Tips for a Rookie?


TPF Noob!
Jul 29, 2013
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Hey everyone! I currently have a Canon EOS Rebel T3 with a Tamron 70-300mm macro lens. I just started using manual focus(currently with out a tripod) and taking insect pictures! I would really appreciate some advice on what I can do to improve my photography skills and what lenses I should start saving up for. Thank you so much and sorry for the horrible grammar :D.

(I watched this spider catch a butterfly while I was eating breakfast, by the time I grabbed my camera this is what it looked like lol.)


When you shoot live insects hand held, you need to use a small aperture like f/22 so as to get enough depth of field to get most of the subject in focus. In order to do this you will also need a lot of light or flash. I use flash most of the time, either a SB910 or R1C1 (Nikon), Canon makes similar products that will work with your camera. As far as lenses go, a dedicated macro lens in the 100mm range will give you a lot more detail than your 70-300 zoom.
Awesome thank you for all the great advice I really appreciate it!
My advice was a flash unit but I see that's been covered.
I currently have a speedlite 270EX II, will that be sufficient? I've never tried using it to get a smaller aperture. It has the adjustable light where I can aim it upwards as well.
The biggest problem I find is the lack of DOF even at F22 and above for small objects. It helps to think in terms of flat planes. Your damsel fly, with his wings folded flat together over his back, has a relatively flat plane viewed from the side and you should be able to get the whole thing in focus. The dragonfly, with his wings down and straight out from the body has a wide plane and would be difficult to get in focus wingtip to wingtip. A more overhead view would have a flatter plane and be easier to get it all in focus.

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