Tiny Frames or the Perils of Looking Too Closely

red stamen of pink rhododendron flower

The end of the line: the stamen of a pink rhododendron flower.

A lot of my photographs emphasize the seen unseen, those hidden tiny features that are undervalued, overlooked and ultimately unknown; my subjects are unforgettable not for their indelible forms and colors, but because many just didn’t know about them to begin with. Out of consciousness, out of memory, they bear a burden greater than their weight as well as people’s recognition of them. Perhaps that is the conceit of a person with their nose pressed against a camera pressing against a leaf or hovering just above the grass line. For all I can see of the macrophotographic hidden world, the restrictive, tiny frames necessary to make that possible cut out the world at-large, both visually and imaginatively. On this site, I like to talk about trade offs, whether it be flash output and ISO, or aperture and depth of field — in a way, it’s the essence of macrophotography, this inevitable compromise: a tiny window, a narrow perspective, a limited view; everything is not illuminated at once, and for this trade off, there are consequences for what one sees, knows, and does.

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