Experiences with macro 2

Well out I go again, this time out I was a more determined to get my depth of field up – so I left the teleconverter in the bag and shot with the lens without any support at all. It should be noted that this is also meaning that I am now operating at 1:1 macro, whilst with the 2* I was operating at 2:1 macro. I really like the boost in magnification, but the loss of my depth was costing me shots.

All shots taken with:
Canon 400D
Sigma 150mm macro
speedlite 580M2+toiletpaper diffuser

To view exif data review properties of the thumbnails – exif not always attached to larger versions

f13, ISO 200, 1/25sec

f13, ISO 200, 1/20sec

Well first off some familiar ground with the fallen apples again, I don’t tend to hang around long here mostly as its full of wasps and the ground is often wet from the taps used to clean and refill the water dispensers for the birds we keep. Still a good place to guarantee some insects, if not easy shooting angles. Most of the time they have their heads down inside the apple eating.

But now for something much more exciting than flies – DRAGONS – or rather in this case damselflies – real dragonflies can’t reverse their wings to follow the line of thier bodies – they have to remain outstretched.

f8, ISO 400, 1/2000sec
background has blurred fantastically well in this shot – mostly due to the fact that it is so far off. This shot was tricky not only because they (there were two at the time) were flying around erratically and landing on the same stem, but also because that stem was out in the pond water – so I had to lean out over the water to get this close-up shot – risky with my camera – I was determined not to slip and drop it!

f5.6, ISO 200, 1/160sec
Getting a full side body shot in focus is hard with these insects since their bodies are so long – one can either move to catch the damsel on the side, or close down the aperture and go for an increased depth of field.

f9, ISO 200, 1/60sec

f9, ISO 200, 1/200sec
Sadly 1/200sec is the fastest sync speed for my camera and flash, though there are some increased speed settings I am not familiar enough to use them yet. That and the erratic flight nature of these bugs makes a shot like this very tricky to get.

f8, ISO 400, 1/200sec
Taken against the greeny water of the pond, not the best shot, but one I really like for what the damsel is doing. Shot at several different ranges, this was the closest I got before he finished/flew off.

Overall I think I learnt quite a bit from this trip. Firstly I learnt that I did not need to have my 2* teleconverter to get the macro shots I was after and that in fact this could be hindering me in getting my desired shots. Also it showed me where my interest in such a shot really was – not the background blur – but with the depth of detail with the subject itself – it sounds simple to type, but its something that before I was not considering as I sought after background blur effects.


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