Most of us have to stay at home much more than we used to. But as creative photographers, we can use this time to learn new genres of photography. These are my first experiments with macro photography.

Keeping expenses low

I wanted something simple. I have minimal equipment and wanted to experiment with items found around the house. I already had a Lensbaby Edge 35 Optic lens (B&H | Amazon), so I purchased their Macro Converters (B&H | Amazon) — aka tube extensions — so I could shoot macro.

Bubbles of oil

I gathered a glass cooking pan, filled it with water, then dumped a teaspoon of olive oil in it. I photographed from above with a Pentax K-1 (B&H | Amazon) and the Edge 35 Optic.

It was challenging to nail the focus because the depth of field was so shallow. I had to bring the glass pan up from the surface by placing books underneath. This required some trial and error. In the end, a stack of four “Abandoned Southern California” night photography books did the trick, along with three more and one “Abandoned Louisiana” book from Mike Cooper on the other side. This brought the glass pan up so the bubbles would appear sharp. Some fine-tuning of the focus ring, and the oil bubbles looked great.

Lights from down under

I placed a ProtoMachines LED2 light painting device, a Luxli Viola LED panel, and my smartphone below the glass dish. I then turned off all the lights and took photos using a Vello intervalometer so I would not introduce camera vibrations when pressing the shutter button.

Bonus tip: Diffuse your lights by placing white T-shirts or paper towels over the lights.

Get out of your comfort zone

I’ve never done macro photography before, and I enjoyed the challenge. In many ways, I found macro photography very different from what I ordinarily do. I’d say the most challenging aspect was getting things sharp because of its insanely shallow depth of field.

While these may not appear on magazine covers, I am satisfied with how they came out and feel good considering it was a first attempt.