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With a focus on nature: Macro photography as a tool for mindfulness

It can be hard to focus. I now often believe that we live in a world in which this is by design, where it is better to be distracted, dissatisfied, looking for the thing that will finally provide satisfaction.

But upon closer inspection, by changing focus, things can transform completely.

2 photos of a bouquet of carnations showing different perspectives, distances and focus
Macro photographs of a bouquet of carnations

For me, macro photography is a means of not only focusing on a specific section of a motive, but more than that, my own awareness. It is a way of getting in touch with what I see right in front of me, of getting to know it and appreciating the way a thing naturally appears, both at the moment of active image exposure and in the subsequent processing.

Macro photo of two baby Schefflera leaves
Macro photo of two baby Schefflera leaves

I often seem to find my thoughts moving at the speed of light: from the many things I can, want, and have to do, to media and everything happening around me, the beautiful as well as the worrisome.

In the last few years I have started to use the camera and especially the macro lens as a tool for mindfulness. And over the years I've tried different motifs and I've always found myself particularly drawn to the world of plants.

Makrofoto getrockneter Rosablumen, die verschwommen erscheinen und eine abstrakte Komposition ergeben
Abstrakte Trockenblumen

These natural motifs offer a world of infinite details. The only limit is really the lens.

And often, in this type of macro photography, the photographed object, in my mind, becomes the colour, and the camera becomes a brush. It is less important to depict the object comprehensively and in detail. Instead, it's much more about the composition, which can at times emerge almost by itself.

Macro photo of small dried seed pods against a dark background
Dried plants in macro

Each sharp line becomes an isolated detail, an element that breaks away from the familiar and allows for new perspectives.

Some of these images fascinate me for a short time before they seem to have revealed everything to me and others remain sources of perception, continually raising questions about what a change in focus can do.


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