Critter Mix

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John K Veteran Member • Posts: 8,366
Critter Mix
7

We're still not out of lock down, so I've been limited to shooting macro just in my back yard. Fortunately I've planted enough flowers to attract a variety of critters, and I've ordered some and had them delivered to my front door.

I bought a kit so I could raise a few Swallowtail Butterflies (Papilio machaon) and this is a frame with the Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens set to just under 4x.

I shot a video of the "field studio" that I used to photograph this critter.

Tech Specs: Canon 80D (F11, 1/250, ISO 100) + a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens (almost 4x) + a diffused MT-26EX-RT with a Kaiser adjustable flash shoe on the "A" head (the key), E-TTL metering, -1/3 FEC). This is a single, uncropped, frame taken hand held. In post I used Topaz Denoise AI, Sharpen AI, and Clarity in that order.

Before sundown I went for a walk in my yard to see if I could find something to point the camera at and I spotted this European Wool Carder Bee snoozing in one of my Sunflowers. They normally emerge when the weather is very warm, so I haven't seen many of them yet.

Tech Specs: Canon 80D (F11, 1/250, ISO 100) + a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens (over 2x) + a diffused MT-26EX RT (E-TTL metering). This is a single, uncropped, frame taken hand held. In post I used Topaz Denoise AI, Sharpen AI, and Clarity in that order.

Every time I cast a shadow over this mating pair of Ladybugs the female would start running. So I had to keep letting the sun hit her so she'd stop and then rapidly frame, focus, and take the shot before she started moving. I got six frames before she moved to a spot where I couldn't photograph her and only two of them were usable.

Tech Specs: Canon 80D (F11, 1/50, ISO 100) + a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens (around 2x) + a diffused MT-26EX RT (E-TTL metering with -1/3 FEC). This is a single, uncropped, frame taken hand held. In post I used Topaz Sharpen AI and Clarity in that order.

There wasn't enough wind so this Sweat Bee felt me grab onto the stem of the Sourgrass Flower that it was foraging in and climbed to the top of it to investigate. But when it did it was facing away from me. So I carefully turned the flower so that the critter was facing the camera. Gotta be gentle, cause I didn't want to spook the bee into taking off and I didn't want to damage the flower. I managed to get the shot and leave the both the critter and the Sourgrass unharmed.

Tech Specs: Canon 80D (F11, 1/250, ISO 100) + a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens (over 2x) + a diffused MT-26EX-RT with a Kaiser adjustable flash shoe on the "A" head (the key), E-TTL metering, -1/3 FEC, second curtain sync). This is a single, uncropped, frame taken hand held. In post I used Topaz Denoise AI, Sharpen AI, and Clarity in that order.

I watched this Sweat Bee foraging for pollen in a Sunflower and tried to predict where it was going to be and the angle I needed to get as much depth as possible. Then I focused on an anther and waited for her to start stripping out the pollen. She was moving so fast I could only get one shot before I had to set up on another anther. Lots of deleted frames.

This one is still a work in progress, since I'm trying to get a shot without anything in the foreground to distract the viewer from the subject. Several years ago I taught myself to do all of the framing and composition with my peripheral vision. If I took the time to look around the viewfinder the subject will have moved before I can look back at it. By using my peripheral vision I don't have to take my concentration off of where I want the focus to start and that's how I can track a moving subject with the camera, even up to 5x mag. I also don't have to center every shot and then crop in post. Twisting my wrists to lay the area of acceptable focus over as much of the critter as possible is also automatic now.

Tech Specs: Canon 80D (F11, 1/250, ISO 100) + a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens (2x) + a diffused MT-26EX RT (E-TTL metering). This is a single, uncropped, frame taken hand held. In post I used Topaz Denoise AI, Sharpen AI, and Clarity in that order.

Here's another frame that I took yesterday, same situation as the one above where I'm tracking a hyperactive female as she forages fro Sunflower pollen.

Tech Specs: Canon 80D (F11, 1/250, ISO 100) + a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens (2x) + a diffused MT-26EX RT (E-TTL metering). This is a single, uncropped, frame taken hand held. In post I used Topaz Denoise AI, Sharpen AI, and Clarity in that order.

The downside to shooting into a yellow flower is that it acts as a reflector, bouncing very warm light back to the subject that's only reduced by roughly one stop.Easy to keep from crushing the shadows, but it makes adjusting the white balance and tint a bit of a pain.

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Also known as Dalantech
My Book: http://nocroppingzone.blogspot.com/2010/01/extreme-macro-art-of-patience.html
My Blog: http://www.extrememacro.com
My gallery: http://www.johnkimbler.com
Macro Tutorials: http://dalantech.deviantart.com/gallery/4122501/Tutorials
Always minimal post processing and no cropping -unless you count the viewfinder...

Canon EOS 80D Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.5 1-5x Macro
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