I’ve been trying to go through my collection of images to add new work to the site. The first batch in that effort is a bunch of macro photos of Butterflies and other Bugs, as well as Flower macros and other Close-Up Stuff. I’ll be adding much more to each of those galleries shortly. Here’s a teaser of what you can find in the galleries:
So… how does one go about shooting images like these? For outdoor shots of flowers and bugs, I travel light and low tech. Bugs move around a lot, and I don’t have the patience to set up a tripod and wait for them. Most of the butterfly photos were taken at Brookfield Zoo, during the summer when the butterfly exhibit was going on. There are plenty of subjects flying around in a natural environment with plenty of flowers to sit on. I approach slowly, shooting while getting closer and closer. That way, if they fly off I at least have something. It’s important to stop down to a small aperture to get as much depth of field as possible, since macro shooting results in very shallow DOF. Flowers are much easier because they don’t fly away, just watch out for wind.
What about gear? While a macro lens isn’t necessary, it sure does help. A cheap way to go is to start with a set of Kenko extension tubes. These work by increasing the distance between the sensor and the back of the lens, allowing closer focusing. I’m currently shooting with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro lens. It’s a fantastic combination for macro shooting, but also makes for a great portrait setup.