Macrophotography Tips and Links 1

Lord VetinariLord Vetinari SmugbugPosts: 15,462Registered Users Major grins
edited March 31, 2009 in Technique
Someone on another site asked me to put together some tips on macrophotography of insects- thought it might be of use to people here.
Brian V.

Some tips on macroshooting, I have only been taking them myself since the end of May this year, so I cannot claim to be an expert and can only really talk about my macro gear and how I use it.

1. Equipment
I use a canon 300D DSLR with a Sigma 105mm EX macro lens. From the pictures I have seen around nearly all the fixed focal length 1:1 macro lenses from 50mm to 180mm are capable of giving excellent results, but remember the shorter the focal length, the shorter the minimum focus distance.My lens gives me only 4.5" from the front of the lens to the subject when at minimum focus distance and hence maximum magnification. I normally use a flash unit with this (Sigma 500 Super DG) which is mounted on a flash bracket. Some pictures of the rig can be seen here- http://www.digitalgrin.com/showthread.php?t=15634 .The last item is a softbox type diffuser necessary to reduce the harshness of flash, there are some details in the crude construction of mine in the above thread. Dedicated macroflash units can obviously also be used but care has to be taken as they can give rather flat looking shots as the lighting is very even. Lastly, although not a necessity I also have a remote shutter button which I attach to the back of the flash bracket. The reason for this is to try and prevent camera motion blur as I found I was slightly rotating the camera when pressing the normal shutter button.
For increased magnification I sometimes fit a reversed 50mm lens (old Pentax Kmount lens) to the front of my macro lens. This lens is nearly wide open and the focus is set to infinity. This increases the maximum magnification to about 2.8:1 on my system but gives a DOF of about 0.5 mm and a minimum focus distance of about 1.5cms from the front of the reversed lens. I fit the lens onto my macro lens using a tube made out of duct tape and cardboard tube.

2. Camera Settings

I normally shoot with manual focus and the camera set in manual mode and ISO100- aperture F11-F16, shutter around 1/160th-1/200th (1/200th is the highest sync speed for my camera) and the flash in ETTL mode (Canon's advanced TTL mode). The reason for these settings is basically to get good Depth of Field (DOF). On my flash I have the built in wide angle diffuser deployed as well as using my homemade softbox diffuser.
I handhold the rig , but sometimes use a monopod which I have at right angles to the rig so it rests on my shoulder.

3. Technique.
I preset the focus at the required magnification level. Focusing on the subject is then achieved by gently moving your whole body back and forth and shooting as you pass through the focus point.
This sounds a bit hit and miss, but when I first started I found about 8 out 10 shots were not in focus, but using this method and a lot of practice I'm now up at about 8 out of 10 shots with the focus where I want.
You can on my camera, part hold the shutter button half in and it lights up a focus point and beeps as the subject comes in focus.
I have two methods for approaching subjects. The first most obvious one is to slowly move in on them trying not to block any light on them, I have most success doing this if I am either level or slightly below the subject.
The second method is to stay near where you have seen the subjects and wait for them to come to you. This often works even when you have scared the subject off in the first place.

4 Image processing.
I am certainly no expert at this, but this is what I normally do.
I shoot in RAW format so have to use a software conversion utility to change them to JPG. I most frequently use Canon's own DPP software set to max sharpening. I also at this stage correct any exposure problems normally not more than + - half a stop.
I use focus magic Photoshop plugin to further sharpen the pics at level 2 and lastly sometimes use Paul's Velvia action to enrich the colour.
If I have significantly cropped the picture during processing ,then I frequently use neat-image (freeware version)to reduce the noise.
Only other thing worth mentioning is focus stacking. I frequently take several pictures of the same subject at different focus depths and then use the freewaware programme combinez5 to automatically stitch them together. This seems to work about 50% of the time for handheld shots.

5. Finding the Insects.
All of my shots (so far) have been taken in my garden. I have two ponds and a lot of shrubs. I have not used insectacide for many years. This seems to result in a lot of bugs around!
One unexpected advantage I may have is one of my other hobbies is bonsai trees.
These are great for taking insects on as you can sit down plus if the insect goes into an arkward position, simply turn the tree around :)
Hoverflies seem to like many of the shrub/perennial flowers including Hebes, Rhodadendrons and Fennel.
The seed pods on several of my rhodadendrons seems to produce sap at their bases which attracts many insects.

Brian V.
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Comments

  • gubbsgubbs Super Moderator Posts: 3,166Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 9, 2005
    Thanks for sharing Brian that's excellent info!
  • RohirrimRohirrim Hooked on Birds Posts: 1,889Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 9, 2005
    Thanks for the tips! Your Macro pics are always spectacular. Glad that you are willing to share your technique.
  • KevinKalKevinKal Major grins Posts: 246Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 9, 2005
    Thank you for the Write Up
    Hi Brian,

    Excellent instructions, thank you. Willingness to share one's techniques is, in my opinion, a characteristic that defines some of the best photographers on these forums (Andy, Luben, Gubbs, etc...). I love you macro photos and have recently acquired a canon 250d lens to use with my Sony 717 - very challenging given the slow shutter-to-capture time, but a blast all the same! I will try implement your techniques next time I'm out in the garden...

    Cheers,
    Kevin K.
  • wxwaxwxwax Immoderator Posts: 15,471Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 9, 2005
    Very nice post, Brian. Thanks for taking the time to write it up. Has anyone else here given us this much detail on how they shoot insect macros?

    It would be great if other macro shooters added to this thread. Anyone do anything different from Brian that they'd like to share?
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
  • AndyAndy Bicameral New YorkPosts: 50,154Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 9, 2005
    macro tips
    wxwax wrote:
    Has anyone else here given us this much detail on how they shoot insect macros?

    another macro tips thread here

    it would be really cool if someone (sid) were to package all of them up (sid) in one thread and put 'em (sid) maybe in a special place here on dgrin lol3.gif (sid)
  • wxwaxwxwax Immoderator Posts: 15,471Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 10, 2005
    Andy wrote:
    another macro tips thread here

    it would be really cool if someone (sid) were to package all of them up (sid) in one thread and put 'em (sid) maybe in a special place here on dgrin lol3.gif (sid)
    nod.gif You read my mind. That's why I was trolling for more contributions. Thanks for the link. thumb.gif
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,490Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 10, 2005
    wxwax wrote:
    nod.gif You read my mind. That's why I was trolling for more contributions. Thanks for the link. thumb.gif


    Sid - here is a quick compilation of posts here on dgrin about macro lenses and there advantages and disadvantages.
    http://www.dgrin.com/archive/index.php/t-2267.html

    http://www.dgrin.com/archive/index.php/t-1846.html

    http://www.dgrin.com/archive/index.php/t-2460.html

    http://www.dgrin.com/archive/index.php/t-3928.html

    http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=2460

    http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=3928

    http://www.dgrin.com/archive/index.php/t-4745.html

    LV has improved the level of macro work here at dgrin substantially. His use of off camera diffused electronic flash is probably the biggest single factor. Thomas and his use of the Fong Lightsphere for macros has also been impressive. Their contributions have certainly influenced me. The use of electronic flash in ETTL mode is such a great improvement, especially if the flash is use for side lighting , and the camera is set to manual mode or even AV mode. Shooting macro with flash without through the lens real time metering was truly an immense challenge. You had to be there. ETTL rules for macro!!
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • HiggmeisterHiggmeister Major grins Posts: 909Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 10, 2005
    Thanks Brian for the details,
    I only wish that this was all it takes to take great macro shots. You forgot the hardest part, and that's the art side. I pretty much use all your techniques here but the light box (still gotta make one) and I usually don't get 2 out of 10 shots. Here are my observations that separate really good macro from average macro.

    Lighting: #1 problem. Poor lighting will kill any shot you may have had. Not enough and you will lose detail, too much and there are hot spots all over the place. Using a diffuser is a must from what I see. I now use a flash mounted on a handheld flash bracket with a diffuser and paper towel over the unit. I shoot on manual flash at full brightness. I also use the onboard flash for fill.

    Focus: The hardest part. When I started, I was using a reversed 50mm lens which gives about a .5mm DOF. Just too narrow for most bug and plants. With my current getup (20D, 100mm f/2.8 macro) I was shooting natural or onboard flash which required a fairly open aperture. This made for a shallow DOF, still not good. Get enough light so you can shoot in the f16 range like you had mentioned. My shots have improved dramatically since I started shooting with more light (read FLASH). Generally, go for the eyes and hope for the best.

    Subject: First, you gotta find them. They are everywhere; not just bugs and plants. Try some rocks or crystals (jewelry is very difficult to shoot), wood, metal and anything else. Most people don't like gross. My first spider shots (spider phobic) where of a squashed one, not a pretty site I'd share with you all. Just took a flat mosquito the other night, again, not pretty. Try unique angles. Most people see bugs from the top, so try shooting on their level.

    Background: Very important. Yes, it's usually blurred, but it acts as a color filler and contrasts with your subject. If you look at the better macros, the background colors and shapes really add to the photo.

    Perseverance and patience: You won't succeed without both of these. It takes time to develop macro skills even with a good macro lens (read myself).

    I'm no expert there, just a lover of all types of macro shots. I see what I like from the other photographers and pull the picture apart to study. What is it that gets my motor running with a photo. Then go give it a try and see what I get.

    Oh, I almost forgot the most important part of all this: HAVE FUN!!

    Thanks for getting through all this blabbering; I think I need a beer now,
    Chris

    A picture is but words to the eyes.
    Comments are always welcome.

    www.pbase.com/Higgmeister


  • RohirrimRohirrim Hooked on Birds Posts: 1,889Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 10, 2005
    Nice addition to Brians post. Thanks Chris for the additional thoughts!
  • tmlphototmlphoto Looking for sweet light! Posts: 1,444Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 10, 2005
    I will attempt to add something useful to this thread.

    I use manual settings pretty much like Brian V. (aka LV) does. Usually 1/100-1/200 at f/11-f/16 unless I'm looking for an especially limited depth of field where I might use f/5.6-f/8. Most are hand held, but I want to expand into tripod mounted shots to get more naturally lit backgrounds (very difficult to do without a tripod at low ISO)

    ISO: I have mostly stuck with ISO 100. Even on my 1DmII the noise of the higher ISOs seems more apparent on macro shot, especially when there is some cropping involved. At times I have shot some ISO 200 & 400 hand held pictures and have been able to get some natural light backgrounds handheld.

    Flash: I use ETTL flash ,with a large diffuser, the Lightsphere II as my main flash. I use a second flash for fill. I set them up on dual flash brackets and adjust the distance of the second flash to get the light ratio I want. I also adjust the angle of the second flash depending on how far away the subject is. I have a stofen diffuser on the fill flash.

    I don't think you need all this to do good macro work, but I do think that some type of diffused off camera flash is needed to really get good lighting. ETTL is certainly a plus if you can get it.

    I chose the lightsphere and dual flash setup over the new Canon twin head macro flash because I thought this setup would give better results (read: softer wraparound light) than the smaller twin heads, especially for ratios less than 1:1. (Actually closeups rather than macro)That is, I think the twin head may be too small to give a soft light for sujects that are more than a few inches away. Brian V.'s setup is basically just a different implementation of the same thinking.
    31732062-L.jpg

    Focus: I also use the back & forth focusing technique described by Brian V. Generally go for the eyes, when they are sharp - fire away.

    I totally agree with everything Chris & Brain posted. I hope this is at least a little bit helpful to someone. I am really just beginning to sort all of this out the last couple of months and feel like I am still a beginner at this, but hopefully improving each day.
    Thomas :D

    TML Photography
    tmlphoto.com
  • Lord VetinariLord Vetinari Smugbug Posts: 15,462Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 11, 2005
    One thing to amplify on the previous posts which I omitted from my original post, is practice/ experience. I am in a better positon than most of you being retired and having time to take pics. I just looked at my pic counter. At the end of May this year (2005) I started playing with a softbox diffuser with a pic count of 2100, today on the 11th aug 2005 my pic count is around 8150, most of these shots are/were macros.
    Thats a lot of pics! and a lot of practice getting used to the rig.

    Thanks for the comments BTW :D

    Brian V.
  • wxwaxwxwax Immoderator Posts: 15,471Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 11, 2005
    Brilliant contributions, thanks folks! clap.gif
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
  • HiggmeisterHiggmeister Major grins Posts: 909Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 11, 2005
    Hi Thomas,
    Can we see some more of your flash brackets. They look very interesting and highly configurable. Also, what they are called and possibly where to get them.

    Thanks,
    Chris

    A picture is but words to the eyes.
    Comments are always welcome.

    www.pbase.com/Higgmeister


  • DeeDee Major grins Posts: 2,981Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 11, 2005
    So these bugs...
    First you manage to find them...

    And then they just SIT there for you??????

    With all this camera gear pointed their way??????

    Just how close to the bugs are you when you take these photos?

    I was lucky enough to find some dragonflies, but they flew away before my camera could even focus on them, and I was about 3 feet away from them.

    Do you actually fill your frame with the bug, or do you do heavy cropping from the original 100% view?

    The only thing I can fill my frame with is moths!

    You all make this look way too easy, when in fact I'd love to take photos like this I don't have the right equipment.

    Interesting about the flash, I can see where using one would be a big help. I like the idea of the angled flash.

    So do tell more -- where do you look for your bugs, how do you get them to not move? Do you entice them somehow to come to you?

    Oh, and I can get spiders on the web, or on the wall, or those huge mosquito like long legged flying things -- but of course they are not at all photogenic.

    I haven't even been able to spot any lady bugs this year! At least I can sneak up on them without them flying away...

    Help us bug impaired (well, me, at least) with a little more stalking details!

    rolleyes1.gifrolleyes1.gifrolleyes1.gif
  • Lord VetinariLord Vetinari Smugbug Posts: 15,462Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 11, 2005
    Dee wrote:
    First you manage to find them...

    And then they just SIT there for you??????

    With all this camera gear pointed their way??????

    Just how close to the bugs are you when you take these photos?

    I was lucky enough to find some dragonflies, but they flew away before my camera could even focus on them, and I was about 3 feet away from them.

    Do you actually fill your frame with the bug, or do you do heavy cropping from the original 100% view?

    The only thing I can fill my frame with is moths!

    You all make this look way too easy, when in fact I'd love to take photos like this I don't have the right equipment.

    Interesting about the flash, I can see where using one would be a big help. I like the idea of the angled flash.

    So do tell more -- where do you look for your bugs, how do you get them to not move? Do you entice them somehow to come to you?

    Oh, and I can get spiders on the web, or on the wall, or those huge mosquito like long legged flying things -- but of course they are not at all photogenic.

    I haven't even been able to spot any lady bugs this year! At least I can sneak up on them without them flying away...

    Help us bug impaired (well, me, at least) with a little more stalking details!

    rolleyes1.gifrolleyes1.gifrolleyes1.gif
    Hi Dee,
    I am guessing that about 75% of the pics I post here are cropped one way or another- often just to improve the compostion, however again about 75% will be taken at the minimum focus distance (ie highest magnification) which means the subject is about 4.5 " from the front of the lens.
    I do not bait them with anything, but seem to have lots of plants/flowers they like settling on or feeding from. I did once put out a piece of melon but just succeeded in getting a swarm of small fruit fliesrolleyes1.gif .
    The easiest technique is to find a bush or flower etc that you have seen insects near or on and sit down beside it. Within a few minutes you will find the bugs come back and as long as you move the camera in slowly (taking pics as you go) they are not that easily spooked as long as you are quiet and do not make sudden moves. Interestingly enough, with flies normally if they are doing something interesting like cleaning, defaecating, blowing bubbles or mating they are easier to approach.
    There is a joke thread here-http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1031&message=14015484 I did after being accused of having trained flies which I did sitting next to a bush.
    One slightly sneaky trick is actually to take pics early in the morning as the sun is just beginning to light up the plants- at this time I think the insects are still warming up and are not that mobile.
    With dragonflies I think it depends on the species , the chasers/skimmers/darters (basically the smaller dragonflies) seem easier than the big ones (Hawkers) but if you have seen them on a stick and spook them- try sitting down near it and they will often come back.
    With all insects it seems easier to sneak up on them if you are not above them and you must not get in the way of the light.
    Hope that helps
    Brian V.
  • tmlphototmlphoto Looking for sweet light! Posts: 1,444Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 11, 2005
    Hi Thomas,
    Can we see some more of your flash brackets. They look very interesting and highly configurable. Also, what they are called and possibly where to get them.

    Thanks,
    Chris
    The flash brackets are Wimberley macro flash brackets.
    Thier website is : www.tripodhead.com
    The macro flash brackets are here: http://www.tripodhead.com/products/flash-bracket-macro-brackets.cfm They have pictures of the brackets in different configurations.

    I had to buy a perpendicular Arca style plate in addition to the normal Arca style plate in oder to mount the brackets. I got them at: www.reallyrightstuff.com

    Wimberley also sells plates, but I like the RSS plates better.
    Thomas :D

    TML Photography
    tmlphoto.com
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,490Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 11, 2005
    tmlphoto wrote:
    The flash brackets are Wimberley macro flash brackets.
    Thier website is : www.tripodhead.com
    The macro flash brackets are here: http://www.tripodhead.com/products/flash-bracket-macro-brackets.cfm They have pictures of the brackets in different configurations.

    I had to buy a perpendicular Arca style plate in addition to the normal Arca style plate in oder to mount the brackets. I got them at: www.reallyrightstuff.com

    Wimberley also sells plates, but I like the RSS plates better.

    I use a pair of plamps to hold two flash units in position - one plamp is clamped onto the lens tripod foot and the other is clamped to a bracket attached to the L-bracket on the camera body. I use a 5x7 piece of inkjet paper taped loosely in an arc over the front of the flash for my diffuser.
    I set the flashes in a roughly 3:1 lighting ratio, in ETTL with the camera in manual mode 1/200th and f11 +or- 1 or 2 stops.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • DRT-MaverickDRT-Maverick Sparkly Grins Posts: 476Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 12, 2005
    What would the results of using a Reversed 180mm macro lens do for me? I'm planning on testing that out, and trying to get a flash bracket similar to yours. I'm really excited about trying new techniques like this out, as I love macro photography.
    Pentax K20D 14.6mp Body : Pentax *ist D 6.1mp Body : Pentax ZX10 Body : 180mm Sigma Macro EX lens : 18-55mm Pentax SMC DA Lens : 28-200mm Sigma Lens : 50-500mm Sigma APO DG EX lens : Pentax AF-500FTZ flash : Sigma EX 2x Teleconverter.
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,490Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 12, 2005
    What would the results of using a Reversed 180mm macro lens do for me? I'm planning on testing that out, and trying to get a flash bracket similar to yours. I'm really excited about trying new techniques like this out, as I love macro photography.
    I guess I'm really not sure what the advantage of reversing a 180 would be. Much of the reason for reversing was to take advantage of the flatter field with the lens reversed - this was most true of the original 50mm lenses - I am not sure I've seen much reversal of 100 or 180macro primes. 58mm diameter lenses are fairly easy to reverse - might be harder with a72 mm diameter lens that is as big as or bigger than the lens mount diameter.
    Why not just add an extension tube or two? Or add a 500D + macro adapter filter to the front of the lens?

    Be sure and post the results of your experimentation so we can all learn toothumb.gif
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • DRT-MaverickDRT-Maverick Sparkly Grins Posts: 476Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 12, 2005
    I'll try that out. Though I'm going to have to save up a little more money. I'm aiming at a 18-55mm wide angle. But I hope I can get that reverse ring asap.
    Pentax K20D 14.6mp Body : Pentax *ist D 6.1mp Body : Pentax ZX10 Body : 180mm Sigma Macro EX lens : 18-55mm Pentax SMC DA Lens : 28-200mm Sigma Lens : 50-500mm Sigma APO DG EX lens : Pentax AF-500FTZ flash : Sigma EX 2x Teleconverter.
  • HiggmeisterHiggmeister Major grins Posts: 909Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 12, 2005
    But I hope I can get that reverse ring asap.
    Hey Tyler,
    Noone in town has reverse rings. I had to order mine from B&H.

    Chris

    A picture is but words to the eyes.
    Comments are always welcome.

    www.pbase.com/Higgmeister


  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,490Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 12, 2005
    I'll try that out. Though I'm going to have to save up a little more money. I'm aiming at a 18-55mm wide angle. But I hope I can get that reverse ring asap.

    B&H has reversing rings about $8.00 each. Cheapest photographic accessory around!! thumb.gif
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • joglejogle Major grins Posts: 422Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 12, 2005
    pathfinder wrote:
    B&H has reversing rings about $8.00 each. Cheapest photographic accessory around!! thumb.gif
    I had to make my own to mount a 50mm on my tele. No one stocked them in New Zealand (they all of course could order them in, the same as I could from b&h i'm sure)

    Get 2 of the colkin adapters with the big flat flange, and superglue them together. voila, custom reversing rings clap.gif
    jamesOgle photography
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it." -A.Adams[/FONT]
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,490Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 13, 2005
    jogle wrote:
    I had to make my own to mount a 50mm on my tele. No one stocked them in New Zealand (they all of course could order them in, the same as I could from b&h i'm sure)

    Get 2 of the colkin adapters with the big flat flange, and superglue them together. voila, custom reversing rings clap.gif

    Sounds like that'd work just finethumb.gif
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • joglejogle Major grins Posts: 422Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 13, 2005
    pathfinder wrote:
    Sounds like that'd work just finethumb.gif
    Heres a monarch bug shot with a Canon 50mm reversed on a Canon 28-135mm IS. those legs are about 1mm long

    32025255-L.jpg
    jamesOgle photography
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it." -A.Adams[/FONT]
  • wxwaxwxwax Immoderator Posts: 15,471Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 14, 2005
    Andy wrote:
    another macro tips thread here

    it would be really cool if someone (sid) were to package all of them up (sid) in one thread and put 'em (sid) maybe in a special place here on dgrin lol3.gif (sid)
    Not ready yet, Andy. Don't want to delete an active thread by merging it.
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,490Super Moderators moderator
    edited August 14, 2005
    jogle wrote:
    Heres a monarch bug shot with a Canon 50mm reversed on a Canon 28-135mm IS. those legs are about 1mm long

    32025255-S.jpg

    Welcome to dgrin jogle:): .

    The reversed lens technique is demonstrated nicely here. The vingetting at the corners and the extremely shallow depth of field are frequently seen with this technique.

    There are two webs sites I recently found that are of interest to macro shooters

    http://beautifulbugs.com/ Lots of nice photos here

    http://www.mplonsky.com/photo/Gallery.htm and here as well as well as articles about shooting bugs with a G1, a G3 and a DSLR
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • joglejogle Major grins Posts: 422Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 15, 2005
    pathfinder wrote:
    Welcome to dgrin jogle:): .

    The reversed lens technique is demonstrated nicely here. The vingetting at the corners and the extremely shallow depth of field are frequently seen with this technique.
    Thanks!

    That image is the crop out of the center of the photo, its such a step down from the 72mm front element of the 28-135 to the 50something of the 50mm that the original image was a circle on a huge black background.

    I've also just brought a 50mm manual lens so I can stop down the reverse mounted one to get more depth of field.

    Spring is coming soon and my swan plants have already started growing again.
    jamesOgle photography
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it." -A.Adams[/FONT]
  • Lord VetinariLord Vetinari Smugbug Posts: 15,462Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 31, 2005
    Example of Focus stacking
    I often use focus stacking in my macros. This is just taking several pics of the same subject at different focus depths and then using some freeware software combinez5 to put the pics together in a stack.

    To illustrate this here are 2 pics of a male spider showing careful interest in a female spider, one with each spider in focus. The third image is the result of loading the two pics into combinez5 and letting it do it's thing. You'll notice I didn't do a very good job of keeping the framing the same but the software didn't seem to mind. One point is that the pics have to be exactly the same size so you stack before doing any cropping.

    Female in focus

    34197888-L.jpg

    Male in focus

    34197893-L.jpg

    Focus stacked both images

    34197890-L.jpg
  • Lord VetinariLord Vetinari Smugbug Posts: 15,462Registered Users Major grins
    edited December 24, 2005
    Additional macro tip
    Post here http://www.digitalgrin.com/showthread.php?t=24569
    re the bean pole I now use to stabilise the macro rig for shots >1:1 magnification.
    Brian V.
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