Archive for spider

Experiences with macro 6

Posted in photography with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2008 by overread

Out again today – after the success of yesterday I am more confident in my settings and in my shooting style so its time to have another go and see what I can get this time around:

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

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

IMG_0159
f14, ISO 200, 1/200sec

IMG_0160
f14, ISO 200, 1/200sec
Shooting and moving closer at the same time, looks like he has an injury to one side of him, where blood has collected possibly.

IMG_0167
f14, ISO 200, 1/200sec
Rather nice shot, not the greatest composition I feel though, I need to be more creative and remember that there is more than just the middle of the viewfinder.

This next series of shots came out as lowkey results, something that I really like in shooing, but I admit this is mostly by accident rather than intent at the time. I have yet to fully work out the ins and outs of shooting reliable lowkey.

IMG_0149
f14, ISO 200, 1/160sec
Must use portrait mode more!

IMG_0153
f14, ISO 200, 1/160sec
Definatly very pleased with this shot – bug is a little close to the bottom of the frame, but definatly please with this shot!

IMG_0165
f14, ISO 200, 1/200sec
The other lowkey shots required some contrast and darkness boosting in the black areas to get proper black results, this shot though was almost a perfect in camera lowkey! It was taken a good distance away and this was as close as he let me get before he moved off. From this shot I really started to realise that the key to a good lowkey shot was a fast flash combined with a good distance between subject and background – so sometimes a longer shooting distance from subject (and thus also background) can help.

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

IMG_0175
f14, ISO 200, 1/160sec
Another butterfly’s face, just wish that I had got more of the wing in focus this time

IMG_0182
f14, ISO 200, 1/200sec
And that is as close as I am going with a spider! And if you look just in the top left corner is his stash for lunch.

IMG_0187
f14, ISO 200, 1/200sec
Decent shot, but it lacks some creativity now that I look at it – still I like that I can get that close and get the shot off sharp and clear! Little bit of shadowing on the underside, caused by the flash creating its own shadow – a second shooting flash or a ringlight would help counter that problem, but as I have neither I will have to make note and try to avoid or control angles where it might lead to a shadow forming.

Overall a great day out and some fantastic lowkey shots that I am very proud of. Also more confident with my settings at shooting now than before, far less fiddling and worrying about what settings to use.

Experiences with macro 5 – now with added Dragon!

Posted in photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2008 by overread

This updated actually crosses 2 days worth of trips, mostly since one had macro tacked on the end of it and I never got round to editing the results till the second trip. Also this marks the point where I have found a fantasic place for butterflies and dragonflies – a field which has many of both (though mostly a lot of cabbage whites) which proved to be wonderous fun to shoot in. Its still tricky to get good shots, but I am starting to get more keepers and also getting far better at knowing when not to press the shutter. I have also discovered a real liking for using the 1.4* teleconverter with my 150mm macro – it provides that added boost to magnification which is great for smaller bugs and also for getting in close to the larger ones – and yet costs be very little in image quality and in focusing difficulty (the 2* was very hard to focus with).

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

Day 1

This day was spent at a small steam engine mueseum and bird collection; inside the meuseum I really felt the lack of a fast short prime (or fast short anything) focal range lens – my 70-200mm was just too long even at 70mm. I had to use my kit lens and the flash in the end and was a little less than impressed with the results – this trip further cemented my need to get a good fast short focal length lens.
However outside I did get use use my 70-200mm for the first time in ages, though whilst I got a few good exposures and one or two decent shots the bars on the birds were too far from my lens and too close for good shooting – lead to a lot of lost shots sadly – I also found that whilst the flash is good for exposures, its also good at showing up bars – something to bare in mind later.

Taken with:
Canon 400D
Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS
speedlite 580M2+Limiquest softbox

IMG_0044
f5, ISO 100, 1/200sec
had to really boost contrast in some areas to lose the bleaching caused by the bars.

IMG_0056
f5, ISO 100, 1/200sec
Ok not great, one runner duck gets his head in the way – such is the lot of choosing to work with animals.

But then I struck gold – as we left there was a small field and it was full of dragonflies – there were dozens of them. Sadly we were leaving and family pulled me along, I could have spent hours there just shooting. In the end though I did get 2 great shots.

Taken with
Canon 400D
Sigma 150mmm macro
speedlite 580M2+Limiquest softbox

IMG_0081
f13, ISO 200, 1/200sec
not the perfect angle on the bug, but a decent fullbody shot none-the-less.

IMG_0082
f13, ISO 200, 1/200sec
Great closeup shot – this was not a crop – this was me moving in closer to him. They were starting to rest up at the end of the day so were looking for perches for the night.

Day 2

A full macro day (well few hours in the afternoon) in the field I described in the intro:

Taken with
Canon 400D
Sigma 150mmm macro
Sigma 1.4 teleconverter
speedlite 580M2+Limiquest softbox

IMG_0133
f22, ISO 400, 1/200sec
This is me really pushing for a greater depth of field with the combo – and also the flash performing really well – the shooting conditions were in a wooded area, so somewhat darker to start with.

IMG_0111
f20, ISO 100, 1/200sec

IMG_0113
f20, ISO 100, 1/200sec
Really luck with these two shots – outside in the brighter sunshine, but still pushing my aperture, though not as much. Again these are two separate shots – I tend to try to shoot frames as I move closer – that way I might at least get a good full body shot before they decide to fly off – manual focusing makes this possible – though idealy I should not do what I did in the first and chop off the ends of the wings.

IMG_0106
f20, ISO 100, 1/200sec
Little moth comming up to feed – a shame that I just clipped his wing – its so easy to shoot and not look at the boarders of a shot with macro when you are manually focusing a point to be sharp.

IMG_0110
f20, ISO 400, 1/200sec
thinking back I should really have taken this in portrate mode, which my battery grip allows me to do with ease, but when in the field the thought just did not occur to me (or chances are it did at the same time as the butterfly flew off after I pressed the shutter for this shot).

IMG_0120
f20, ISO 400, 1/200sec
I was focusing with this more on the feeder than on the eyes – in retrospect I should have just focused on the eyes as I normally do.

IMG_0123
f20, ISO 400, 1/125sec
Decent shot, but the grass is getting in the way of the details – almost unavoidable in this case, but it does detract from the end result.

IMG_0141
f18, ISO 400, 1/200sec
Much better than before – no vegitation getting in the way of the wings.

IMG_0143
f18, ISO 400, 1/200sec
Remeber what I said a while ago about getting one outstanding shot on a trip? Well here is this trips outstander! I got what I was after, a really close up head shot of the butterfly – with the details still in his wings.

As you can see this time I was really pushing my depth of field, yet at the end of the day the noise this introduced into my shots when viewed at fullsize was more than I am willing to live with – so its back to wider apertures and training myself to deal with smaller depths of field.