I thought I would share a small selection of images I took while staying with my parents over the Christmas break. It doesn’t matter how many bugs I take photos of, I’m still floored by how amazing they are, truly strange creatures!
We have a trip to the Blue Mountains planned in a couple of weeks time. We will be spending 3 days there where I hope to try my hand at some different styles of photography. I will, of course, still be taking some macro shots if the opportunity presents itself so I’m really looking forward to that. In the meantime I thought I would share some photos from recent outings.
On one of my outings in the backyard I stumbled upon this little weevil. Some types of weevil can be a real pest but I couldn’t resist this little one’s cute face. I spent about 20 minutes taking photos at various angles and thought I would share some of the better ones.
Since my last post about ants I decided to build myself a new snoot/diffuser. I had trialed a few different things to try and soften the flash on the old one, but wasn’t too happy with the results. After a bit of thinking I decided that a whole new design was in order. Once again I used cardboard, tin foil and my trusty white t-shirt. The cardboard was measured and cut to correct shape and size. Each piece was then lined with the tin foil before being stuck together with sticky tape. The t-shirt was then cut to size and attached to the front. I used 3 layers this time around for greater diffusion. The whole thing was then covered with black electrical tape (looks better on the camera). My main aim was to enlarge the front of the diffuser for a larger spread of light in the hope that the larger area would also soften the flash some more. It ended up being twice as large as my old one. I have tried it out over the last couple of days and I am very happy with the results so far.
I focused on ants again so that I could compare the shots with my older ones. I found that the flash was not as harsh and the reflection was kept to a minimum. I’m now looking forward to getting out and taking some more shots.
Hope you enjoy
“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’…” ― Alfred Tennyson
Exactly 12 months on, I found myself back in my parents garden on Boxing Day making the most of their wonderful selection of flowers and plants. I found some great critters, lots of beautiful flowers and made the most of the light to get up close and personal with them. I still find it amazing every time I photograph macro the immense level of detail that doesn’t lessen the closer you get. I gave the new tripod a good workout, which performed brilliantly and allowed me to shoot without a flash while using my Tamron 90mm Macro and full set of extension tubes.
It’s been quite windy of late and a bit quiet on the macro front. I decided to get down low to the ground on this occasion and focus on ants. Ants are some of nature’s hardest workers and are constantly on the go. This includes finding food, excavating, defending territory, looking after young etc. They just never seem to stop. I sat down near a nest and just watched the going’s on for a little while. I made the most of the situation and fired off some shots. Ants can be difficult to get in focus at times as they are constantly moving around. With such a shallow depth of field to work with this can become a hit and miss affair (with more misses in my case). Some people like to put a drop of diluted honey (mixed with water) on the ground as this does make them stop for a little drink and, in turn, easier to photograph. Another issue, especially with the shinier ones, is the reflection from the flash. At times it can be quite harsh. This was the case on this occasion and most of the photos ended up in the scrap heap. I may have to play around with my diffuser a little and see if I can improve it.
Hope you enjoy
Having heard that Macro Lenses make good portrait lenses I decided to try it out and see how I go. One thing you need for portraits are, of course, the subjects. Not having any I decided to take photos of our lovely pets. Taking photos of animals can be quite difficult at times as they can be quite excitable and constantly move around.
I found this part quite challenging as there was a lot of waiting involved and also lots of discarded photos. The other thing I found difficult was getting the lighting right. Lighting is very critical to getting that good shot and it is definitely something that I still need to work on. I don’t have an off camera flash system so was stuck using the on board flash. I tried to utilise as much natural lighting as possible where I could but in some cases that wasn’t possible. I did find the lens (Canon F2.8 100mm IS USM Macro) to be quite sharp though and, with the right lighting, I think it would make a great portrait lens.
Thanks for looking
I love the outdoors and take every chance I can to get out and do something outside. For me, photography is a way to capture those moments, my memories so to speak.
Macro, as many people know, is a way to explore a whole different world; A miniature world. I really love exploring this miniature world as, for me, it is a constant reminder of nature at its most raw. Where the whole circle of life thing is happening right before your eyes. A place where the strong survive.
I recently witnessed such a scene when I stumbled on this little ant wrestling with a much larger fly. The ant managed to subdue and sting the fly after which it started to drag it away. This is not meant to shock or offend anyone, but meant to showcase nature and what the food chain is about.
I’m still exploring my backyard at the moment. I’m constantly finding new things to photograph, which is a good thing as I don’t often get the chance to go out. I have also started experimenting with some portrait shots as macro lenses are said to also make good portrait lenses. I have managed a couple of OK shots which I hope to share in the near future. For now though, I hope you enjoy my latest photos.
Marcoola is an area around 120km north of Brisbane on the east coast of Australia. There is around 12km of beach front with a very minimal visual human footprint. Unlike the internationally well know Gold Coast (A.K.A Surfers Paradise), Marcoola takes the more laid back approach at beach life. I thought I’d share a couple of family snaps from a trip up there earlier this year.