Wanderings in egham – macro day 2

Well Day 2 and back I go – a little later than the last time, but not by much and besides at this time of year the sun is out for ages. Putting to use what I learnt last time I started using smaller apertures from the start.

All taken with:
Cannon ESO 400D
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro lens
Tripod
For settings save pic to pc and review properties

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A little better at getting a deeper background though I am keeping my ISO on the 200 mark – mostly due to the fact that I can’t set and take my hands off the tripod – just not stable enough to hold lens and camera on anything but a flat surface. I have also been finding it a pain to get lower down angles on things as well – so far its been fine, but I am itching to get lower angles on subjects.

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This was more of an experiment in using manual mode and seeing what would happen with different settings – I had to brighten it up somewhat to get this and all in all what I tried was not working well – my shutter speed was just too fast to get enough light to really get a good shot.

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Well whilst I was playing in the bluebells this little bug flew into shot – so I quickly took advantage to get some shots of him. These came out well even though I can’t get as close with the glass as I would like I can still get a passable shot of insects!

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This shot was wonderful – a great background and a sharp and fully clear flower- however there is far less space at the top than I would like – something that I just did not notice in the field – I really have to take more care with my composition.

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These two were tricky as I took them in an open field with the wind blowing lightly and the sun beating down strong. So not only were the whites tricky to control, but I also had problems with the plant moving all the time – so it was a waiting game for the wind to stop and the flower to stand still. I like both, but I think that the flash and sun have caused them to look a little fake to my eyes – a decent flash and diffuser are some things that I hope will solve this in later shoots (much later shoots!)

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After buzzing around for a moment this chap settled on a leaf for a good few moments and so I could get some nice clears shots. Problem was that my tripod would not go down any lower and I did not want to risk moving round infront and scare him away – all in all though these came out well. However you can see that the grass is showing up the bright light of the sun very well!

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End of the trip for me (which means bottom of the hill and time to get some food in that currently empty backpack before climbing back up the hill).
This was a tricky think to get sharp as it was very easy for an errant gust of wind to move the dandelion a few mm and blur the results – tricky and something that I want to try again – I think dimmer light would work better at showing up details.

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well not the last shot, but something that I wanted to add. I don’t really know why, something in this shot makes it to me more than just a sharp shot, but I can’t think what.

Lessons learnt:
1) Bugs can appear from anywhere at any time but even if you don’t have fast glass to track them you can wait and eventually one or two will settle still

2) Lighting is tricky to control and even having too much can be a problem with shooting.

3) Hills are always much steeper and taller when you have to carry a heavy bag back up them

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