The Beauty of Small Things

Macro photography by Daniel Sigg

In commercial product photography including macro photography, one has to pay a lot of attention to detail with regards to creating an overall image that is hopefully artistic, unique, technically proficient, and overall compelling. Details of composition, lighting, exposure, highlights, shadows, reflections, surfaces, textures, colors balance, saturation, luminosity, gradients, backgrounds, foregrounds, sharpness, edges, negative space, contrast all matter, and of course can also be used for artistic effect in commercial product photography. For many, those details may not matter, but if any one of those details is truly “off”, it can “break” an otherwise good or great photograph.

As product photographers, we often deal with tiny imperfections in our commercial product photographs; those imperfections are typically easily visualized (and amplified) by the high image resolution of today’s modern camera sensors and screens. Those imperfections are, in reality, not really “imperfections”, but just a revelation of the reality of a smaller world that we typically don’t see or pay that much attention to, in part also since we do not typically magnify and observe those objects at such small scales.

Photographing small objects enables us to experience a beauty that may otherwise go unnoticed. For example, I am fascinated by the extraordinary shapes (and beauty) of water droplets arrested in motion by high speed strobes, by the textures, colors and shapes and detail foods and food ingredients, as well as by the the textural and mechanical detail and precision of engineered products such as mechanical or electronic devices such as watches, medical devices or computer chips (this fascination is reflected by my commercial focus on liquids, products/still life and food).

For this post, I photographed some simple food objects I found in our kitchen (coffee beans, cloves, gazpacho beans or star anis) (and used my pre-visualization technique).  Seeing things through the lens and photographing them enables me to observe things deeper, and I continue to marvel at the simple beauty around us and am driven to capture more of it every day and share it!

Macro shot of cloves on white background by Twin Cities product and liquids photographer Daniel Sigg

Ultra macro photograph of trio of cloves on white background

Ultra macro photograph of blend of roasted coffee beans from light to dark roast

Macro photograph of a blend of beans from dark to light roast

Garbanzo beans

Star anis macro photograph on white textured background with shadow