Nature magnified

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | NIRTIKA PANDITA
Published Feb 16, 2020, 5:12 am IST
Updated Feb 16, 2020, 5:12 am IST
A final year engineering student from Tamil Nadu has taken macro photography to new heights with his smartphone.
A friend holds Sasi Kumar (sitting) as he leans over the farm field to capture the matting damselfly.
 A friend holds Sasi Kumar (sitting) as he leans over the farm field to capture the matting damselfly.

A photographer isn’t just made with a camera, but an eye for detail is what makes them stand apart. A quality that Vellore’s budding macro photographer Sasi Kumar possess with great ease. Not someone to use a traditional DSLR for his photographs, instead captures insects in their natural habitat with just a smartphone and macro lenses.

The final year engineering student’s love for nature and the desire to be unique led him to macro photography. Sasi roams the paddy fields surrounding his house in search of his subjects. “I have seen people with DSLR taking macro photographs. I focus on insects because they are unnoticed and we fail to love them. I want to show the beauty of these tiny creatures,” smiles the 21-year-old, adding, “Moreover, what really makes me happy is the changing perspective. After seeing my photographs, people have become kind towards the insects.”

 

While it is a tedious task to spot and put the insects in a frame, the photographer usually goes on long walks on weekends in the fields or inspecting bushes. Once he spots an insect, Sasi diligently observes their activity before warily clicking them.

“Macro photography is difficult since the subject here is an insect and not a human who understands our commands. These tiny creatures can’t be handled the same way. I always observe the activities whether they are resting or in a hurry. Slowly I move towards them — if you hurry then they will move away — and pan my smartphone steadily towards the insect. If I need a crisp and in-depth shot, which requires more stability, I look for a support or a static object that acts as a tripod for me,” he explains.

One of Sasi’s most cherished and challenging memories of photographing an insect was that of a matting damselfly, for which he had to ask his friend to hold him steady. “I was roaming on a farm field, and after an hour I found a mating damselfly inside of the crop field. This meant that I couldn’t walk through it because the crop would be destroyed. So I asked my friend to hold me by my hand as I stretched and leaned over the field to take the picture. Even to my surprise, that shot came out to be framed and composed well,” recalls the photographer who uses Redmi Note 3, OnePlus 6T and lenses such as Indo Macro 4.5cm, Indo extreme lens, Apexel 12/24x, to name a few.

A more time-consuming art that requires practice to be able to produce a detailed shot, Sasi reveals that patience is the only key in mastering macro photography. “I am prepared to handle harsh wind, obscure lightings, etc. But by the time you find the subject, which lens will suit the subject should have been calculated as well as the frame and composition, as the insects are unpredictable. They don’t really stick around at one place for long,” concludes the photographer.

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