More butterflies!

Overread

hmm I recognise this place! And some of you!
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More butterfly shots from Wisley gardens

3275483506_b46ff9dc61.jpg

f7.1 ISO 200 1/200sec
link to larger: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3387/3275483506_6ff071e4a1_o.jpg
Not sure why I was using this aperture - I think my finger slipped on the wheel - still the shot worked well I think :)

3274662331_70a6d83507.jpg

f6.3, ISO 200, 1/200sec
link to larger: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3503/3274662331_b499e424ea_o.jpg

3275485630_f0b0ed1da6.jpg

f13, ISO 200, 1/200sec
link to larger: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3368/3275485630_50e0b20d39_o.jpg

3274663683_06686b638f.jpg

f13, ISO 200, 1/200sec
link to larger: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3368/3274663683_cef8e8547f_o.jpg

3275484092_e1fb1eebe7.jpg

f13, ISO 200, 1/200sec
link to larger: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3408/3275484092_f5203d320e_o.jpg

I think I am stopping down when moving back to the fullbodied shots, though I can't recall why I was - maybe going for a smaller depth of field to try and blur the backgrounds more - however in review I think staying smaller with the apertures is safer -getting perfect angle on the wings and body whilst handheld is not easy!

any comments/crits welcome - thank you
 
I think they're great. Love the last 2 especially. Question. I see on those last two you used a flash (exif says), but was it hot shoe mounted or wirelessly? What was it diffused with because it's a nice soft light. Was this with your Sigma 150mm? They look great and I'm having a hard time deciding between the Tamron 90mm f2.8 or the extra money for the Sigma 150mm f2.8. Your pictures don't help any because both seem like great lenses.
 
Thanks NateS :)
flash was used in all the shots - for most of my macro work I do use flash - the only times you can really use natural light is when the camera is on a solid tripod and the subject is dead still - as wellas having generally good ambient lighting. I know quite a few more photographers in brighter nations (eg Italy) will take more natural light shots this way (often early in the morning when many insects are still very still from the cold night)
In the cases above I was playing around with the lighting so it was off camera - but it was sitting on the tripod collar! A small ballhead was holding it in place at the time - though in the end I had to twist things so that the flash was held on the right of the lens so lighting is a bit more dominant from that side in some shots (I was moving it all over the place but over on the right was where it settled - mostly for holding convenience rather than any compositional reason).

And yes the lens used was my 150mm macro along with a 1.4 teleconverer - honestly I really do like the 150mm - gives a good working distance and is fully compatable with the sigma teleconverters - so you can get a magnification boost - as in the last two shots for example where such close details would not be possible without a boost to the lenses overall magnification.
Between the tamron and sigma I would expect both to deliver a very similar image quality (there really are no bad prime macro lenses at the moment barring some of the 50mm options) the differences will be in working distance, weight and price. The 150mm is easily handholdable, with both hands - I have tried single handed and whilte it might be easier with a handgrip its not easy - the tamron might be easier to singlehandhold (the other hand is then free to hold a flash).
note kenko and sigma teleconverters might work with the tamron lens, but I don't know if they do for certain
 
Thanks NateS :)
flash was used in all the shots - for most of my macro work I do use flash - the only times you can really use natural light is when the camera is on a solid tripod and the subject is dead still - as wellas having generally good ambient lighting. I know quite a few more photographers in brighter nations (eg Italy) will take more natural light shots this way (often early in the morning when many insects are still very still from the cold night)
In the cases above I was playing around with the lighting so it was off camera - but it was sitting on the tripod collar! A small ballhead was holding it in place at the time - though in the end I had to twist things so that the flash was held on the right of the lens so lighting is a bit more dominant from that side in some shots (I was moving it all over the place but over on the right was where it settled - mostly for holding convenience rather than any compositional reason).

And yes the lens used was my 150mm macro along with a 1.4 teleconverer - honestly I really do like the 150mm - gives a good working distance and is fully compatable with the sigma teleconverters - so you can get a magnification boost - as in the last two shots for example where such close details would not be possible without a boost to the lenses overall magnification.
Between the tamron and sigma I would expect both to deliver a very similar image quality (there really are no bad prime macro lenses at the moment barring some of the 50mm options) the differences will be in working distance, weight and price. The 150mm is easily handholdable, with both hands - I have tried single handed and whilte it might be easier with a handgrip its not easy - the tamron might be easier to singlehandhold (the other hand is then free to hold a flash).
note kenko and sigma teleconverters might work with the tamron lens, but I don't know if they do for certain


Wow, thanks for such detailed explanation. I do similar lighting as you with my "macro" shooting where I use a lightstand and 33" white shoot through umbrella wirelessly with my SB-600. The umbrella makes for amazingly perfect soft light but kind of awkard running around everywhere with that setup. I was HOPING to hear that you were using an easier method but see you aren't really. I do sometimes shoot one handed and hold the flash from the direction I want with the other hand (stofen diffused) and I think this would be easier with the Tamron. I currently shoot 1:2 at 300mm so I'm thinking that 1:1 at 90mm (or even 150mm) should be pretty similar....hopefully my handholding abilities will be the same with a new lens.


Thanks again for your great response to my questions. You have some beautiful photos here so it's nice to see how you got them.
 
I love the shots! The first one almost looks like a face (in the wings)!!

I really like the second one--the colors really go well together and make him stand out!
 
Wow, unbelievable;
All of them are great but I liked he 4th the most. Congratulations.
 
These are great shots Overread! I'm sorry I missed these earlier. I'm thinking that #5 is my favorite! What beautiful eyes!
 
Thanks all!
good to know that I am getting something right - though I think some of the backgrounds need some improvment (at least getting them looking a bit more natural ;))
 
i always tend to stay away from those fruit tables and just look for butterflies in the rest of the exhibit (shouldnt be too difficult ;) ). Makes it a bit more like bughunting too and you can find other stuff thats crawling around there. I sometimes even find a praying mantis in there, which caught a ride on a plant or something that was planted in the exhibit.
 

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