Look at me!

Originally uploaded by kirispupis.
I thought I'd blog about a bit more unusual a picture today for a bit of a change in my blog. As those who know me already know, my favorite types of shots are extreme macro shots - generally bugs or reflections on dew drops. I have done a few shots of flowers, but in truth they are so overdone that I have a hard time finding original shots of them.
What I like about extreme bug shots is they really get the 'character' of the bug. The bug begins looking more like an actual living thing than simply a 'potential target of squishing'. Of course, these shots are not easy to get and it took me a number of attempts on multiple days to finally get a portrait of a pill bug I liked.
Pill bugs are interesting and very photogenic little bugs. They are very easy to find - just pick up any somewhat rotting or rotting piece of wood and you'll find a bunch of them. For those of who who garden, they are extremely common.
They are called "pill bugs" because when threatened they roll up into the shape of a pill to expose only their hard outer shell. It seems that some species of pill bugs are more likely than others to roll into a shell. I have seen several species here, though I only know enough to call them all 'pill bugs'.
The macro lens I use (MP-E65) required me to get extremely close to get this shot. For lighting, I used the Canon twin-lite flash. The trick of course is getting the bug to hold still enough, getting the camera at the right angle where I can get the shot and still have a decent DOF, and holding the camera still enough to get the shot. Generally, bugs will not stay still enough for me to use a tripod, so all of my bug shots are hand held. To compensate, I use the fastest shutter speed my camera allows and shoot everything with manual exposure. In the beginning, I used f16 for most of my macro shots but I found them a bit soft which is typical for this lens so now most of them are shot with f11. I have heard that f5.6 is really the sweet spot for this lens at this magnfiication but I am a bit hesitant to try it because the DOF will likely not be satisfactory.

Comments (1)

  1. mon@rch says:

    Joe, I so love your macro shots and even better when your taking macro’s of many legged critters!    You can be sure that I am going to blog this post for everyone to see!  Might take a while for me to catch up on all your post (wow, you go back to 2004, why havn’t I seen this before now?)

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