eBook Edition – Macro Photography: The Universe at Our Feet




Imagine the mundane, everyday doldrums of life could be transformed in an otherworldly narrative. This is the world of macro photography, where the unseen universe at our feet becomes the fodder for creativity and beauty that we all ignore in our average day.

Macro photography is more than just a genre of images consisting of close-up images. Photographers in this realm often have to play by a different rulebook and experience difference challenges than “ordinary” photographers, but learning the techniques and skills on a macro level have far-reaching impact on all photographic thinking. When you start thinking “macro”, you almost always start getting inventive!

Note: the above image and all of the page spreads below are from a prototype of the book created for promotional purposes only. Most of the pages are currently empty, and while the bulk of the content is already created, the extensive time and effort in designing all the page layouts will commence once funding has been established.


This book aims to cover every challenge that a macro photographer might encounter, from beginner problems like focus and motion blur, to more complex issues with magnification and diffraction, lighting and composition, and so much more.

Book Specifications:

  • 9” x 9” Hardcover (the same physical dimensions as Don’s first book, Sky Crystals) 
  • 352 Pages, 80lb white gloss
  • Sheet-fed press
  • Printed in Canada
  • MSRP will be CAD$74.99
  • Every copy of the book will be autographed

The content of this book is far-reaching. This is NOT a photo book, or “art” book. While it includes many elements of photographic art, the intent is to teach the reader every element of the creation of that artwork. The tentative Table of Contents is as follows:



  • Table of Contents
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • What to expect from this book


Section 1: Equipment and Basics

  • Definition of “Macro” and modern uses
  • Ways to get close (extension tubes, filters, etc.)
  • Unusual examples of macro lenses, past and present
  • Lighting – what to look for in a macro flash, ring light or off camera
  • Using ultra bright LED flashlights
  • Why xenon flash tubes remove motion blur and how to start controlling light
  • Understanding the basics of depth of field for macro photography
  • Diffraction and “effective apertures”
  • Techniques to get the sharpest possible macro photograph
  • How to design a macro studio at home


Section 2: Composition

  • Understanding lines, shapes and colour
  • Gravity is not (as) important
  • Controlling and manipulating the scene for better light and colour
  • Narratives and story-telling
  • Finding new perspectives
  • The art of bokeh and background
  • Dealing with live actors (ethically?)
  • Adding atmosphere with a fog machine


Section 3: Discovery

  • The evolution of an idea and the “what if?” approach
  • Budgeting for experiments
  • The art of problem solving and the joy of tinkering
  • Finding inspiration in everyday objects
  • Pushing too far and breaking things


Section 4: Water Droplet Refraction

  • Basic Concepts
  • Equipment requirements
  • Alignment, positioning, framing
  • Lighting and why the background should be brighter than the foreground
  • Shooting for a single shot, or shooting for focus stacking


Section 5: Snowflakes & Winter Macro

  • Magnification and lighting
  • Conditions, timing, and finding the perfect snowflake
  • Angle of light for surface reflection
  • Aside: The Colour of Snow
  • Shooting handheld and focus stacking
  • “The Snowflake” image and the journey to create it
  • Freezing Soap Bubbles introduction + bubble recipe
  • How to focus on transparent subjects
  • Lighting equipment for freezing bubbles
  • Camera settings, techniques and final results
  • Adding more than just a bubble


Section 6: Ultraviolet Fluorescence

  • Getting good, pure UV light
  • Tutorial for flash modification + alternatives
  • Finding the right subjects in nature
  • Using artificial fluorescence for creative effects
  • Never enough light and what to do about it
  • Editing and processing for best colours


Section 7: Specific Image Deconstruction / Tutorials


Section 8: Focus Stacking

  • Why focus stacking is required
  • Tripods and focusing rails
  • Why you might choose the handheld approach
  • How to process an image and what software choices to make
  • Fixing problems in the automatic algorithms
  • Why use stacking when you can get more in focus in a single frame


Section 9: Macro Video

  • Subjects conducive to shooting video on a macro scale
  • Focusing aids
  • Lighting
  • Basic concepts for building narratives
  • Time-lapse


Section 10: The Extremes

  • Infrared macro
  • Ultraviolet reflectance macro (not fluorescence!)
  • Cross-polarization / Birefringence
  • Kirlian Aura photography
  • Refractography
  • Using microscope objectives and how to fit them on your camera
  • X-ray photography
  • Electron Microscopy


Section 11: 3D Macro Photography

This image is “crossview”, configured so that you can see it when you cross your eyes! Here’s how its done.

  • How to view 3D images (primer)
  • Composing in three dimensions
  • How to shoot 3D macro with an ordinary lens
  • 3D macro lenses and adapters
  • Editing for a proper stereo window
  • Printing a stereoview


Section 12: Specific Equipment Recommendations and Comparisons


This Table of Contents will change as the book is fully written, likely adding new points and re-arranging others to make more chronological sense, but it’s the starting point.

The first book produced by Don Komarechka, Sky Crystals, is now out of print after a successful crowd-funding campaign that produced 3000 copies. Many lessons were learned from that project – some learned the hard way when the entire first print run needed to be scrapped and the entire production restarted on a sheet-fed press vs. a web press. Quality in production has always been as important as quality of content, and this project is no different.