLR.

You’ve landed on one of 28 posts about photography and how to improve your skills. If you’re a creative, blogger, or photography enthusiast, you’ve landed in the right spot!

I used to think I was very observant. And then I bought a macro lens for my DSLR. #macrophotography #fmfparty #improveyourphotography #write28days #blogger #instagrammer #photogrpahy #DSLR #camera #selfcare

Butterflies Have Feathers?

“And now…” the camp director paused for dramatic effect, “…we bring you funny things we heard today!” He smiled at the group of campers as we settled into the hard wooden benches in the basement of the lodge.

“I wonder who said something funny today!” I nudged my best friend in the side with my elbow.

“Shh!” she scolded, “We’ll miss it.”

“Bonnie from Cabin 11 reported overhearing one of her campers say, ‘Don’t touch the butterfly’s wings! You’ll hurt it’s feathers!” The campers and staff roared with laughter.

My heart stilled. I knew which camper from Cabin 11 had said that. My big sister. I could see her across the dim room, head bowed in embarrassment. She had told me what she said at supper.

The laughter seemed cruel. I knew butterflies didn’t have feathers, but my sister must have known something I didn’t. She filled her library bag with books on science. I filled mine with books on horses.

No matter how much others laughed, I knew my sister as a very observant person. I chose to believe her. For years, I thought butterflies had little feathers.

Observant or Clueless?

Decades later, I wandered around a butterfly exhibit with my new macro lens and DSLR camera. I snapped photo after photo, trying to get the perfect shot of constantly fluttering insects. When I loaded the photos onto my computer, astonishment filled me.

Sure enough, butterflies, when seen up close, look like they have tiny feathers on their wings. A quick internet search explained their true make up, but they did, indeed, look like miniscule feathers.

I wondered what else I’d missed by not being observant throughout my life. The more up-close photos I take, the more I believe in creation and a Creator. If you observe tiny things up close, a whole new world opens up—a world that points to a Creator.

You can do macro photography, or up-close photography with just about any camera. Just a note to the purists—I know, technically, close-up photography and macro photography aren’t the same thing.

Whether you have time to delve into the world of true macro photography (this guide will get your started), or just want to explore close-up photography, you will learn to be more observant.

Bugs don’t just look like nasty things you want to swat away. Observant photographers will notice the intricacies of bug eyes. Flowers don’t just look like posies and roadside weeds. Observant photographers will discover the flowers within the flower. Rain doesn’t just ruin your picnic. Observant photographers will capture a world of magnification in the drops.

Your Homework

Get out there and get close to your subject!

DSLR Cameras. You’ll want to use a tripod or something to hold your camera still. Adjust your aperture value to something small, like f-16 or f-22. Set your camera to manual focus and change the position of the camera until your subject comes into focus. Depending on the size of your subject, you may need a flash.

Point-and-shoot cameras. Your camera should have a setting with a flower on it. Use this setting to get the closest shots possible of your subject.

iPhones. Even camera phones can take great close-up shots! If you have one of the pro iPhones, use the 2X magnification and get as close to your subject as possible.

Come Back Tomorrow

In tomorrow’s installment of the 28 Days Behind the Lens series, I’ll share the mental benefits of capturing peaceable moments.

I used to think I was very observant. And then I bought a macro lens for my DSLR. #macrophotography #fmfparty #improveyourphotography #write28days #blogger #instagrammer #photogrpahy #DSLR #camera #selfcare


  1. Butterflies are feathered friends
    and chickens roam the sky;
    no good party ever ends
    and Elvis did not die.
    Unicorns haunt forest glades,
    and the Jersey Devil eats
    shaving cream and razor blades
    and everyone he meets.
    I’m not being fanciful;
    it’s these things I believe
    for the world is wonderful,
    and I’m eager to receive
    the signs of all, however odd,
    of the weirdness was designed by God.

  2. I LOVED this blog! I love to take close up photos too with my iPhone. I know exactly what you mean. There is so much beauty around us… great post! I really liked your photos too!
    ❤️Terri D #10 on FMF

  3. I love how a macro lens takes you so much deeper. I’ve seen a raindrop create a fairy village. What a talent it is to look deeper. I’m going to have to direct my husband to your series. He is all about photography. He doesn’t have a macro lens yet for his camera, but he has a great eye.
    Kelly Blackwell recently posted…Five Minute Friday – OBSERVANTMy Profile

  4. I love this, Anita: the photography tips and the story about your sister. So poignant.

    Was saying to someone recently that I almost wish my new phone’s camera WASN’T so observant; when I take a selfie it shows every line, hair, and pore. Yikes! Thank goodness for filters…

  5. The camp director’s humorous anecdote about a camper thinking butterflies have feathers led to a realization that observation can reveal fascinating details, just like using a macro lens for DSLR Cameras. This story serves as a reminder that paying close attention to the world around us can unveil the beauty and intricacies we might otherwise overlook.

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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