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Thread: Another (CMI) bug shoot

  1. #1
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    Another (CMI) bug shoot

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    ARGH!!!! This is too hard!
    Buay sharp is one thing. Noise is another. C&C and tips to light them properly please.

    #01


    #02


    #03


    #04


    #05


    ck
    Last edited by CK Yeo; 27th Oct 2008 at 21:04. Reason: Add pic

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    not a photographer... but i like photo 1 and 4...

    those blurry parts made the bug look very 3D and like as if they will jump out anytime..... to me at least..

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    then I don't comment about the sharpness :P

    Let's talk about the DOF, preferred to have the entire subject in focus unless you intend for it. Can see you trying to use a bigger aperture to achieve creamier background, however I must say having a complete focus subject is equally importance. Take the case of your damselfly, subject profile has less depth hence going parallel to the subject will give you a subject in focus.

    the hopper and fruit fly lack the contrast or differentiation, the sensor capture the reflection of the surrounding and give you a mono feel to the pic

    Also preferred if the subject is not block or partially block , like in your second pic

    so, after a while with insect macro. How do you compare it with fish photography? more of a challenge with nature, right?

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    not a photographer myself but I see the pictures all taken so surreal....
    like the world look so perfect.

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    Yes! I realized that I need to stop down the aperture but the background won't turn out nice... then I have to resort of photoshop to fake a background. How to have light the subject and background properly? Setup studio in the bushes?

    #02, 03. The colour cast from the flower is so bad, the insect turn out looking yellow. How to light it properly? Or just look for something blue or red?

    About the sharpness, I am not sure if it was because of my positions when taking them i.e. standing, kneeling, bending, eagle spread... Or should mount on monopod/tripod?

    Fish photography is quite different. At least they don't fly/hop/crawl beyond my reach. This is only my 3rd bug shoot. I haven't found the technical "feel" to it... Any reading material to recommend? Any tricks?

    ck

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    Quote Originally Posted by planted86 View Post
    not a photographer... but i like photo 1 and 4...

    those blurry parts made the bug look very 3D and like as if they will jump out anytime..... to me at least..
    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    not a photographer myself but I see the pictures all taken so surreal....
    like the world look so perfect.
    Thanks, you guys are too kind... Technically, they really cannot make it. Maybe you were distracted by the colours and the blur blackground.

    ck

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    one way is to use manual setting and flash with long exposure.
    why I don't do garden hybrids and aquarium strains: natural species is a history of Nature, while hybrids are just the whims of Man.
    hexazona crumenatum Galleria Botanica

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwchoy View Post
    one way is to use manual setting and flash with long exposure.
    Long exposure? How does that work? Expose for background then manual flash the subject?

    ck

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    for example you set shutter speed to 1/25s and dial your flash to really really low, with an appropriate aperture to get your desired DOF and proper exposure. then you can get your subject lit, while getting some of the background rather than total black if you had used fill flash at x-sync speed.
    why I don't do garden hybrids and aquarium strains: natural species is a history of Nature, while hybrids are just the whims of Man.
    hexazona crumenatum Galleria Botanica

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    Quote Originally Posted by CK Yeo View Post
    Yes! I realized that I need to stop down the aperture but the background won't turn out nice... then I have to resort of photoshop to fake a background. How to have light the subject and background properly? Setup studio in the bushes?

    #02, 03. The colour cast from the flower is so bad, the insect turn out looking yellow. How to light it properly? Or just look for something blue or red?

    About the sharpness, I am not sure if it was because of my positions when taking them i.e. standing, kneeling, bending, eagle spread... Or should mount on monopod/tripod?

    Fish photography is quite different. At least they don't fly/hop/crawl beyond my reach. This is only my 3rd bug shoot. I haven't found the technical "feel" to it... Any reading material to recommend? Any tricks?

    ck
    Use a tripod or monopod will definitely help, at least ensuring sharpness. Background composition will depend greatly on the situation, so sometimes a little 'background' help can change the entire feel. Not referring to post processing help hor

    To avoid colour casting, follow choy's recommendation on longer exposure. I haven't got into a situation like you, probably because you were using a fast shutterspeed to compensate with your unstable posture?

    nothing to read, just go out and practice more often.

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    Your backgrounds very nice and creamy. get more depth of field by stopping down to F9-11 at least (shutter can range 1/60-1/250). Aim for the eyes. Keep ISO200-400.

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    This is why clamps help..hahaa..
    but then as choy mentioned..i find that when i started shooting bugs my shutter speed became slower and my iso usually was between 400-800.
    Sometimes i also use a reflector for the flash because i'm lazy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwchoy View Post
    for example you set shutter speed to 1/25s and dial your flash to really really low, with an appropriate aperture to get your desired DOF and proper exposure. then you can get your subject lit, while getting some of the background rather than total black if you had used fill flash at x-sync speed.
    Nothing is going to be sharp at 1/25s isn't it? The slightest wind and will have motion blur. Tricky. I will try it. Hopefully the bug will stay still long enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    Use a tripod or monopod will definitely help, at least ensuring sharpness. Background composition will depend greatly on the situation, so sometimes a little 'background' help can change the entire feel. Not referring to post processing help hor
    Yes, I realized that the background is rather important for the feel. Looks like I have to lug around one more piece of equipment: Monopod/tripod.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    To avoid colour casting, follow choy's recommendation on longer exposure. I haven't got into a situation like you, probably because you were using a fast shutterspeed to compensate with your unstable posture?

    nothing to read, just go out and practice more often.
    Yup. High shutter is a feeble attempt to compensate wind, handshake etc.
    Noted. Addictive. Wonder if will do more bugs than fish next time.

    Quote Originally Posted by budak View Post
    Your backgrounds very nice and creamy. get more depth of field by stopping down to F9-11 at least (shutter can range 1/60-1/250). Aim for the eyes. Keep ISO200-400.
    Thanks. I wanted to use a smaller aperture but it will be at the expense of dark background, hash contrast, low shutter speeds. Need to practice more.

    Quote Originally Posted by ranmasatome View Post
    This is why clamps help..hahaa..
    but then as choy mentioned..i find that when i started shooting bugs my shutter speed became slower and my iso usually was between 400-800.
    Sometimes i also use a reflector for the flash because i'm lazy.
    Another piece of equipment?? How many things must I bring out to field? How about flash bracket?
    This is getting hardcore...

    2 more questions.
    1. What diffuser to recommend? Is there a soft box thingy that can even out the lighting? Omnibounce doesn't seem to work very well for macro.
    2. How do you guys deal with checking the exposure on the LCD? Histogram?


    ck

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    1/25s is just a number I plucked out of the air. you have to pick the right shutter speed given your focal length, whether you have monopod, wind conditions, etc etc.
    why I don't do garden hybrids and aquarium strains: natural species is a history of Nature, while hybrids are just the whims of Man.
    hexazona crumenatum Galleria Botanica

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    I find Omnibounce is ok. What I usually do is reduce FEC to around -1 to -1.3 to further soften the light.

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    don't need omnibounce, with your dslr and flash, should be quite ok to fire direct then preview adjust and re-fire.

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    can also...but need to watch out for the shadow monster..

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    CK,
    Welcome to the club. I think the rest have given quite good advice on how to shoot them properly. You just need to practice more. For bugs that are not flat you will need tripod and dail your aperture to f16 or so. Don't worry about background first. Get the bug and to come up correctly first. Anyway, if you're near enough - as with all macro shots - even f16 should give you a blur background.
    - Luenny

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    don't need f16, unless your subject has alot of depth to cover

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    I know can up the aperture value la (for sharpness, DOF), but will be at the expense of a darker background and you loose light isn't it? Then will have to fill with flash. What I don't get is, how do you light your subject and background evenly? Say background and subject some brightness, you dial down/up aperture or shutter, both gets affected equally. You flash the subject, it becomes brighter than the background. No?

    Read a brief mention of 2nd curtain sync. How does that work for insect macro? (after taking everything else that you guys mentioned into consideration, of course).

    ck

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