I don't how many of you do macro photography, but I try my hand at it from time to time. I thought this might be a good place to post pictures, discuss techniques, talk about equipment, etc.
<br />I'm short on time right now, so... enough words. Here are a few recent pix to kick things off:
<a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pic=1sPBQufCaMMQfBYohHTJkp4JV 6mT8N" /></a>
<img src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1sPBQufCaMMQfBYohHTJkp4JV6mT8N_t humb.jpg" border="0" />
<a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pic=1xzK53rLFuly2arZrX3Hy5R7n Exbm1" /></a>
<img src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1xzK53rLFuly2arZrX3Hy5R7nExbm1_t humb.jpg" border="0" />
<a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pic=1FHknaEZdaJgxe4T5t1OVM2UV 6tnUz1" /></a>
<img src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1FHknaEZdaJgxe4T5t1OVM2UV6tnUz1_ thumb.jpg" border="0" />
<a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pic=1zWbSv05z8nZ7e5zBjv0tvre5 1m9A0" /></a>
<img src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1zWbSv05z8nZ7e5zBjv0tvre51m9A0_t humb.jpg" border="0" />
Ho,great idea. i really enjoy macro myself although nothing more than 1 to 1. your shots are nice,particularly the ladybug. nice depth of field and good composition.did you use a tripod for the ladybug or handheld? What fstop did you use.nice out of focus background and sharp subject .
This guy is really spooky. It is some kind of fly that can capture a bee or a wasp and suck the life out of them. I stumbled onto him by accident while shooting in Long Beach. There they were just hanging out on a palm tree waiting for me to grab my lens. Yuk!!
Any subject is suitable. Insects, flowers, postage stamps, etc. Ordinary objects can take on extraordinary appearances when magnified.
>did you use a tripod for the ladybug or handheld?
I used a tripod, a ball head, and a focusing rail. The lens (for most of my shots) was a Vivitar Series 1 f2.5 105mm macro (1:1). The last picture in the series was shot with the macro lens and all my extension tubes (68mm worth), plus an off-camera flash. I did not record the exposure, but I'm guessing it was about f4. This lens has great bokah.
> I look forward to hearing your tips on macros as I have found them to be challenging.
Macros *are* challenging. The depth of field is very limited, and the combination of long lenses, slow film, small apertures, and slow shutter speeds can make for some tedious afternoons. I highly recommend using a flash (off-camera is best) when possible since it neatly solves many exposure problems.
I should point out that all these are really practice shots. I'm still learning *how* to shoot macro, how to position the camera, how to light the subject, how to
choose the subject. My best tip would be to grab John Shaw's books
Closeups in Nature and
Nature Photography Field Guide. Both have much good info for shooting at higher magnifications.
Cindy,i am not certain, but i think that is a robber fly. i have one or two shots somewhere but i rarely see them in my garden. if you watch them closely,they will track subjects going by and take them down on the fly. great work and they look real sharp as well.I assume your using some close up flash setup as well?
Howard,i have been a longtime admirer of shaw and actually met him at a lighthouse in new england once. it was just the two of us and i was in shock to be there at that spot together. i think it was fate,cause i mentioned it to my wife on the way that maybe ill see john shaw up there, as i knew he shoots fall foliage there. i got a photo with him and treasure it. he has great technique and vision. good suggestion
> Cindy,i am not certain, but i think that is a robber fly
That's it! A robber fly. I couldn't remember.
No, the flash did not fire on this one. I did not want to scare him off. They posed for quite a few shots and since I had good light I just did my best.
When using macro I often use flash. I shoot in manual mode with the shutter set at 1/250 generally but not always. This particular shot had me real nervous. No tripod available. I probably would not have had time to set it up anyway.
adj : very large in scale or scope or capability; "`macro' in the word `macroscopic' is a combining form" n : a single computer instruction that results in a series of instructions in machine language [syn: macro instruction]
>No tripod available.
<br />That's really preferable if you're chasing bugs, for exactly the reason you stated. Who has time to mess with a tripod? In his books, John Shaw shows how to fabricate some nifty macro flash-brackets. They position the flash out near the end of the lens for proper illumination; a great asset to hand-held work.
<br />More practice shots from a couple of weeks ago, when I started trying out focusing rails. This was the Manfrotto rail.
<a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pic=1jurB1kWQyMCb8SUMtO3q9T9w nJW3x" /></a>
<img src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1jurB1kWQyMCb8SUMtO3q9T9wnJW3x_t humb.jpg" border="0" />
<a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pic=1ytcZVsocWLnNpnHPEqRsHI0S Lv2E1" /></a>
<img src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1ytcZVsocWLnNpnHPEqRsHI0SLv2E1_t humb.jpg" border="0" />
<a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pic=1Hdu1D0auDCcpKW6obs0e01pv yfMx0" /></a>
<img src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1Hdu1D0auDCcpKW6obs0e01pvyfMx0_t humb.jpg" border="0" />
<br />The orange label was shot with a 50mm f1.4 prime and 56mm of extension. Notice the DOF, or lack of it, even though shot at f16.
Oz, some photographers claim that true macro begins at 1:1, life size on film. Others may dispute that. I don't think (for the purposes of this thread) that it matters. If you have a close-focusing lens, get in something's face and fire off a few frames. If you have a good sharp image, do macro via Photoshop with a healthy crop.
They were shot at f/4 1/640. I was able to do f/4 because I had some distance whereas with the bug I was very very close making my DOF even shallower. That is why I went f/14 with that shot. If I had tried to shoot f/4 with the bug as close as I was it probably would have all been a blur particularly since I was handholding the camera.
John,real nice shot.i think it might be a young katydid,but im no bug expert by any means.
<br />Cindy,those are nice too,but i would never have guessed f4.looks much deeper. i never had wings stopped that good either.
<br />Here is a bee i posted before somewhere else. hope its new to you all.105 micro.1/500th with a ring flash at f16.one of a few that were actually sharp
<a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pic=1q4v1Sd9imUkLUZoat0Qwyz9Y 1Uyb" /></a>
<img src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1q4v1Sd9imUkLUZoat0Qwyz9Y1Uyb_th umb.jpg" border="0" />
I love the "in-flight" shots. What patience it must take (or is everyone just luckier than I?). My first real macro shots of this year year (Crocuses) reminded me that my legs and back aren't near so supple as they once were. :)
John,i find that just being patient and picking one flower that they are frequenting helps.i prefocus,lay in wait and cross my fingers that i hit it right.a lot of fuzzy ones,interspersed with moments of wonder.And yeah,i aint so supple either anymore. i usually moan in some way when getting up.Sorry i think i wrongly assumed you meant in flight bee,when probobly meant the hummers.sorry
CINDY,i know you will call me crazy,but that is how i see things.full of color,although comparing the two side by side,i see your point,but i still love vibrant images. just a velvia man i guess. excellent shot by the way and i like it as much as mine even with the softer palette. I do find i revisit my corrections from time to time to fine tune them.
John, just be careful of those african bees! :) I had a bee hive next door. I actually called the dept. of animal something or other and had them removed. Neighbor didn't like that too much as he thought he would make honey but I did not want them there. They were stinging my dog. It is illegal in the city. He didn't know it was me.
Many stimulating examples above - resulting in...
<a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pic=1mFut8hqa6vvyHpQGcApVhlqN d84A" /></a>
<img src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1mFut8hqa6vvyHpQGcApVhlqNd84A_th umb.jpg" border="0" />
<br />which is a thought-in-progress, the thought being very small still-life-type pictures.
Wow, you've all been busy while I've been napping!
<br />Donald, that's a very good bee shot. I could have used that when I designed my Honey Farm brochure. What kind of camera are you using with a 1/500 flash sync?
<br />John, I think the Bearded Tooth fungus is a fascinating subject. I like the way it's lit. Did you experiment with other lighting schemes?
<br />Cindy, another excellent bee. They come and go too fast for me.
<br />Oz, small still life shots are something I've considered but never tried. I will be interested to see where you take this idea.
<br />Before I go, the only decent insect picture I've ever taken:
<a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pic=16NQWe3s6OWcFLeblsVoZ10Yf ROn9t" /></a>
<img src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/16NQWe3s6OWcFLeblsVoZ10YfROn9t_t humb.jpg" border="0" />
> I will be interested to see where you take this idea.
Heh, it's got a
way to go! I've sort of wished I hadn't posted it but decided it would be an abuse of priviledge to delete it. Still, perhaps it will spark some ideas around the table.
I don't think I have ever seen an insect picture that required so long a look, Ho. Incredible detail, static (ie not flying) but obviously caught in the middle of feeding or the like - and kind of looking at the camera as if posing for its portrait. Hmm, in fact "portrait" is the key word, no?
The macro pictures you all have posted are amazing. So much detail...even the bugs are fascinating.
I made an attempt. I don't have a macro lens (or a decent camera for that matter) but I used what I had. If I got any closer, the shot was very fuzzy.
I watered plants and lawn this morning, as I walked by to go back in the house, I noticed this tiger lily just coming up. I liked the water droplets on the swirl pattern of the leaves. I got these pink reflections from somewhere. I had to go back out and look and there aren't any pink flowers around it. I think it was just the way the morning light reflected off the back wall onto the leaves. Or the reflection from the pink tips of the leaves???
>>HO: John, I think the Bearded Tooth fungus is a fascinating subject. I like the way it's lit. Did you experiment with other lighting schemes?
Howard, I tried different angles, but the light was just what was coming through the canopy to the forest floor. I thought the fungus was quite fascinating too, because it almost looked like something from under the sea. And it was because it was so unusual that I searched for its name. Grant Dixon over in the Elements forum knew what it was.
I think your "insect" might be a cousin of my green, shiny hopper. You got a better (and closer) shot though. I notice that the intense yellow of the flower really changed the green on my fellow.