Focusing in with Macro

I’ve been experimenting with macro photography lately as an offshoot of taking so many flowers pictures this spring. It reminds me of being fascinated with microscopes and the tiny world I discovered as a child.

Until just now I’d forgotten how one year for Christmas I got a pocket microscope in my stocking. Yes, if you’re wondering I was a bit of a science geek as a child. I carried that microscope around the yard, on walks to the park, and when my family would take day trips to the mountains. While I didn’t much care to look at bugs with it, there were plenty of wonders in the micro world to observe.

I loved Lego as a child, and was thrilled to pass that love on to my son. As I’ve been unpacking from a recent pair of moves – one to a new home, another from my office – I came across a few Lego mini figures my son gave me as gifts when he was younger. They had graced the office at work which I no longer occupy with a shift to permanent remote work. While I have so many more mini figures in bins of my childhood legos hidden in the attic, these were right in front of me begging to be photographed. Ideas bubbled up in my mind. I could spend the month of May making pictures of mini figures in various locales. It would be a wild & crazy adventure of #MacroMay.

Wild & crazy Lego backpacker guy.

I lined a few up on my desk and started snapping pictures, remembering to use small apertures to get some depth-of-field so the entire figure would be in focus. A few tries were meh, and then by adding a flash I got a reasonable image. Was this really worth my time? Or was this more of a flight of fancy? Still I kept at it.

A slightly delirious and maybe evil Peter Pan mini figure!?

Perhaps I should to be more serious. Become the cold and detached photographer documenting their observations. Well, perhaps not, but it’s a fun image.

Should a photographer be an ice queen line this mini figure complete with stylish camera bag?

Even after years of awareness and work, I’m still discovering things about myself and my childhood. These discoveries and connections still occur on a regular basis even after years of therapy and effort at healing. Time and reclaiming passions of childhood allow things to bubble to the surface of awareness where they can be processed. I know I still have a lot of work to do in my recovery, but fortunately I’m not alone. I have help along the way.

I’m finding out today that looking closely and focusing on the minute is another way to distract and avoid the world around me. In the present it’s mostly about observation and discovery, but as a child… It was that and more. It was a way to dim awareness of the unsafe world I lived in. If attention was focused on a blade of grass, the veins of quartz in granite, the grain of a stump, then I was able to not know about the terrible things I experienced. The micro world became yet another tool in my box to cope, to keep from knowing. I’m realizing I’ve spent a lot of my life not knowing things which were too much to process or cope with as a child.

Those same coping skills can bring joy now. Maybe not a fair trade, but I’ll make hay while the sun shines.