Safari Under Our Feet

Photo: Courtesy of Tomislav Tatić

They are certainly not the cutest creatures, and it is true that they can cause a lot of fear and distress in many, despite their size. It is an understatement that they are often unwanted guests in our homes, and encounters with them could end up in discomfort and pain.

Still, Tomislav Tatić finds none of the above true, rather fascinating creatures that provide an inexhaustible inspiration source. Observing them through his camera lens, Tatić noticed that every piece of grass is an exotic oasis of biodiversity and that the bugs we meet every day are much more interesting when we take a closer look. Here is what he said about his unusual models and his journey through this small yet huge world.

EP: What is macro photography, and when did you start with it?

Tomislav Tatić: Macro photography is a particular type of high magnification photography. When you take a macro picture of something that is otherwise micro, only then can you see all the things invisible to the naked eye, mobile phones, and other cameras. My interest in photography started in my teenage days when I got my first serious camera as a gift. In the years that followed, photography was a hobby, occupying every second of my spare time. It was a period when I was finding myself. Even then, I was attracted to macro photography, but it is so specific and requires more professional, and thus more expensive equipment, so it took me a little longer to buy it. I would like to point out the last year as a concrete and serious macro photography period.

EP: Why did you choose bugs (insects)?

Tomislav Tatić: I desire to bring people closer to these creatures around us since they are mostly “afraid” of them, but in fact, they have never really seen them. That fear is mostly unjustified, so I want to show that these creatures are fascinating and that we have no reason to be afraid of them. People are always striving for something far away. They are interested in going on a safari, to the zoo, water worlds… And they are not even aware of what kind of biodiversity they have exactly under their feet. To some extent, I understand that because when tourists come to Belgrade, they usually take selfies at the Pobednik monument (The Victor), and it would be really difficult to find a citizen of Belgrade with such a picture. I don’t think I have to travel to the other side of the world to find interesting animals I can photograph, because I have them on my lawn or in a nearby canal. Macro photography has opened up a whole new universe for me, hitherto unexplored. We have the exotic on our doorstep, only if we take a closer look.

Photo: Tomislav Tatić

EP: How do you choose what to shoot?

Tomislav Tatić: Sometimes bugs pick me. For example, I wake up in the morning, fix some coffee and go out on the balcony, and a sweet spider is waiting for me, weaving a web on a tree in the yard during the night. If that’s not the case, I choose bugs that I haven’t photographed too often before. The environment is also important, and so is the background. If I were painting big animals, I wouldn’t move an elephant to make the background more beautiful. It’s the same with bugs; it doesn’t matter that they are small. I love when they are in a natural environment and look after their business. Sometimes the beetle is beautiful, but the environment is not, so that’s not it. There are other situations when the bugs I shoot are simply not in the mood to pose at that moment.

Interviewed by: Danijela Isailović

Read the story in the new issue of the Energy portal Magazine ELECTROMOBILITY.