AI's Wonderful World of Macro

Discussion in 'Macro Photography' started by Arkanjel Imaging, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. Arkanjel Imaging

    Arkanjel Imaging No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I can see Im going to be shooting a lot of macro as time goes on. Rather than clutter up the Gallery with a ton of threads I thought Id just start keeping them in one location. Hopefully there will be a notable progression of skill and technique. Suggestions, tips, C&C always welcome! New stuff to be added/updated continually so check back frequently.

    Edit: if anyone has useful macro links please post them up so I can add them to this post for the communitys future reference.

    Thanks for looking. :cheers:
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    A Blue-green Citrus Root Weevil (Pachnaeus litus) on a yellow rose. Unfortunately a common grackle flew down and ate this guy as I was making adjustments. He gave his life for this pic! :lol:

    1/250 @ f16 -.3 EV ISO 200 Two SB-R200's for light
    [​IMG]

    A female gardenSpider - (Argiope aurantia). She was a beauty! Legspan of about 6" and very docile.

    1/60 @ f9 ISO 640 +.3 EV SB-600 and SB-R200 for light
    [​IMG]

    I guess these two Green-blue Long-legged flies (Condylostylus) didnt like my voyeurism. They only let me get the one shot off. Specular highlights are a little blown on the thorax areas but overall Im happy with it. About a 50% crop.

    1/200 @ f13 ISO 200 Two SB-R200's for light

    [​IMG]

    This Orchard spider (Leucauge venusta) was about thumbnail size. He was fairly cooperative and let me shoot about 10 pics while he ate. Very little crop.

    1/160 @ f10 -.3 EV SB-600 and two SB-R200's for light
    [​IMG]

    Some type of leafhopper (species TBD) that was actually hanging inverted underneath a palmetto frond. This is probably a 100% crop.

    1/200 @ f11 ISO 400 Two SB-R200's for light

    [​IMG]

    And what insect photography collection would be complete without a cliche dragonfly capture? This is a female Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis). *Try and contain your giggles*

    1/200 @ f11 ISO 200 two SB-R200's for light

    [​IMG]


    Thanks again to NateS for pointing me to: Welcome to BugGuide.Net! - BugGuide.Net to help with species ID. :thumbup:


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    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
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  2. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Ah, THAT's how you know all the common and the Latin names of these creepy crawlies! But when you delve into macro photography of insects you should know what it is you're photographing, you are right. And NateS, as yet another specialist on macro, could help with BugGuide.Net ... good :D.

    And brilliant photography.
    Sad story about the first - such a pretty bug, with such beady eyes. EATEN! Tsk!
     
  3. Arkanjel Imaging

    Arkanjel Imaging No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks Corinna. "I regret that he had but one life to give my collection."
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Some really good work here and your twin light source is giving you some very nice light to work with! Be carefull of your shutter speed though - it seems that you are keeping up high at 1/200sec though a few are showing a bit slower (like the spider) even though you have the flashes for hte main lighting.

    If you want to pull more ambiant lighting into the shot its time to either raise your ISO when handholding and really nail the exposure (so that you have as little noise as possible) or shift to tripod and slightly slower shutter speeds (remember insects move too so be wary of shifts in light wind)

    As for references I've lost most of mine for the moment (main computer is dead :() however do check out Juza forum there are some fantastic photographers there and the macro lot have had some really high quality dicussions on the macro side - especailly with regard to lighting setups:
    http://www.juzaforum.com/forum-en/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4901
    http://www.juzaforum.com/forum-en/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10800
    And this concave diffuser setup is one I want to try out (still trying to find the right cap for it)
    http://www.juzaforum.com/forum-en/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=12633
    I did a mock trial of it without the vellium paper and with a slightly less than ideal cone but it worked very well considering what I was using
    IMG_2071 edited on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    not much different from my softbox setup and yet with fastly less bulk to the setup - for the twinflash you have its an ideal approach for lighting!
     
  5. Arkanjel Imaging

    Arkanjel Imaging No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, Im definitely still in the "trial and error" stage. Im working on a couple of diffuser designs as well. I find it hard to believe that both Cannon and Nikon offer elaborate light setups and neither has a diffuser worth a crap. Thats just dumb. LOTS of designs being put together by the DIY community though.

    Thanks for the links!

    Edit: your reference to needing an assistant is so true. My hands have never been so busy as shooting macro. I need an intern. Preferably between the ages of 19-24 with mildly Asian features.
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yah its amazing what a difference having a lighting assistant makes - even if they do little more than hold the flash over the subject - its just such a difference (and far better than a tripod because it moves on verbal command!)

    And yes Nikon and Canon appear to really not pay attention to flash - infact if you look at hte canon website they don't even have a webpage for their flashguns - just a link to their product catalgue which is very short on details. It really annoys me that they put out so little info themselves let alone the fact that they have no diffusers nor even suggestions for them (esp as the profit margins for diffusers is very high - a few pence of plastic and you can cream off a good £20-40 profit from each sale!)
     
  7. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    Are you running the same power output on both 200's? It sure appears that way in all but the spider picture. While it is far from "flat" lighting per-se, there is very little depth due to the complete lack of shadows. May seem weird but I think your lighting is too even. People will often drop the power on one of the lights to give more depth to the lighting, so you might give this a try.

    Overread has some good points about the SS and ISO regarding background. I have recently been upping the iso to 400-800 or dropping the shutter to 1/100 to gain some background back.....just be careful because if you bring the lighting up too much, you will get too much ambient on the subject and he won't be completely frozen with the flash (since he'll only be half lit by the flash).

    Worth noting, but as long as ambient is not contributing much to the subject, you can shoot basically ANY shutter speed without getting blur. If you can shoot 1/5th of a second without having ambient on the spider and you are still lighting him completely by the flash then you will still have no motion blur on the subject.

    What I have been doing lately is when I go outside, I find a subject and fire a couple of test shots without flash to try and find that line of getting "some" background without too much ambient on the subject (do this by adjusting 1/100-1/200 and ISO 200-800) and then I click on the flash and fire a couple tests with the flash. Might give that a shot and see if it works for you.
     
  8. Arkanjel Imaging

    Arkanjel Imaging No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the input Nate. Im finding that different subjects are suited for different amounts of ambient light and (background light.) Ive even been experimenting using the SB-600 to primarily light just the backgrounds. Which of course requires a little forethought and planning.

    Check this guys website. He shoots butterflies in flight with a wicked laser triggering system. His lighting techniques are pretty elaborate. But the results are unbelievable!

    Gallery: SimPho web - Les papillons en plein vol

    English page: SimPho web - high spped close-up of butterflies in flight
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Have a look at some of the toys on this site here:
    Cognisys - Home Page

    they are already making and retailing laser setups as well as automated focusings rails as well as other toys - including an in development external shutter (For those really fast shutter speeds!)
     
  10. Arkanjel Imaging

    Arkanjel Imaging No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Gee, thanks.... there goes another $1,000. :er:

    Here is a full shot of the gardenSpider from above.

    1/25 @ f8 ISO 200 natural light. I used my backpack for support and timer for shutter.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    How big is that supposed to be? ^^^^^^
     
  12. Arkanjel Imaging

    Arkanjel Imaging No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Im guessing her legspan was probably 6" As big as Ive ever seen anywhere. Here she is finishing off an unidentified victim.

    1/200 @ f11 ISO 640 two SR-B200's for light (not sure why the color is off on this one..)
    [​IMG]

    Hey, something thats not a bug....

    1/200 @ f7.1 ISO 640 ambient light
    [​IMG]


    Ive had this lump of dark greenish crystal for 30 years and I have no idea what it is. It weights about 20 lbs. This was my first tester shot for the 105mm and R1 kit. I really love the bokeh in this one.

    1/60 @ f5 ISO 800 two SR-B200's
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010

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green lynx spider - peucetia viridans
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