12 February 2020

The Beginnings

I started macro photography in May 2008 after getting my Nikon D80, and my first macro lens was the Tamron 90mm. It was subsequently upgraded to the Tamron 180mm within 8 months as it opened up some of the limitations I faced with the Tamron 90mm. After 3 years, I switched to the Nikkor 200mm because of the smaller lens diameter (to use the Raynox without vignetting on a full-frame body). Being the ridiculously fickle-minded macro photographer that I am, I am now back with the Tamron 90mm and using it 99% of the time. I occasionally use mirrorless systems such as the Sony A7 series and the Olympus EM10 series as well. Check my Macro Equipment page for more details on my setups.

Me Shooting the Mantisfly - nicky_mantidfly1

Why Macro Photography?

I like discovering tiny living things and showing pictures of them to others who normally would not have bothered to see them up close. It is like a window to an alien world that’s right under our noses. Even after over 10 years of trudging through the same trails in the forest, I still get to photograph insects or spiders that I’ve not seen before, and that’s what keeps the passion strong.

About Macro Photography in Singapore

Despite being an urban jungle, Singapore has an abundance of macro photography opportunities. Its tropical climate provides a warm environment for most insects to thrive in. Keep a keen lookout for little critters, for they could be just beside you, even in your home! Every year, I make a few trips to the tropical rainforests in the region as they certainly have a different diversity of critters compared to the local ones.

Dual SB600 with DIY Bowl Diffusers

Photography Philosophy

I am more of a documenter than an artist. This is evident in my Flickr stream where I post even the out of focus or poorly composed shots as it is where I document all my findings. Of course, artistically inclined endeavors will be attempted when the situation permits. However, in most cases, I would just have classic views of the subjects that I find.

There are many macro photographers who take better pictures than I do. The only difference is that I document the photos with information on the subjects’ biology and taxonomy, and that adds immense value to the photos.


I have added watermarks to my photographs due to an overwhelming number of incidents of unauthorized usage, especially on Facebook pages. There were also numerous blogs and websites stealing the images and putting their own site URL watermarks on my photos. Some may say that once you upload photos on the internet, it becomes free for all to use and there is no loss for me. That is not true – having the photos freely proliferated devalues the photo as legitimate buyers cannot opt for exclusivity. Read about an example of the compensation you may be liable for if you use photos without permission from the legitimate owner. So, yes the watermark is not small. As much as I hate doing it, the watermarks will remain. If you think that removing the watermark and using it is ok, read this example where a simple copyright infringement cost US$7500.

Introduction Video

Video by Calvin Seah, RazorTV, Singapore Press Holdings


Some companies have contacted me to do product advertorials before. I am open to such offers but only if it has a direct relation to macro photography and if I truly believe in the product. If the product is unsuitable for macro photography and not of interest to the readers, I would prefer not to include it on the blog.

Copyright and Contact

All images on this website are owned by Nicky Bay, unless otherwise stated. For any enquiries regarding the use of my photos or for macro photography workshops, please contact me at [email protected].

  1. Reply

    Amith kiran menezes

    15 April 2020

    Hi sir

    this is Amith Kiran menezes from India , am a passionate macro photographer ,
    You have amazing collection of macro pictures , impressed with your work , and all the best for your future .

  2. Reply

    Manoj Kumar

    7 May 2020

    Love the new design of the website Nicky and its very responsive and fast. You know your website and flickr are my encyclopedia on macro.. so visit your site quite often.. its inspirational and therapeutics….

    • Reply

      Nicky Bay

      7 May 2020

      Thanks Manoj, good to hear from you again and hope you are doing well and keeping safe!

  3. Reply

    Benjamin Böhme

    20 July 2022

    Hello Mr. Bay,

    I am a big fan of your work and a macro photographer myself, after reading your excellent review of the laowa 25mm 2,5-5x lense, i was wondering which exact extension tubes you used to push it to 9:1, i would like to try myself. I was also thinking of trying a teleconverter, but my sigma an nikon ones don”t fit on the lense, maybe with an extension tube inbetween it would work. Have you maybe tried that as well?

    Greetings from Austria,

    Benjamin Böhme

    • Reply

      Nicky Bay

      13 August 2022

      No particular brand, just whatever extension tubes I could find in the drawer. Mix of a few brands I think. Extension tubes are just physical extensions and you don’t need to bother too much with brand except that some cheap ones won’t keep the image in the centre very well when the extension is too long.

  4. Reply

    Romie Beyer

    3 June 2023

    Hello! I stumbled upon your photography as I am looking for identification for a certain bug that I saw a couple years ago. Maybe a plant hopper. I have been trying to identify it for a while now but nobody seems to know what it is. I have it on video, though I only used my phone so it is not the best quality, still, I thought if you had photographed one before you might know it, or know otherwise how to identify it. 🙂 Thank you for your time!


    • Reply

      Nicky Bay

      5 June 2023

      Hi, I’m only familiar with the fauna of Southeast Asia. You could show me if you have it anywhere online. Otherwise, you can also try uploading to iNaturalist where others could help too.

  5. Reply

    Gwendolyn Fontcuberta

    24 September 2023

    Hi! My mom and I own a business working with merch made from my art, but my passion really lies in entomology, herpetology, and insect keeping in captivity. I have zero experience using a digital camera outside of point and shooting some ok-ish photos, and was wondering, do you have recommendations for what I can do to start getting into macro photography on a professional level? I already have my brother’s old Nikon d3200 with a Tamron 62mm lens, but I really have no clue how any of this works. The best photos I’ve done are with a macro lens phone attachment, but they’re still pretty meh and the quality is inconsistent. Thank you!

    • Reply

      Nicky Bay

      6 October 2023

      It is not a topic that can be answered in one post.

      From experience, it makes a world of a difference with a flash and a decent diffuser. There are a lot more considerations, but this makes most of the difference.



Hi my name is Nicky Bay. I am a macro photographer, instructor and book author, travelling the world to document the vast micro biodiversity that nature has to offer. Follow my updates and discover with me the incredible beauty and science behind our planet's micro creatures!

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