If you’re like me, one of the reasons you go hiking is to try to capture some awe-inspiring digital photos of your experience. Grand vistas, sweeping mountain ranges, and … bugs?

The Digital Photography School has a great write-up on macro photography for digital cameras up right now. For those not in the know, macro is the art of eschewing the traditional mountaintop shots for super close ups of dirt, pebbles, insects, and anything else the passing hikers’ eye would normally miss.

What’s nice about this guide is that it’s for the simple, cheap, point-and-shooters that most amateur Ansel Adams’ take on the trail with ’em. I mean, I wouldn’t mind having a nice SLR, but I’m a bit adverse to their bulkiness. And, you know, their price.

Personally, I use a Ricoh Caplio R5 I picked up when I was in Japan this year (full review forthcoming), and it’s got a fairly robust built-in macro mode. Helpful for when you want to make a swarm of ladybugs like this:

… a bit more personal. Like this:

tipped off by Hiking Ideas.