Archive for bee

Experiences with macro 7 – The End?

Posted in photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2008 by overread

Well its not the end of the season, but it is the end of my time at home, which means returning to uni and also losing my haunts round this area. That means heading into the unknown and not knowing where to find interesting bugs – could make for tricky macro times ahead – so here is one last trip out with the macro.
I have also been experimenting with a demo version of ReDynamizer (ergo the notes on the used shots) which I find to be a powerful, yet requiring some care to use program. I certainly does not like working on weak (noisy) photos and defiantly needs a strong noise filter running over after, but its effect can be very good;

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

Shot taken with
Canon 400D
Sigma 150mm macro
Speedlite 580M2+Lumiquest softbox

f14, ISO 200, 1/200sec

Shots taken with
Canon 400D
Sigma 150mm macro
Sigma 1.4 teleconverter
Speedlite 580M2+Lumiquest softbox

f14, ISO 200, 1/160sec

f14, ISO 200, 1/160sec
This bee (and in the last shot his assistant) was incredibly slow. I think he was having a small sleep on the flower when I found him and he left me enough time to get out the camera and also take a few good shots before he worked up enough energy for flight. He spent most of the time rapidly eating his fill from the flower – and this second shot is currently one of the best I have taken – especially with the little fly that I did not notice at the time.

f14, ISO 200, 1/160sec

f14, ISO 200, 1/160sec
I really love the jewel like back to butterflies and moths – I think this one is a moth – least he looks mothy to me. Regardless a fine little insect!

f14, ISO 200, 1/160sec
Another shot experimented with and whilst I love the closeup of the eyes I am not happy with this shot – the colours and such lack something to my eye and I keep seeing that little bit of wing I clipped off. A good focus and primary subject, but something is lacking here for me.

f14, ISO 200, 1/160sec
I do like these sorts of shots, but I take so very few of them – mostly as when I see a butterfly I always try to go for a repeat of a close headshot – and so lose out on thinking about just hanging back and getting a full body shot.

Shot taken with:
Canon 400D
Sigma 150mm macro
Sigma 1.4* teleconverter
Sigma 2* teleconverter
Speedlite 580M2 and lumiquest softbox

f14, ISO 400, 1/160sec
Yes you read right, both teleconverters on this shot. Just a bit of fun at the end of the day – I can’t remember if I got as close as was fully possible with the combo, but I did get close. Focusing was very tricky to get right with both teleconverters attached.

And that is the end of that – off to uni now, though I think I can now handle a macro lens and get some good results – still loads of little areas to improve upon – checking the whole frame; backing off at times for creativity; and learning to control the flash in something other than its full auto mode.


Experiences with macro 3 – the LumiQuest

Posted in photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2008 by overread

Well another exciting day for me – at last after much waiting my Lumiquest Softbox has arrived – that means an end to using toilet paper as a diffuser! Despite some people saying that the softbox is overly large I don’t find it to be that much of a hindrance, though not something I would use for a family trip out since it just that little bit fiddly to attach. I have used elastic bands (thank you Royal Mail for the free ones with my post) to hold the box onto the flash head – I have done this so that the Velcro strips don’t have to be added to the flash head as there are some other diffusers that I am considering getting for different situations which would/might not attach if the strips are stuck onto the flash. This makes attaching the head a little slower and fiddly, but once on its secure with a few bands round it.

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

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

f8, ISO 100, 1/40sec

f8, ISO 100, 1/40sec

f8, ISO 100, 1/40sec

Ok so not the best angles and depth of field is still very much lacking in these shots, but the colours and soft light are what I value them for.

f6.3, ISO 400, 1/50sec
A shot I am very proud of – the background, depth of field and angle on the insect have all come together to make a shot that works. Now all I have to do is learn from this and repeat it more often

f8, ISO 400, 1/50sec
Clearly learning is not going to happen that quick with me đŸ˜‰

f8, ISO 400, 1/50sec

f8, ISO 400, 1/50sec
A rare moment of me being creative with a shot – taken at full magnification he would not fit into the single frame, so instead of moving out and reducing my magnification, I decided to be more creative in how I framed the shot. I like what I came out with in this and the composition is one that I do find pleasing.

Overall I found the lumiquest to be a fantastic addition to my kit, its more refined at softening the light than the toilet paper was and its also simple to use – a very worthwhile addition to a flash setup.

Wanderings in egham – macro

Posted in duck, photography with tags , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2008 by overread

Well I am back in Egham again – trapped away from the pond and the ducks and without access to anything wild (though I did see one deer – course it was only there because my camera wasn’t).
So I decided to try out something new to me – macro photography — well using the macro mode on my lens at any rate. So off I went into the woods during the early afternoon; the sun was still bright and the skies clear so I headed into the woods where there was some shade on this very hot day. I positioned myself so that the subjects in the wood were in the direct sunlight from the above – filtered slightly by the canopy above. I found that whilst I could set ISO a low as possible in some cases, there were times when wind meant that I have to not only be lucky with taking the shot but also that I needed to up the ISO. Further I really closed down my aperture (f8-16 range) so as to get as much of the flowers in focus as I could.

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

Blue Bells

IMG_0006 IMG_0016
For early first attempts these came out beyond what I hoped for. The backgrounds and lighting were great – a little playing around with apertures needed to always get a shot all in focus, but that is half the fun.

IMG_0027 IMG_0020
These two shots I think started my real liking for macro work – originally I sat down to get a wide view of the fields of blue – and then a bee flew in, so I just had to capture him in the shots as well. Some have said that these are very busy shots with a lot of distractions – I have to agree a little, but these are still fav shots of mine

IMG_0232 IMG_0242 IMG_0247
This was another case of being in the right place at the right time. These shots were taken from outside the woods – in the full suns light of an open field – so a little more tricky to get the whites right, but I was able to get them without blowing them out. The wasp was another case of a very welcome addition – and as for the second insect I did not notice him till I got back to process these shots.


1) Macro is fun – I think partly as unlike birds and beasts you get more control over the situation and also more time to work with a shot. This means you get to try out all sorts of different settings to get the desired effect – rather than with wildlife where many shots are taken on the spur of the moment.

2) Aperture is key in this – you need a small aperture between f8 and f16 to really get the depth of field – going all the way up to f20 is not out of the question sometimes.