Friday, January 6, 2012

How to take close up or macro photos of insects.

I purchased a Tamron SP 60mm F/2 Macro lens a week ago and found it is a great lens and easy to use, not that I have used other macro lenses to compare it to. The price ranges of some of what may be called specialty lenses are too expensive, for the novice photographer. Macro photography is an art of its own, search the net and you will find many articles on the subject, some give realistic advice and others give you what they have read in books or on the net and offer very little practical help.
Most do inform that yes you are shooting small objects, and that you need to hold the camera steady preferably with a tripod. This is great advice and I wish someone would let the butterflies and other insects know this, by the time you set up the tripod they are long gone, and yes although you may be quick enough to set up the tripod the wind is blowing and negates the steady tripods input to that elusive shot.
Where to start? First consider the depth of field you require, if you only want the eye of the inset a small aperture number may do, say around F2.5 to F5 this will give you a small area in focus and the rest blurred and at these aperture settings the shutter speed is relatively fast, which helps with hand shake or wind. Forget the tripod, in this age of digital photography you are not paying to get the film developed therefore if you want a great shot of the eye take as many shots just focusing on that area until the subject moves. 
Larger areas of focus require a larger aperture setting around F20 however because you are focusing on something so small sometimes the result you want may not be achievable. Key here is just take as many shots as you can whilst the subject is cooperating. With my limited knowledge in the area I doubt many photographers can get the shot they want with just one shot, I guess the professional’s take hundreds of photos and as with my blog for every shot that is posted maybe a dozen or more are sent to the recycle bin on the computer.
Unless you are being paid for your efforts, for most of us photography is a hobby and it is always challenging your ability so enjoy it, if you did not get the perfect shot today try again tomorrow. If you aimed your camera at a subject and got the perfect shot first time every time you would probably find it boring very quickly.
Not that I have mastered this area of photography yet, my next area will be telephoto photography, I would love to see what shots are achievable with a 500mm or 600mm lens, however as I have said maybe a little too expensive at the present time. So for now it will be macro, macro, macro ............ and loving it!

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