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Misc. Pollinators - Close-Ups


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#1 Reciprocityrules

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 01:14 AM

Here are a bunch of pollinator close-ups.  They're better than the spider and didn't require much editing.  CC Welcome! 

 

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Jonny


#2 HansDekeling

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 03:46 AM

They are very good. did you use a trypod? what settings did you use?

shutterspeed a litle faster is an option?



#3 geedee

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 04:39 AM

Jeez... you are really getting into macro Jonny, I am enjoying your results..(-: 5th and 6th are my favourites.



#4 Reciprocityrules

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 05:40 AM

Hi Hans.  I looked at the exif data, and I am between 1/250 & 1/1250 with the shutter speed.  I shot one day using aperture priority and the lowest f stop I could go and another day using shutter priority and 1/640.  I checked my focal length, and it runs between 142mm and 210 mm (284 & 410 equivalents) with 36mm extension tubes that allow AF and aperture to function.  My Aperture was between f/4 and f/5.6 for all shots.  ISO was 200.

 

I couldn't do it handheld; I always had my monopod attached to my lens - it provides good balance.  Sometimes I can get the monopod leg to the ground, and sometimes I can't.  When I can't get the monopod leg to the ground, I hold the stick instead of the camera body (for me this is more stable than hand-holding my camera and lens), or I wedge the stick between my legs for added stability. 

 

My camera is not very good with higher ISO settings, so I like to stick with aperture priority.  Therefore, my shutter speed fluctuates with the available light.  I shot one day at 6 fps and one day at 11 fps.  I used auto focus for all the shots with single AF; it stops looking when I hit the shutter, and my body movements change the focusing distance.  The monopod provides a decently stable pivot point for a rocking kind of motion to achieve better control of the focus.  If I get good focus and little motion blur, I am happy.  If I have high ISO (through controlling the shutter), I get more crappy shots in the shadows.  Basically I spray the target with shots and pray one is OK.  It's what Tony recommended (kind of :), but not the shutter speed - I despise noise).  

 

I identify something near to set my AF at its minimum limit.  I then try not to use AF until I acquire the target at the minimum focal distance.  I then back off by a cm or two and engage AF and shoot away.  It's a controlled pray and spray.  It's really pretty fun if you find an active location.

 

I recommend hooking up your 400mm with extension tubes just for fun :).  These aren't real heavy crops, and I've got resolution to spare in most of these.   

 

I hope this helps, and thanks!   


Thanks Gedee - I told you to bee forewarned!  I was happy to get a lot of good shots over the past couple of days.  I missed some that I wished were a bit better, but it's fun for me.  Like you said, I can shoot all I want :).  They opened up a new park nearby, and this shrub gets nice morning sun.  There's a bench right next to the bush to set my stuff on, sit back and relax when I feel like and review my shots.  There's a lot to this park left to explore, and I will try to get there as often as I can.  There is a big pond, but it's surrounded by concrete seawalls.  I saw some ducks flying by once, but the park just filled the pond in and are in the process of filling in what appears to be creeks or something.  There are frogs in there, so I am assuming that more birds will come in once the place gets established.  I tried capturing shots of birds, but I wasn't please with the "bird on a stick" look.  I have to find out where they hang out and plan some bird shots.  Yup - it's fun. 


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#5 HansDekeling

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 06:59 AM

Youre images are very good.

With those extension tubes the deph of fields is verry narrow. F8 or 9 give you a bid more room to play. Iso 100 is the best. You can provide extra light with an macro flash or with an Led flashlight. You can point the light by handholding or place it with tape on an pole.

 

Hope this helps.



#6 Reciprocityrules

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 07:21 AM

Thanks Hans.  My low, natural ISO is 200, but there is a "low" setting that auto ISO doesn't venture into; so I am kind of stuck with ISO 200.  I am still in the experimental stage and appreciate your suggestions!


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#7 Roderick

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 07:52 AM

No files on you, Jonny.

Very nice.  No.5 and 6 look the best IMO.

The colours in all of them are very attractive.  I like the compositions in 1 and 2 most.



#8 Reciprocityrules

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 08:33 AM

Thanks Rod!  I'm experimenting, and I am really happy with these.  I know the DOF is shallow, so it's difficult to get everything in focus.  I really liked my shallow DOF exercise with the tulips, and I decided to apply it to the flies.  I really appreciate the composition compliment, because that's what I was going for; something a bit different.  Both of those have the EV set to black out parts of the background, and I like the negative space.  These little buggers don't sit still, so it's quite challenging getting them in the field of view, analyzing the exposure, changing the exposure and getting the shot off in a max of maybe 3 seconds.  One may sit still for a second, and another comes in and kind of attacks it.  The busy bodies are crawling all over and sticking whatever they have into the flowers.  I took probably 2,000 shots (with sequences of maybe 6 per burst).  I learned, and I achieved my objectives.  These weren't just my usual willie-nillie style; these were planned and repeatable.  For me - that's progress :) .  I know I can do better, and I am confident I will.


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#9 HansDekeling

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 09:21 AM

Jonny

Not my best..

 

Bud I hooked up my 400mm prime with 77mm extension tubes.

 

the distance to get it sharp is half of the normal distance around 1.8 meter.

Not enough light. so iso 6400 handheld (not possible) 1/2000, F 6.1.

 

Have to wait for more sunlight.

 

 

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#10 Reciprocityrules

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 10:26 AM

I am really happy you tried it Hans!  Outside on a sunny day, you'll probably be happy you tried; 1.8 meters is a pretty good dragonfly distance. They sit still for a bit, so you can use your tripod if you can find where one frequently lands.  Your 70-200 has a lower f/stop and less of a minimum focusing distance; that might be good to try too. (that one will bring you down to maybe half a meter)  I tried the macro stuff on a butterfly on our screen one day using my viewfinder, and it gave me a headache; I have the utmost respect for your patience and tenacity with true macro.  Hope you have fun, and please post what you get!


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#11 HansDekeling

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 02:32 PM

always have fun.....

 

time is often the problem.



#12 MarkM

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 05:45 PM

Jonny,

I don't follow what you mean when you described earlier you focusing strategy:

"identify something near to set my AF to its minimum limit".  So, are you saying you "preset" your single point auto focus to that distance, and wait for the bees to intersect that distance?

What do you mean when you "back off a cm or two and engage AF".  Isn't AF already engaged because you set it to the preset distance?

 

(I'm still not sure how to "quote" people's posts for easy reference!)  When I hit your Quote button, nothing seems to happen!



#13 Reciprocityrules

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:48 PM

Mark - this is what happens to me.  I'll find a bug that I like the lighting or composition on, I hope for it to wander into a good position and then I start taking shots.  If my minimal focal distance is say 8", and the bug I just shot is 20" away (it's back in the bush, and I can't get super close); I'll be focused in at 20".  I'll step back and hunt for another target.  I find one that's close, and my camera is hunting for focus.  A foot (12") in a bush could be a whole different limb in the background.  My camera will be locking on a different limb, and I may be too close to focus on the new target.  That's why I find a limb that's easy to identify and close to set up my minimal focus distance.  That way, if the new target is close, I can back away till it's in the focal range.  For me, it's difficult at times to tell what limb you're focusing on.  If I physically know how far the focal range is, I can try to position my body at that distance from the new target.  When you're pushing the minimal limit; if you're too close, you can't focus.  So you keep trying to focus and keep failing; you find limbs in the background come into focus, and you can't figure out what's going on.  My range on my 150mm is pretty deep; maybe about 36".  These things move so quick that it's easy to miss a shot, and it gets frustrating.  Say you're right on the edge of your minimal focal distance.  If the target wanders a centimeter or two, it could go out of range.  That's why I back off a bit.  It may be 5 centimeters or what have you, but the target won't wander too close to get out of focus.  I use single AF, and I "pump" that shutter button.  Engage the focus and take a short burst (maybe for a half second).  The target has moved.  Pump the shutter button half way to engage AF, and snap another burst.  Keep repeating it till the target flies off. 

 

I get fatigued, and there are times when I can't get anything in focus.  Physically knowing what the minimal focal range is helps when I get fatigued.  I can step back and re-calibrate my process (both mentally and physically with the camera).  I don't know what happens, but I hit spells where nothing seems to be working.  My camera and I don't sync to find the right bug on the right limb.  So I step back, sit down for a bit and calibrate things again. 

 

I would take that 24 to 70 and keep it at 70mm.  You can spook the bugs by being too close, so monitor how close you can get with that 70mm at 70mm.  I can't tell what your minimal focal distance is at 70mm, but you can get within, it looks like, really close.  If you get the tubes, it will probably cut that distance in half.  Experiment with your set to see which tube or combination of tubes work.  I've tried all my lenses with the tubes, and the 150mm works best for me for bugs I can get close to.  For dragonflies that are skittish, I keep my distance.  I generally don't get much closer than a foot, but that's just personal preference.  You can't rush in on them, or they'll spook.  Take your time and find a location that has a lot of targets.  If you get bored, take some flower shots to work on composition and lighting; bushes create some nice shadows to experiment with. I hope this helps.


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#14 MarkM

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 11:21 PM

Jonny, that's a great explanation. I understand now the idea of "backing off". That would have helped me a lot with my earlier bee picture, where there were lots of flowers and lots of bees flying to and fro, with tons of focus problems.

Thanks for taking the time to explain.

I'm ordering some tubes so will soon get a chance to practice closer in shots.

Mark




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