Hello everyone, welcome back! I’m pretty sure you have read some of the earlier articles in PixelsDimensions, most of which teach you technical skills to take better macro photos. Unfortunately those are not the only things that constitute a great Macro Photographer. Apart from mastering the shooting techniques, a Macro Photographer should also be good at (links added for convenience):
- Making preparations for a macro trip
- Having sufficient knowledge of subjects
- Sharing knowledge and accepting criticisms
- Caring for Mother Nature
All these will indirectly improve your macro shooting experience, and will be covered in this series of articles.
Today we will only be talking about preparing yourself for a macro trip. A macro trip could be a simple walk around the community garden, a hike to the peak of a mountain, a hunt within a cave or even a venture into the jungle at night etc. Proper preparations are definitely required, especially so for elaborate trips.
Some people, especially beginners or overconfident shooters tend to brush off the need to actually prepare for a macro trip (or hiking for that matter); I for one takes this matter very seriously as it might mean a difference of life or death if something bad happens, which is why I took the trouble to even write this article.
The following are FIVE important things that you should do before going on a macro trip:
1. Inform someone about your trip and offer details. This is the most important thing to remember before going for a macro shooting and I cannot stress this enough. By telling a friend or family where and when you will be gone photographing, they will know how to find you should anything arises.
2. Try not to go alone. This is especially important if you are going for a hike or journey which involves more dangerous or frequently- travelled paths. It will be good to have someone to back you up whenever there is trouble. Also, macro shooting will be more fun when you have companions along the way; you can learn from one another apart from helping another while shooting.
3. Obtain information about the location. It would be a good habit to do some information research on a place first before going, particularly so if it is your first visit. Some places (parks, forest reserves etc.) might have specific working hours or strict entry rules, and it would be a shame to travel all the way for nothing. Some places may have higher crime rates too and it is best to avoid them. Researching a bit on the location and routes will also help you reach your destination faster. Additionally, understanding the terrain and environment of the destination will make it easier for you to decide what to bring, and also what subjects to expect over there.
4. Make sure you are in good shape. Again this is important if you are going on long hikes or ventures. Make you sure you have had plenty of rest and that you are not going on an empty stomach. You don’t want to pass out halfway now, do you? It is often best to cancel the trip if you are sick.
5. Bring necessary items. And by this I am not just referring to your Macro Rig XD. Depending on your trip (stroll in the park, night trip, cave trip, research expedition etc.), the stuffs you bring might be slightly different. The following lists the general items that are worth wearing/ bringing along during your trip:
- Long-sleeve shirt and pants, thick socks, good sport shoes, hat, gloves (if needed)- prevent sunburn and more importantly, mosquito bites!
- Mosquito repellent for extra protection (though I think they don’t really work on me)
- Water for rehydration
- Food (e.g. bread)- macro trips can sometimes be very exhausting
- Small bottle of salt for leaches (applicable to more pristine forests or mangrove)
- Plasters for minor cuts and bruises
- Creams for minor ant or bee stings
- Swiss Army Knife for protection and multi-purpose use
- Phone for emergency use
- Boots to avoid being bitten by snakes that you might accidentally step on
- UV light to find subjects easier
- Butterfly net
- Specimen bottles
- Notebook for recording observations
- GPS/ Altimeter etc.
Well, there you have it, five simple preparations before you go on a macro trip. Yes, most of them might be common sense, but still worth pointing out and emphasizing their importance. It is always good to prepare for the worst so that you don’t panic if anything happens.
Anyway, if you have anything you would like to add to the list, please feel free to comment ya, I am sure there are some more that I might have left out.
Thank you for reading and have a pleasant weekend!
** All photos in this website are taken and owned by me. The use of any photos here is not allowed without my permission.