Oct 3, 2012

More Macro Testing...

I've been following Helene's photography for a while now, and she has some great macros. Every time I talked myself out of getting a macro lens I would look at her photos and want one even more. The one thing I didn't know was how hard macro photography can be. The DOF is so shallow when you're up close, even with a narrow aperture. And then a narrow aperture requires either a longer shutter speed, more light, or a higher ISO. Higher ISOs make more noise, sometimes you have as much light as you're going to get, and longer shutter speeds don't work on moving objects like insects; which, by the way, don't seem to understand the phrase "hold still". Speaking of insects, here is one that was a little slower than the rest so I was able to get a few decent shots. The old rusty can opener did understand "hold still", even though it's terrible at opening cans.



  1. Your insect maros are brilliant, great work. At first I didn't know what the last was - macro makes ordinary things look extraordinary.

  2. These are okay.
    Remember to try to get as much as possible on the same plane.
    I use live view to focus.
    Use a cable release.
    If you are focus stacking then get a macro plate.
    A ring flash is great but too expensive for me. I use a small reflector one side and manual flash at about half power the other.
    I have found that A 1/2EV-1EV underexposure helps avoid blow out. Shoot in RAW and one can push if necessary.
    If all else fails catch the insect and pop it in a container surrounded by freezer blocks for fifteen minutes...that quietens the wee devils and does them no harm.
    I had a Sigma 150mm macro and really enjoyed it. 100mm should be fine and give you space to work.
    If you can't afford Helicon then there are free stackers. Ask John Charles at MIDMARSHJOTTINGS. He has done a lot of work using stepping motors...read redundant DVD drives to adjust focus in small increments. He also uses freeware but I couldn't get on with it.
    Have fun.

    1. Thanks for all the tips Adrian! I definitely look into those free stackers.

  3. It is an adjustment. I now start at f11 and go from there. The breeze doesn't help either. Praying Mantis will stay still for you. Dead bugs work well too. :)

  4. Great! Absolutely love seeing all that pollen on the bug! You're right...many challenges to macros BUT fun challenges. Enjoy the journey!