Friday, May 30, 2008

Small Worlds

Taking pictures of the night sky has been a little frustrating so far this year. OH I am always up for a snapshot of the moon or a constellation but my real targets this year have been deep space objects, the things that you just cant see very well unless you have a most improbable set of circumstances stacked together, and a great deal of luck. I want to chase down a few galaxies. The odd nebula. Reflections an illuminations that take a great deal of luck to get as well as a lot of planning. The trouble is that the skies have been a little unkind and maybe I have been a little lazy. Anyway things are not really going to happen now until mid August at the earliest. The skies are just too light.
So I have decided to have a bash at the other end of the scale. Now this is a new field to me. I am waving an early effort at you today. Not I hasten to add because I think it is a particularly good picture. I am not being falsely modest here. What I need is some decent advice on how to improve. I want to get more depth of field I guess but if I reduce aperture I lose brightness or the time is so great that the beetle blurs. I don’t really want to nail him down. Do I have to use a flash? Also I seem to have failed to capture the iridescent blue of this little beetle. How do you get a fast macro photo with a good depth of field at extreme zoom in natural light? A tall order?
Any thoughts gratefully received.


sablonneuse said...

Sorry I can't offer any photographic advice but please could I put in a request:
if you start taking pics of spiders and plan to post a hugely magnified of photo of same, kindly warn me not to come and look until you go on to the next subject.
Sorry to be wimp but I am T E R R I F I E D of them.

startare said...

Same here, I mean about the lack of expertise in all things photographic.
Can't help noticing the Google ad that matches your post (or the picture?): it is for "gorgeous Ukrainian girls". Where's the sense in AdSense?

DaveM said...

Shoot with flash. This allows you to use an apperture of say f8 or f11 at 1/60th. or 1/125. speed, thereby giving you a better depth of field. The best one is a ring flash that fits over the end of the lens, as this gives an even spread of light and minimises the shadow effect. You can use an ordinary flash gun and this can give better results if its fitting to the side of the camera as opposed to on it and directly above the lens. You can get an extension bar and a cable connector leading from the flash gun to the camera.
If you find the flash is too harse sellotape a tissue over the flash gun head, this will diffuse the flash effect. If you do this you may need to open the apperture an extra stop say f5.6.

What you can do will depend on the equipment you have and how sophisticated it is. Sometimes is just a question of experimenting with your camera and equipment, but remember to record what you did etc for each shot. It helps for the next time!!!.

All this is from my photography days, at the moment I just use a compact digi camera which has very few adjustments, but slips into the pocket, rather than have to carry a rucksack full of stuff around.

Good luck there's a micro world waiting for you out there.

meredic said...

Sablonneuse - you can be sure that they are on the way!

Startare - oh Lord! I hope no one thinks I am pimping.

Dave - thanks for you comprehensive advice. I shall have a mess around with a few flashes then. I also think the tissue to difuse the flash.
The camera is a Canon SLR and EOS 400D and I as well as the standard lens I have a 70-300mm zoom so lots of things to play with.
Thanks again. I was king of hoping that you might answer this one.

Trixie said...

Sorry mate, can't help you at all. As a matter of fact, hardly any of that made sense to me! If the camera isn't built in to my mobile, I don't use one! lol

Fi said...

Kill the beetle is my suggestion, non moving subjects are much easier. Also you can place him under a bright light, doing away with the need for flash.

I think Dave's tips are better than mine, I would try to help more but I just mess around with lots of settings and promptly forget what they were. At least the camera remembers them...

DaveM said...

I've just fi's comment and remembered another old trick in taking close ups of insects, butterflies etc. Spray them with hair spray first, once set, you can take all the time in world to get that picture.

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