“To me, macro photography is unique because it showcases extremely small subjects and reveals detail and beauty in everyday things that are often around us but easily overlooked and ignored,” says Handri Fitrido.
I find this type of ladybird, fuzzy with black spots, more often than others, especially at the end of the rainy season. Its slow movement allows me to take my time when shooting it. This insect, which benefits farmers (because it consumes pests), can be found in nearly every location where I usually hunt for macro shots. It is a good subject to start with for beginners in macro photography. ISO 200, F/5, 1/40s, 100mm macro lens.
The photo of this weaver ant is entitled ‘Hope’ as it shows hard work to obtain something precious to life: water. This photo, for which I had a clear vision, took four hours to shoot because I had to repeatedly guide the subject to the focal point underneath the water. The ant is standing on caterpillar larvae. I set the shutter speed to capture the sense of yearning of the subject. ISO200, F/6.3, 1/125s, 100mm macro lens.
Ladybirds are part of the Ordo Coleoptera family of insects, which have layered wings. There are several colours and patterns of ladybird. Their habitats are not too difficult to find. I took this photo in my own garden in a relatively simple shoot. Here I emphasised the sharpness of the space in this composition so the subject stands out with clear texture and gives the illusion that the ladybird has stopped at a dead end. ISO200, F/4, 1/160s, 100mm macro lens.
For this shot, I used a macro lens with a maximum zoom of only 1:1 with a close-up filter on the lens. The filter offered greater magnification to capture the geometric details of the subject, which were highlighted by the water droplets. This photo was taken at an extremely close distance of around 10cm from the subject. The blue background accentuates the chilly atmosphere suggested by the water droplets. ISO200, F/8, 1/200s, 100mm macro lens.
The view inside a dewdrop of around 3mm in size on the tip of a blade of grass. I often shoot in grassy fields like this, where insects are plentiful and busy. Since the drop was very tiny, I added a 36mm extension tube installed between the camera body and lens to increase the magnification and focus of the view in the dewdrop. ISO400, F/8, 1/160s, 100mm macro lens.
Photographing a flying insect poses specific challenges. Getting an accurate focus with prime sharpness requires a great deal of patience. I captured this dragonfly at a relatively low angle to give the illusion that it is flying at a higher level. The choice of background with a touch of white makes it seem like it is flying among the clouds. ISO250, F/5.6, 1/250s, 100mm macro lens.
Macro photography is unique because it showcases extremely
small subjects and reveals detail and beauty in everyday things
Weaver ants are one of my favourite subjects to capture. In addition to its bright colour, its fascinating behaviour works to my benefit in creating interesting concepts for photos that tell a story. This particular photo was in the top ten for the Nature & Wildlife category at the 2012 Sony World Photography Awards held by the World Photo Organisation in London. I snapped this shot on the corner of my parents’ street just before the coronation ceremony of my child’s name. ISO200, F/6.3, 1/125s, macro lens 100mm.
In capturing these relatively small subjects, in addition to using a special macro lens, I also use special equipment
to make the photo even larger than the actual size of the subject. For example, I often use a close-up filter, which is especially designed for macro photos, or an extension tube installed between the camera body and lens.
Born in Medan, Indonesia, Handri Fitrido is a self-trained macro photographer. When he was nine years old, his
father bought him his first camera, and photography became a hobby. In 2008, he was inspired to capture dewdrops on the flowers in his wife’s garden. The beautiful reflections in the dewdrops transformed his photographic interest into a passion for macro photography.