"...mysterious and little known organisms live within walking distance of where you sit. Splendor awaits in minute proportions.”
E.O. Wilson (Biophilia)
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DISCLAIMERI am a photographer, not an entomologist. I do my best to have professionals assist in identifying the subjects of my photographs. However, positive identifications can not always be done unless the specimen is dead and viewed under a microscope. If you do find an error, or have doubts about the identification provided, please let me know in the comments or by email.
Tag Archives: Costa Rica
When I began Splendour Awaits I wanted to expand beyond the original intent of my first blog, The Bug Whisperer. The World Wide Web links us all, and allows us to share with and learn from each other. Yet, there are dozens of brilliant macro photographers around the world today that are still relatively unknown beyond their own sphere of influence, perhaps due to boundaries of nationality and/or language. Occasionally we see their photographs featured in flashy articles but rarely do we find out more about the photographer’s themselves and what drives their passion. I hope to remedy this gap by posting a series of interviews with macro photographers from around the world.
The first photographer that came to mind when I thought of this project was Erez Marom. He first became known to me when I came across his macro articles at the online equipment review website, dpreview.com. He not only produces stunning macro images, he is also great at communicating his passion for the craft. Erez has been kind enough to respond to my questionnaire…
Can you tell me a bit about your background?
I was born in 1980 in Holon, Israel, where I still live today. As a kid I was encouraged by my parents to pursue any artistic tendency, and consequently started playing the drums at age 9. Until a few years, music was my main artistic passion, but today photography has taken over my life. I’m also a non-practicing engineer. I used to work in an office, but nevermore My only connection to engineering today is that I teach math in the university.
I’ve always been interested in insects and in the natural world, but it was only 4 years ago when I saw some macro images online and decided I had to be able to produce such results. I got my first DSLR and macro lens, and total addiction was soon to follow. Since then I’ve become a pro photographer, making a significant part of my income from shooting and teaching photography, writing instructional texts and guiding photo workshops worldwide.What led you to take an interest in macro photography?
I think every young boy likes insects – I guess I just remained young at heart. I can’t understand how it’s possible NOT to be fascinated by these little wonders. Everything about them – their appearance, their behavior, courtship dances, hunting… everything is so alien, colorful and just plain awesome. Macro differs greatly to other fields of photography in that it’s virtually impossible to see what you shoot (with the same amount of detail) with the naked eye. This means that you unravel new wonders each and every time you shoot – a very special thing indeed, especially if you’re curious with regard to nature.Is there anyone that you would consider a key inspiration?Which other photographers do you admire?
When it comes to macro, I admire the work of Igor Siwanowicz and Leon Bass. Other talented photographers I’ve been exposed to are Matt Cole, Shy Cohen (a very good friend from Israel) and various others.
Do you have a favourite subject?
On my recent trip to Costa Rica and Panama I’ve fallen in love with frogs, especially red-eyed tree frogs and strawberry poison dart frogs. I just can’t resist those slimy packs of joy. The colors, the look in their eyes, their timid behavior, all make them perfect macro subjects.
Back home I absolutely love shooting robber flies. These magnificent hunters are the perfect combination of beauty and viciousness. All they do is hunt other insects and look for a mate, but they keep fascinating me through the years. It’s always fun to see them feeding or doing their courtship dances – sometimes a male even waits for the female to find prey before copulating – so he doesn’t become her next meal himself! Talk about a brutal world…
I’m currently trying to establish myself as a pro nature photographer, which isn’t an easy thing at all. Other than that, my new international photo-workshops are truly my babies. In July I’m leading a macro and nature photography workshop in Costa Rica, and next January I’m leading a landscape photography workshop in Iceland. There’s nothing I love more than helping people pursue their passion for nature photography in these incredible locations. It’s hard work, but it’s great fun at the same time. In the future, I’d really like to be able to offer greater variety in workshop locations. Only time will tell…
I’m also writing a series of instructional articles about macro for DPReview.com, which has been a wonderful experience, and gave me welcome exposure. Last but not least – my renewed website is going up in a few weeks – please check it out at erezmarom.com!
And for the equipment fanatics: what equipment do you use, and is there one piece of equipment you could not live without?
To shoot macro you don’t need thousands of Dollars in high-end equipment. That said, a good macro lens or two are a must. I use (and love) my two macro lenses: the Tamron 180mm and the Canon MP-E 65mm. Both serve me well and allow great results, limited only by my own ability.
What is the single most important bit of advice you could give to someone interested in doing high quality photography?
Other than about art, nature photography is about three things: knowledge, technique and patience. Know your subjects – their behavior, how to approach them, when to shoot them. Understand what you are doing. Shoot without fearing the technical side of photography, and have the patience it takes to achieve the really good shots. I sometime chase a frog for two hours in the boiling-hot rainforest until I get a decent shot – never despair and you’ll get your results. Post processing is also an important aspect some tend to dismiss. Know how to perfect your results in Photoshop, as this could distinguish your images from others’.