digital photography tips with Digital Photo Mentor Darlene Hildebrandt

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Macro Photography – an Interview with Don Komarechka

I’ve got something fun and interesting for you today, an interview with macro photographer Don Komarechka. I first saw his work on Google Plus and found his work so fascinating I approached him and asked if he’d do an interview and give us some of his secrets to his stunning macro photography.

Don Komarechka – macro photographer

If you want to learn how to make images like these watch the video below, and continue to read to the bottom of the page. I’ll provide links to Don’s web site and some of the things we discuss in the video. I’ve got a special surprise this month, on the macro theme, if you choose to participate. But watch the video first, no peaking!

macro photo four drops

macro photo of fly

macro snowflake photo

Watch the video below now!

How to find Don Komarechka online

Don’s infamous Canadian flag image
As Don described in the video, a print of the image above is refracted in the water droplets for a stunning effect.

Links to some of the equipment we discussed

If you’re interested in macro photography, here are links to some of the items Don mentioned in the interview, just in case you didn’t get to joy them all down.

Action plan and prize give away!

So, are you inspired to go try your hand at some macro photography? I know I sure am! I have never tried the focus stacking technique and I’ve been itching to get some extension tubes for a while now, and it IS winter where I live and perhaps I can even try a snowflake or two. So I’m going to do it, and follow up with an article in the new year on how it goes. Are you with me?

I’m going to challenge you to get out and take a few shots, even if you don’t have special macro filters or lenses. Just get out there and use the reverse lens technique if you have no other choice. I’m even going to sweeten the pot and give you a little extra incentive, a prize give away! Here’s the deal:
  1. Make sure you are a subscriber to Her View Photography (you must be a subscriber to win) If you haven’t already subscribed and gotten my FREE ebook, you can do so at the bottom of this article, look for the big green box!
  2. Go shoot some macro photos and post a link to your best image in the comments below. Tell us what challenges you had and how to made your shot. Let’s do this together.
  3. Enter your image by January 10th, 2013 and I’ll see that the winner will get a set of Don’s Snowflake Greeting cards shipped to you. (Canada and US shipping only please, if you live elsewhere we cannot guarantee shipping). Please make sure you use a valid email address so I can contact you if you are the winner.
Another example of water droplets and refraction.
I don’t even like bugs but this guy is kinda cute up close

If you loved this article, please remember to share the love – use the social media links below and share away!


And the winner is…

The winner of the prize draw for a set of Don’s snowflake greeting cards is . . . Laura! I’ll be in touch to get you your prize! Thanks for commenting and participating.

Update April 4th

Don is running a campaign to raise funds to get a large 300 page hardcover book printed. It goes into much more detail on how he creates his stunning snowflake images and for a donation of only $35 (or more!) you can help get this project funded AND get a copy of the book! How often can you say you were part of making something a reality? I just put in my $35 bucks, why not join me!?


  • I just watched the excellent interview with Don K. I was familiar with him because I am a listener to This Week in Photography where he has been a participant. Your interview was excellent and I really learned a lot. Today I signed up for some Google+ photography communities and I have been rewarded already. I am a part-time pet photographer ( and I have a love for macro work as well.

    Nice job Darlene!

    Thanks You!


  • OK so I took up the challenge and wow, what a challenge. I took hundreds of photos (doing the sway technique) with a number of different scenarios. I chose this one because the background was clean and pleasantly colorful, I had a few drops reflecting the flower so it was more interesting. It was shot outside as it began to rain with all natural, soft light. I picked out about 8 images to do the stack/align/blend in CS6. It really worked well! I did some basic sharpening/detail in Aperture.

    Question: How does Don get those perfect, round water drops? Should I be using some secret sauce added to the water?
    Question: Any tips for placement or size of the background photo? That was a challenge.

    Overall the image is ok for my first try. But I really loved the process and thats the best part.

    Here is the link to the image.

  • Wrong link Please delete the link Darlene. Thanks.

    Much Better!

    • Nicely done!

      Not sure how he gets his drops so round. Maybe join the Google+ Macro community I linked to above and ask him directly, he runs the group! If I had to guess I’d say the photo is maybe too far away, but I’d be guessing.

  • Pres. Saunders

    Hi Darlene,
    Very interesting Interview, sparked a few ideas for the future, certainly going to have a go at focus stacking.
    Here is an attempt from June I tried with Droplets and a Sunflower, dose´nt qualify for the Cards ( Being in Europe) but still wanted to share. Shot with an 18/55 kit lens and a 4x Macro filter.

    • Nicely done! How far back was the flower from the stem?

      • Pres. Saunders

        surprisingly not that far, less than a foot.

    • MountainSage

      Well done….I love sunflowers and I love macro photography.

  • Laura

    Happy New Year Darlene,
    Loved your interview with Don and it inspired me to try the focus stacking with some flowers today. Here is one of my first results, which I thought was quite cool when I followed the steps in Photoshop which Don outlined in the interview,

    This one was with my 100mm macro lens, and 7 shots.

    Cheers, Laura

  • Joyce

    This was so informative & thought provoking. I tried the reverse lens technique but it didn’t work for me. I found a macro filter & started playing around with it. Wow–depth of field is SO limited!! I tried Don’s swaying techinique with multiple images & it helped. I’m still attempting to get a good shot–this is so fun! Maybe I’ll get some extension tubes–you and Don definitely inspired me.
    Thank you so much!
    Happy New Year to you & your readers,
    (And I hope Latte is settling in nicely)

  • Stephanie

    I am not a photographer but I had to come and look when I saw the image of the snowflake. These are so incredibly beautiful. Especially the snowflake ones.

  • MountainSage

    I love this interview. He shares so many techniques and information that I feel like I spent a week in class. He’s someone I can emotionally connect to as well. Great interview.

  • Sona Bran

    Thank you Darlene and Don for sharing this awesome information. Keep up the great work.

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