The Magical World of Macro Photography: Miki Asai

The art of photography is anchored in the perception skills of the person holding the camera. When you look at the amazing photos of the talented Japanese photographer Miki Asai a sudden feeling of, let’s say envy, could overcome you.

Why? Because there are people, who see the everyday life, and can’t find anything beautiful, or look worthy in the things around them. And then you have people like Miki, who sees beauty even in the smallest of things, often almost invisible to the human eye.

Her story started, when she was testing a new macro lens in her own garden. As she told by herself: “As I was looking through the viewfinder, I noticed there were beautiful raindrops and a tiny ant walking through the frame. I might not have even seen it if I wasn’t using a macro lens. So I thought to myself—how can I shoot these things more beautifully?”

If you were asking, what kind of photographic gear is she using:

Canon EOS Kiss X5 (EOS Rebel T3i),
Canon EF-S60mm F2.8 macro USM,
Velbon GEO E535M,
Lightroom 5 and Color Efex Pro 3.0
Shutter Speed 1/250, Aperture F6.3, ISO 800, exposure compensation -0.3EV

How she got the shot? Again, her own word: “I spotted a plant’s tray filling up with rain water in my garden. There were ants walking on the edge of this tray. So I dropped some small stones into the water. This is so I could attract the ants into the center of the tray. As I expected, the ants walked toward and on the stones. I wanted more shutter speed, but it was cloudy. I tried to use my LED flash light, but my hands were busy focusing and pushing the shutter, so it didn’t work. I even tried to use my toe! I gave up soon because I started to get a cramp in my foot. So this photo was shot in 100% natural light.”

Post processing:

“Here is the original photo. I just used Color Efex Pro. Pastel, because I wanted particular colors.”

“Then I used Lightroom 5 for adjusting color temperature, hue saturation, sharpness, and white balance.”

“The stones and the water turned white on Color Efex Pro earlier. To correct this, I used a brush tool for highlighting.”

“I shot the photo as close as possible to the ant. But the ant was really small—about 2mm—so I had to crop the image.”

“My last step was to sharpen and reduce the noise of the image.”

via 500px


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