Saturday, July 18, 2009

The challenge of photographing bugs

I enjoy photographing insects. That's one of the reasons whyI bought a macro lens. Ideally I'd have bought a 90mm or 105mm lens, as that would allow me to keep a distance from the subject.

I've already explained that financial constraints led to me buying a 50mm Sigma macro lens. Just because it isn't the ideal for working with insects doesn't mean I won't give it a go. This photo of a hoverfly on a flower is the best I've achieved so far.

The fly was relatively easy to capture because it was static and allowed me to get very close. This picture was taken at maximum magnification, 1:1, and the end of the lens with only a few millimetres from the subject. Fortuntately it chose not to move, allowing me several shots.

A motionless subject is a great help in macro photography. But there are still other challenges to deal with, particularly when working outdoors.

With this particular picture I had to deal with the wind blowing the plant that the fly was on. The wind was relatively light, but gusty, and it was enough to move the subject in and out of the focal range of the lens very quickly. I took about twenty photos from exactly the same position and this was the only one where the fly was in focus.

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