New Macro Photography

Red Tulip Macro

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:

Swallowtail Butterfly

Swallowtail Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

Grape Hyacinth

Grape Hyacinth

Dismembered Bee

Dismembered Bee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

A Bug’s World

A Bug's Life

A Bug’s Life

Sometimes we need to stop and look at the little things that are all around us, rather than just rushing through life without a clue. Life tends to fly by so fast. As summer approaches, I have to remind myself to get out and enjoy it… Take a bike ride, walk through the woods, look at the little things as well as the grand vistas – whether rural or urban. This summer my goal is to really get out an shoot more – take in the city scenes that are all around me, and get out into the open for a different view. Hopefully I’ll be posting some enjoyable photos from these excursions. Here’s one for to get the summer (finally) started.