The next best thing to visiting an alien planet

Macro photography is an endless amount of fun. Whenever I make time for it, the shooting goes too quickly and I'm bummed when it's time to leave. For years, I was frustrated by the prohibitive cost of macro lenses, but compact digital cameras are designed in such a way that they're great at shooting macros. Now I'm making up for lost time.

The fact of the matter is that you have a treasure trove of fascinating photos waiting for you to discover them, and the great thing is that you can find many of them by just walking around your neighborhood. The above photo from Teresita de la Torre is the best example that comes to mind. When I look at that photo, I feel like I'm watching one of those giant insect movies from the 1950s. Can't you almost hear the dramatic voiceover?

It's a tender moment between a husband and his wife. Sadly, the tenderness is short-lived as uncaring humans encroach on their happy abode, forcing them to desperate measures.

Photo courtesy of
For more photos of bug love, click here
Here's a fun idea, take close-up photos and ask people to guess what they are. You can throw them off the scent by offering alternate guesses. I'll go first:

Is it a 4th of July smokebomb? Is it dry ice pouring out from under a black hockey puck? Did I put a piece of glass over some chemistry project? Maybe it's one of NASA's new black hole photos?

It's never been easier or more inexpensive to create fascinating photos, so if you don't know how to engage the macro mode on your digital camera, I encourage you to pull that manual out and start shooting! If you want a good resource for making big prints of your little creations, check out You can upload your digital files and they'll mail your masterpiece in glorious color or black and white.

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