Incredible Macro Photos of Snails Reveal Tiny Worlds

Macro photo of snail and ladybug

It’s always a small world after all for photographer Katarzyna Załużna. Or make that a snail world, after all

Załużna’s amazing macro photos of snails, insects and other tiny critters have captivated the Internet as much for their close-up detail as for their blurred background (aka bokeh) artistry. The Poland-based Załużna’s work was recently featured on My Modern Met where she explained how she captures these slow-moving creatures and the otherworldly flora and fauna that surround them.

“You can create beautiful compositions, but it takes a lot of patience and sensitivity to light and to detail,” Załużna told My Modern Met. “Capturing the right moment is the foundation for a magical photo. I look for a long time before I start photographing. Often the snail in nature is in an unattractive place (on the ground, an ugly stick), but then I move it to another lovely plant. It takes a lot of work to get a beautiful shot. It’s not like I go outside, snap a picture and it’s done. That would be too easy. The effect would not be stunning. I like to show nature in a poetic way.”

Macro photo of snail on a leaf

If you’d like to capture your own exquisite close-up photos, we suggest you start by buying a quality lens such as the two new macro lenses announced yesterday by Nikon, the Nikkor Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S ($999) and Nikkor Z MC 50mm f/2.8 ($649). As for techniques, beginners should definitely check out our Intro to Macro Photography featuring tips and example images by Damon Clarke.

“If you’re just starting out, I would recommend practicing on stationary subjects like flowers in a vase, moss on a rock or mushrooms poking through the leaves,” Clarke advises. “As you get more comfortable, start shooting low-lying flowers, or pick windless days. Moving subjects like insects or tall flowers add a layer of difficulty to the shot and can quickly get frustrating when you’re not comfortable with your camera.”

Macro photo of three snails

More and more photographers discovered the joys of macro photography during the pandemic where it’s just you, your camera and lens, and the tiny worlds below you. Digital Photo‘s William Sawlich recently gave us “Macro Photography Adventures Close to Home,” an easy-to-follow guide for budding macro photographers making the jump from shooting snapshots with their smartphones to using a dedicated camera and interchangeable lenses for serious close-up photography.

So whether you’re seeking inspiration or technical advice, we have a wealth of information to help you capture your own spectacular macro photos.

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