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Thread: Shield Bug Macro

  1. #1
    Stagecoach's Avatar
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    Shield Bug Macro

    Tonight's effort was this wee critter, a shield bug found on my tomato plants today. Lighting was the main problem encountered due to his shiny surface although I had it heavily diffused and the other persuading him to stay in one spot long enough.

    These are all crops as I did not get in as close as I normally would in an effort to gain that extra DOF. I think I am now going to start experimenting at pushing up the aperture above what tends to be my norm of f22 to determine reduction of the IQ.

    All shot with 105VR, Manual, f22, 1/60s, ISO 200, SB600 and SBR-200 flashes

    Shield Bug Macro

    Shield Bug Macro

    Shield Bug Macro

    Any comments and suggestions as always appreciated.

  2. #2
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Shield Bug Macro

    Beautiful images, amazing detail and clarity. #3 is my favourite.

  3. #3
    Stagecoach's Avatar
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    Re: Shield Bug Macro

    Hi Christina,

    Thanks for the comment, I can not make my mind up between 1 and 3

    One of the things I strive for is capturing enough detail to show their faces because they have some great expressions. I can not remember if back in my younger days with perfect eye site I could see this sort of detail without photography.

  4. #4
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: Shield Bug Macro

    1 vote for #1 please!!

    Great shots!!

  5. #5
    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: Shield Bug Macro

    That is a very cool looking bug! Nice work. I've been really hitting the macro hard lately, and am loving it.

    I know what you mean about f-stop and diffraction. Depends on the subject and amount of magnification, but in general I am not comfortable going above about f16 to f18, or maybe f22 if you twisted my arm really hard. I have such high standards and am a pixel peeper, so if at 100% it is blurry, I am very disappointed. Downsizing for web takes care of that problem, but I will be going pro some day so I need as good an image quality as I can.

  6. #6

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    Re: Shield Bug Macro

    Reflection from the shiny surfaces of insects is often unavoidable. At least when shooting live subjects in the wild.

    Sometimes I switch off the flash and use a little exposure compensation. But this often makes the situation worse, and can produce harsh shadows as well. A bit of editing is usually needed.

    Strong sunlight seems to produce harsh results with insects in much the same way as with landscapes. My best efforts are sometimes shot with slightly overcast skies.

    With these particular images, although there is some light reflection I wouldn't say it was a problem.

  7. #7
    Stagecoach's Avatar
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    Re: Shield Bug Macro

    Hi Matt,

    Since getting into macro I have found myself wanting to push things to the limit with the gear I have. I want to capture the detail and expression with bugs such as their faces and eyes plus attain a good IQ. In addition to this I try to produce an image which is not simply a technical record of the critter but something that is pleasing, has impact or is amusing to view.

    At present my goal is only to produce approx 1200 pixel width images for web viewing so this gives a bit of leeway and I have recently been experimenting with cropping and its affects on viewing IQ within this size constraint. I must get myself a good static typical critter subject and start looking more at the IQ affect when pushing the aperture well up if available light is there for increased DOF.

  8. #8
    Stagecoach's Avatar
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    Re: Shield Bug Macro

    Hi Geoff,

    I'm concentrating mainly with flash indoors at present due to daytimes being either very wet or if not raining pretty breezy.

    I would agree that with these three images the light reflection is not really a problem but if you had seen the other twenty it was another story.

  9. #9
    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: Shield Bug Macro

    Grahame,

    Thanks for the reply. I look forward to seeing more of your photos and finding out the results of your experiments/comparisons. You have actually pushed me to consider doing some simple experiments, myself, with a static subject and just testing out various apertures and ISO's. I still have yet to use flash for macro, since I need some kind of bracket to attach to my camera, but I can't find anything for purchase that seems to fulfill what I want. I guess I need to get back to building my own flash bracket...

  10. #10
    Stagecoach's Avatar
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    Re: Shield Bug Macro

    Matt,

    I have an 'L' bracket I can use for outside work and the two small SBR-200s that can attach to the lens front.

    With my work at this time primarily being indoors at night with flash I have found the essential bits of kit are small cheap tripods, and cardboard boxes so you have an easy quick means of moving the flash units around and at different heights remote from the camera.

  11. #11
    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: Shield Bug Macro

    Three is my preference but I would like to see it with the end of the twig cloned to carry on out of the image and thus avoiding the light bit at the top. As it is the end looks a bit messy and distracting.

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