Nothing like a Happy Lady Bug
Lots of improvement on the way you are composing your images now, Krisztina. Good job!
Thank you for noticing my attempts, Willie.
They are very very cute - bring a smile to my face with the content - for the technique I like the first 3 with the green best.
I was lucky to get the shots I did though bc the wind was making it more challenging. As frustrating as it was, I wished I was able to capture them swaying in the wind as well-( "Love is in the Air" hehe) of course skill level wise, I'm so not there yet!! Just a bunch of blurred photos.
Thank you. Agreed!- for the technique I like the first 3 with the green best.
Last edited by Dave Humphries; 11th February 2011 at 06:36 AM.
Are you using auto or manual focus, Krisztina?
Wind rock is always a nightmare for macro photography but I notice that some shots appear to have sharper backgrounds than the bugs. So I wonder if this partly caused by another common problem of auto focus preferring to focus on a hard edged background instead of a soft edged bug.
When possible, I always prefer to use manual focus for this type of shot, and with a sturdy tripod. But manually focusing on a moving subject is never easy.
Also, if auto focusing, I find that just using the centre focus point will reduce the number of rejects.
I was mainly using autofocus,Geoff. A couple of times I did try to manual focus. I did notice while trying to take some shots the bugs would be blurry/out of focus compared to the background. But I think it was because of the slightest movements I made myself as well...
I don't know- or maybe I was too close? I do not own a tripod. Maybe I can take a chair, stool, ladder out back w/ me next time- although It would still be hard to change the angles of the camera...
Maybe the AF mode settings was the prob. I tried switching it up- see which was better One Shot,AI focus or AI servo?
I HAVE to take a notebook w/ me so I can jot down the things I did w/ the settings etc, like Jiro suggested I do!
Geoff, thank you for your response!!
I posted some more of my shots on my picasa web albums site, if you are interested at looking at those as well.
If shooting handheld, as I do, I would suggest a continuous AF mode, I'm not familiar with Canon terminology, but I think that's AI-servo.
If the shot comes out with a sharper background than bug, I just bin it, can't win everytime.
I did some like this last year. I didn't get many successes, probably for the same reasons, I'll try remember to look them out sometime soon and show you - at least you can take heart mine aren't any better
To get more DoF, try the on-camera flash and f/16, or similar.
My bugs stayed like this for a logtime too
I will definitely try out your suggestions the next time I have a chance!
I thought mine were pretty darn good, but after your responses, I realize I still can't "see" all my mistakes, or understand how things can be improved technically.
Therefore, I am SO glad I joined!! I learn so much more this way. I HAD to step away from getting excited when I get positive comments from friends and Family that they like my photos etc....eh, they have no clue do they?
I just hope I DO learn and IMPROVE!!!!
Looking through the other photos, Krisztina, I see that they all have too wide an aperture for any decent depth of field. The problem with this sort of shot is that it will always involve some compromise.
This will probably mean that to get a suitable focus depth you will need to increase the ISO and possibly use a slower shutter speed. Both of which can cause other problems. And an aperture of F14, for example, will probably be a little past the best focus point of your lens.
Using the Av or possibly Tv settings option, but also being aware of the other settings, usually works best; and never use the auto or semi auto control for macro work. A flash can often help to improve results by allowing the use of more realistic settings.
Even the basic camera 'pop up' flash can often help, but don't use the auto flash control (which usually chooses a rather slow shutter speed). I normally use Tv at a suitable speed (say around 1/200) but also keep a check on the aperture. It will take a few shots to get the hang of selecting the best options and some exposure variation is frequently needed.
I have tried using the auto AI Servo for macro work in windy conditions but never had much success. It works fine for flying birds, etc, but I found the auto focusing was too coarse for those small focusing changes which make all the difference with macro.
Probably the best results which I have obtained from windy conditions have been by selecting an average focus point manually and clicking the shutter as the wind moved the subject into focus. For me, this only works by looking through the viewfinder; although it can be disorienting, particularly if you suffer from seasickness. But I just can't get any success with insects by focusing with the camera review screen.
If you want to get serious about macro work, I would say that a tripod is essential, even a cheap one will help. A monopod is an alternative, but for me, nothing beats a proper tripod. There is a bit of a knack to using a tripod in dense undergrowth, especially when stalking a nervous insect. But basically, I set the legs a bit closer together and gain height by raising the centre column - exactly the opposite of landscape photography. Be aware though that your equipment is now at an increased risk of falling over.
And the usual warning; macro photography can become addictive - and expensive!
ps. Here is one where I really struggled to get a focus on a windy day. The result is sufficient for identification but this is the best of around 20 shots.
Last edited by Geoff F; 11th February 2011 at 04:03 PM. Reason: photo added
nice to see that there are many species of the ladybugs
here is a duch version http://www.dt13.nl/berg/content/Inse...9a3862aacf0e68
Geoff, great shot-Amazing!
I don't plan to focus mainly on macro photography- right now, I just take my camera around w/ me mainly following my daughter around- AND my goal is to learn the camera I have ( one my best friends lent me her 'old' camera) because I do want to pursue the art of photography- but, I really can't afford to do much more than what I am lucky to have now. That being said, I really appreciate your help!!
You've made me realize that my understanding of the aperture was wrong.( I like AV mode the best, Tv mode is too mathematical for me right now- rarely get lucky with that) I guess I was thinking that the the smaller number like f/4 would make the subject more in focus, but the background blurred. (I like that effect), the higher number like f/14, would make more of the picture in focus, with more detail. I missed it on how that affects the DoF
I will keep what you've said in mind- and pay a bit closer to the differences they make in the different modes regarding sharpness and DoF.
Never thought of using flash- will throw it out there as well!
ooooooh! Gotcha. Thanks for the clarification
In the US we say Rated R, or R rated....and well, then there's X rated...but, this isn't quite LB porn