by Yvette Depaepe
Published the 29th of August 2022
Ivy Deng loves macro photography for many reasons. It is fascinating and challenging at the same time. It doesn't require a huge budget because you and even shoot in your own garden. When she shoots insects with the scent of grass and flowers surrounding, she forgets everything including herself. But despite her love for macro photography, Ivy is always willing to broaden her photographic horizons by discovering other genres such as portrait, architecture, landscape and more. Discover more about this talented young woman through this interview and enjoy!
To begin, please introduce yourself shortly and tell us more about you, your hobbies or other projects you are involved in, dear Ivy.
I am Ivy Deng, I grew up in Chongqing, China. I worked as a mechanical engineer and constructor for more than 20 years in Shenzhen and Shanghai. I have been travelling between China and America since 2015. My hobbies are very simple: travel and photography.
For many of us photography is either a hobby or a way of life. How would you define your relationship with photography?
For me, photography is not only a hobby but also a way of life. Initially, it was just a hobby. After my family immigrate to the United States, I began to enjoy life. I spend more and more time on photography, now photography becomes a way of life.
What would be the most important experience so far that has influenced your steps in photography?
I joined a photography group visiting Xinjiang, China in 2008. Xinjiang is located west of China, it’s very beautiful. This trip lasted 25 days, every member of this group had a DSLR camera except me, I only brought a compact digital camera. I tried others’. I was immediately shocked and fascinated by the clicking sound of the camera's continuous shooting. I bought my first Nikon D80 as soon as I went home. I began my journey of photography because of this trip. Now I am using Nikon D850 which is my fourth DSLR camera.
How do you maintain and grow your passion for photography?
Photography is my true love, I don’t need to maintain and grow my passion. As long as the beautiful view and insects are there, I couldn’t resist the urge to shoot.
Can you please describe in a few words your photographer philosophy?
To show the beauty of nature artistically.
Why are you so drawn by Macro Photography?
I love portrait, architecture, and landscape, but macro fascinates me the most. Macro is very niche and unique, there are not many photographers who like macro, and there are even fewer women, which makes me feel cool. I think macro is the most fun and challenging, and when I shoot insects with the scent of grass and flowers, I forget everything including myself. Plus, macro photography doesn't require a huge budget, you can even shoot in your garden.
What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
They are both important to me. Technical perfection is a hard skill, and the mood /story is a soft skill. I would say the soft skill is harder, the technical perfection is the foundation of a good photo, you could learn, but the soft skill is the accumulation of your long-term life experience, knowledge, and aesthetics.
What generally is your relationship to your subject matter beyond being an observer?
Sometimes you are a designer, you could arrange and design the scenes as you want.
Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
Most of the time I don’t need to prepare the locations for macro photography, because my models are insects that are in nature, I like shooting them naturally. I have the experience of what kinds of locations I could find more insects and which one is better.
What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
Nikkor(14-24/2.8, 24-70/2.8, 70-200/2.8, 50/f1.4, 500/f5.6E)
Macro Nikkor105/2.8, Meyer Trioplan100/2.8
What software do you use to process your images?
Only Adobe Photoshop.
What is your most important advice to a beginner in Macro Photography and how do you get started?
Practice makes perfect. As a macro beginner, the first step is to learn to shoot clearly and sharply, which is a basic skill. There is no shortcut other than practice. Then you could consider the light, mood, atmosphere, and story. This is exactly the process I went through.
What would be your favourite photo? Please tell us the story behind it.
“Blooming” is my favourite. It’s not easy to get a photo of the damselfly on the stone in the water, it is more difficult with reflection, and it is most difficult with reflection and open wings in the meantime, I squatted on another stone and waited for a long time before it opened its wings, like a flower blooming, the most stunning moment.
Who are your favourite photographers or mentors whose works have influenced you and your photography?
Henri Cartier-Bresson’s theory of the decisive moment had a great influence on me. But as a macro photograph lover, Miao Yong, a photographer in China, has influenced me more with his works and photography philosophy. He completely abandoned the flash and insisted on using natural light and artistic techniques to show the beauty of insects, rather than just emphasizing details.
We almost reach the end of this interview. I would kindly ask you to share with us your future plans or photographic projects you would like to be involved in.
I have been focusing on macro photography for the past few years. I will spend more time on other subjects such as portraits, architecture, landscape, etc. in the future.
'The light of city'
Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
1x is an excellent platform with a lot of great works in different styles. I have learned a lot from other members and made huge progress since I joined the 1x family. I am very proud of being a part of this community.
Wanghan Li PRO
Congratulations for your wonderful and artistic collection. Thanks for the writing which teaches and inspires me! Thanks!
wonderful and very beautiful
Enjoyable read -Yvette and lovely images Ivy. I was already a fan - but now even more so.
Thank you so much!
Atul Saluja PRO
Fascinating images Ivy! Congratulations and good light!
Shannon Hunt PRO
Wonderful interview Ivy. Congratulations!
Yanyan Gong PRO
Congratulations Ivy, I am a fan of work!
Vladimir Funtak PRO
Alex Lu PRO
Excellent collection with the wonderful interview Thanks Ivy and Yvette.
Sebastien Blomme PRO
Great to get to know you ! Nice pictures 👍
Wonderful technique and zest in your composition. Carefully done and beautiful work.
Yun Thwaits PRO
So beautiful collection with the inspiring interview! Thanks Ivy and Yvette.
Benny Gross PRO
Beautiful art came out from you
Miro Susta CREW
Very interesting interview accompanied by wonderful pictures, well done Yvette and Ivy
Thank you, Miro!
Larry Deng PRO
Excellent collection, love it. Thanks Ivy and Yvette.
Thank you, Larry!
Wanghan Li PRO
Excellent collection with the wonderful interview!
Thank you, Wanghan!
Yvette Depaepe CREW
Thanks for your fine collaboration, Ivy. It was a pleasure to learn more about you. Cheers, Yvette
Thank you very much!
Beautiful body of work, congrats with this great interview
Thank you, Elisabeth!
Complimenti per l'articolo e le stupende immagini
Thank you encouraging me all the time!
Izabella Végh PRO
Bellissimo articolo con altrettanto bellissime fotografie. Complimenti.
Thank you, Izabella!