"...mysterious and little known organisms live within walking distance of where you sit. Splendor awaits in minute proportions.”
E.O. Wilson (Biophilia)
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DISCLAIMERI am a photographer, not an entomologist. I do my best to have professionals assist in identifying the subjects of my photographs. However, positive identifications can not always be done unless the specimen is dead and viewed under a microscope. If you do find an error, or have doubts about the identification provided, please let me know in the comments or by email.
Tag Archives: macrophotography
Yesterday on The Week on Sunday I directed people to the beautiful macro photography of Carlo Galliani. I had earlier requested his permission to use one of his photos, but his response came too late. Now, with permission, I present one of many fine photographs of insects in flight...
Note the EXIF data below: Carlo is shooting at a relatively large aperture with a long macro lens to give the nice soft background. The ISO is pushed up so that the shutter speed remains high, yet still low enough to give motion blur on the wings.
Date/Time 03-Nov-2012 10:49:37
Model NIKON D300
Flash Used No
Focal Length 180 mm
Exposure Time 1/400 sec
ISO Equivalent 640
Be sure to visit all his macro photography galleries for more beauty!
In the spring of 2012 my brother gave me a pupal case that he had found while digging in the garden. I had no clue what it would be, but I placed it in a container with some leaves and a damp sponge, and waited. I would check on it occasionally, and the last time I checked it was the day of our departure (10 July) for the family holiday to Newfoundland. A last minute visit to the Nature Study to turn off the computer and feed the wee beasties gave me the chance to take a look at the container and, sure enough, there was a freshly emerged and somewhat disheveled looking moth nestling in the corner of the container. What to do? With a trip to the airport just moments away, I grabbed my camera with flash, a macro lens, some white background material and then rushed to the patio. I set up quickly on the patio table, placed the moth on the white background and took six photographs. Before long it was vibrating its wings like a mad
manbeast, and I knew that I had only moments to take more photos…
Too late! Off it flew into the garden.
Here is one of the better shots, with the trail of yellow goo (there is probably a name for that) it left behind Photshop’ed into nothingness…
Left to right: Tamron 180mm f/3.5 Macro Autofocus Lens (Canon EOS mount), Canon Macro Photo MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Manual Focus Lens, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Autofocus Lens, Tamron 90mm f/2.8 SP AF Di Macro Lens for Nikon AF, Vivitar Series 1 105mm for Nikon and an Olympus Zuiko 50mm macro lens.
Over the years my macro equipment has transitioned from the era of film to the digital present, and in that time I have accumulated a few macro lenses. The picture above shows most of them: missing is an Olympus-mount Tamron SP 90mm macro lenses that provided only half-life size 1:2 mag.
All the above lenses give 1:1 (life-size) magnification. Why so many sizes if they all produce the same magnification? What are the benefits or handicaps of each?
Find out at a Macro Workshop!
The afternoon was getting hot, and I was looking for some shade to sit down and enjoy my lunch and take a short nap. The problem was, I was on the northwest floor of the valley in Dinosaur Provincial Park, and shade was hard to find. I spotted a likely location – a hillock with a depression on the north-west side of a rocky outcrop that I thought might provide some respite from the sun. I clambered up, and sure enough,when I sat down with my back against the slope I was out of the sun’s path. Just as I was getting comfortable, an old friend, a seven-spotted ladybird beetle, began scrambling up an artemesia stalk beside me. Now if you have watched ladybirds before, you know they seek a high-point to launch themselves into flight, so I put down my sandwich, picked up the camera (which was already set-up with a macro lens and flash) and composed the shot. Just as I was ready, she turned her back to me and – apparently without the least shame or embarrassment - lifted her elytrawing covers, unfolded her wings, and flew off into the sunlight.
(24 September, 2011. Canon T2i, Tamron 180mm macro lens and a diffused Sigma EF-530 Flash. ISO 200, 1/200 sec. @ f8)
It’s finally here. I have pulled together the first of a full range of macro photography workshops. The survey indicated that learning about macro equipment was most important for the majority of respondents, so it will be the first of the scheduled ‘mini’ macro workshops for March and April.
The 4 hour long macro equipment workshop, called Macro Tools, will cover:
- how to get closer: macro accessories and lenses from budget to lavish
- tools for photography in natural light
- flash and flash accessories
- specialized macro flash
- other accessories and gadgets
- non-partisan purchasing advice
Throughout the session attendees will have the opportunity to handle various equipment set-ups (Canon and Nikon), with the last hour open for general discussion and to practice more handling of specific equipment.
The first Macro Tools Workshops will take place in my home in Edmonton, with a maximum of four spaces per session.
The scheduled days are:
10 March, 2013: 1 to 5 pm
24 March, 2013: 1 to 5 pm
7 April, 2013: 1 to 5 pm *Only one spot left!*
◊ Anyone who is new to photography or digital single lens reflex cameras is invited to take the Introduction to DSLR Photography (9 AM to Noon) prior to the Macro Tools session.
All workshops require a minimum of 2 participants to proceed. First come, first served – please register at the Small-group Workshops page, where you can also find out about future workshops.
I was scrolling through my wife’s photographs and came across this image that she took last May.
We were at the Opal Natural Area that day, but couldn’t remember what I was photographing at the time, so I looked through my own collection and found the photo of this little hopping Salticid. Judging by the lack of shots, he didn’t hang around long for a better portrait!
No, that’s not a freshly uprooted carrot – that’s my finger, looking a bit grimy after a morning scratching in the undergrowth. And look at the spider eyes — twin catch-lights, which is unnatural and annoying. I could have cloned these out, but it is an example of the problem that comes with using twin-flash units like the Canon MT-24EX macro flash or the Nikon R1 flash system. In normal outdoor situations, eyes have one catch-light, and that is from the sun or the sky. Using twin-flashes, even when well diffused, creates two. Now the original reason for using twin flashes is so that, by controlling the output of each flash, you can obtain a modeling effect — subtle nuances of light and shade. Yet, if you want to avoid the twin hi-light problem caused by twin flashes, you must make them them behave like a single flash… !
What do you think of twin hi-lights in the eyes? Do you live with it? Do you clone one hi-light out? Or have you chucked your twin-flashes and gone back to a single flash system?