Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Meet This Week's Judge: Sarah Rypma

This week, Sarah of Sarah Rypma Photography talks macro with us. Enjoy!

“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you will look back and realize they were the big things“  - Kurt Vonnegut

Chances are if you are a mother with young children, you are reminded almost daily that you should enjoy this time in your life - because it will be gone before you realize it. This sentiment seems to be repeated everywhere and by everyone from the little old lady in the checkout line at the supermarket to the Facebook comment you just received from your Aunt Sally: “Too cute! They grow up too fast!” Admittedly, it’s irritating to be warned of time’s fleeting pace when there is a sea of laundry to fold, a sticky house to clean, a stack of school papers to read and temper tantrums to weather. However, if I was a betting woman, I would wager that you probably became a photographer because you know that no matter how irritating and anxiety-inducing this warning is, there is truth to it.  Our time as mothers with young children will pass all too quickly.

Living in the moment has never been more difficult than it is for our generation of mothers. We are constantly inundated with emails, text messages, tweets, status updates and phone calls that continually interrupt our daily lives and take us away from the present. To make it more challenging, we carry around the heavy weight of “mommy guilt” – the feeling that we aren’t doing enough or aren’t doing the right things for our children. Add to that the guilt that we are too busy and not fully living in the moment and it becomes oppressive.

I chose Macro photography for this week’s theme because it challenges us to stop the glorification of busy and take notice of the little things that make up our daily lives, but are perhaps all too often overlooked. Macro photography is an extreme close up type of photography that makes small items appear larger than life. Macro shows us the beauty of subtlety. Using focus and magnification, it forces us to appreciate the details that otherwise go unnoticed. Macro photography, like motherhood, requires an extreme amount of patience. You have to force yourself to be still and overcome the slightest of interruptions to achieve focus.

This week I challenge you to take a look around. Spring is a great time to practice macro photography as trees are budding and new life is emerging. Many of the macro images I have are from nature walks with my children in our own yard. Although Macro is often associated with nature, there are millions of small details in our everyday life to highlight. As a general rule, f/16, is recommended in macro photography to get the majority of your subject in focus and manual focus helps achieve the sharpest images. However, play around with the aperture and focus. You are the artist and these are your little moments. I can’t wait to see how you capture them.

Enjoy the little things!


Sarah is a natural light and lifestyle photographer in Michigan who won Snap Maven’s “fresh”  (link to: theme in 2014. Sarah's photography uses unique perspectives, vivid colors, natural light and a shallow depth of field to capture her world. Children, animals, nature, food and landscapes (both rural and urban) often appear in Sarah's work. Sarah's work has been described as fresh and emotive and has been recognized on several national and international photography forums for its storytelling qualities and striking portrayal of the everyday.

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