On June 5, Midwest is having David Guy Maynard give a lecture on macro photography in our learning studio and we don’t want you to miss it!
So who is David Guy Maynard? I recently got the chance to interview him, and wanted to show our customers, and you bloggers out there his macro photography work!
“…be patient with yourself. It takes a lot of bad shots to master the good ones.”
How did you first get into photography?
It was bugs, frogs, and snakes actually. When I was a kid, my brothers and I would catch all kinds of critters and keep them for a few days to observe them before setting them free. Our parents were pretty cool with it until one day when I was around 10 years old, my mother returned home to find I had a 7 foot Timber Rattle snake in the house. After that the rules changed. “No more critters in the house!”
Soon after that I was given of an old Pentax 35mm camera and some stackable macro filters (Diopters) by a family friend so that I could “capture and keep the critters forever”. That started a life long obsession with macro photography, which over the years just kind of evolved into every other genre. I no longer really remember a time when I was not taking pictures of something.
What got you into doing workshops?
Once my career in photography was really rolling, I started getting invited to speak at different events, and show my work. I discovered quickly that I liked hanging out and sharing ideas and techniques with other artists, of all skill levels. On the whole, photographers are just cool people to be around. (Though we are all kind of nuts to some, go figure…) This just kind of shifted into a workshop here and there, and it turns out people liked them and I started getting a ton of requests. So now I try to squeeze in as many as my schedule will allow each year. Plus, it’s a great excuse for a road trip and more pictures too.
What intrigues you about macro photography?
Everything really. We tend to be so caught up in everything eye level, and in such a hurry that we completely miss this incredible tiny world all around us. When I was a kid, I watched a show called “Wild Kingdom” every Sunday without fail, and I was always mesmerized by the drama played out in nature and caught by their photographers. The macro lens gave me a ticket into a world with every bit as much action and intrigue as an African Safari, but I could find it anywhere, anytime. The first time I photographed an epic battle between a crab spider and a bee on top of a small flower in clear, sharp detail, my heart rate literally increased from the excitement. I knew I was hooked forever. The intrigue comes from not knowing what amazing thing you will see and capture next.
What’s your ultimate go-to piece of equipment when shooting macro?
My Tamron 90mm Di VC lens without question. Things have changed a lot since the days of the stackable macro rings. This lens is 1:1 magnification, and about as crisp and sharp as you can get. Wouldn’t be without it.
Where’s your favorite place to shoot macro?
LOL, everywhere! My back yard, the Everglades, porches (here in FL that is where you will always find great frogs and spiders), gardens are a great spot, just anywhere. I was on a fashion shoot assignment in Germany a few years ago, walking out of my hotel door I spot this crazy looking spider. I ended up big time late to the fashion shoot because I just kind of got lost in documenting this little guy. In macro photography, photo ops are everywhere you are.
On the road doing workshops, do you find it hard to find time to shoot?
No, not really. Both my assistant Sammi and I are pretty obsessive about macro and nature photography. So we tend to allow time on the road to take advantage of all the great places around the country to shoot. It’s all about priorities right? 🙂
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone starting in macro photography?
Beware, it is addictive! Aside from that, be patient with yourself. It takes a lot of bad shots to master the good ones. Oh, and don’t get stung, bit, or poisoned. Wait, that’s 3 things. Sorry. 🙂
What’s your favorite macro shot you’ve taken and why?
Oh come on now… That is way too hard. That is like asking a parent, “which one of your kids do you love the most?”. However, I would put these toward the top of the list if I had to. Why? Somewhat due to the level of difficulty in getting them successfully. But more because I just enjoy looking at them. Who could resist those faces?