Welcome to EPZ Chris, and to the critique gallery. We have a number of volunteers that work on the critique team, along wqith some regular contributors that try help you to improve. Its a two way relationship we hope, where you tell us if we are helping you along and if you have questions, do ask; if we are missing the mark let us know too.
THis is a nice shot of a Bee doing its thing.Youve asked for feedback or advice on close-up photography, and in particular when the subjects are moving.
Lets look at this shot first and see whats to be learned. Not all of the Bee is sharp, or in focus; you can see the area of focus just behind the head, and that area, from wheres its sharp to where the sharpness ends, is quite shallow. Thats a perfect representation of shallow depth of field, or dof, a term used a lot in photography.
The depth of that area of focus, is determined mainly by the aperture, or f value; the smaller the aperture, the greater that depth. We have f/5.0 here, which essentially means the aperture is wide open; any aperture smaller than f/5, and thats f/8, f/11, f/16 increases that depth, doubling it each time. So f/5 has left the Bee partially sharp and focused.
The next point is that the area where the sharpness, or apparent sharpness starts, is behind the Bees head; so the camera focused a little behind, and you can control this to a large extent by using only one focus point, rather than the default multiple points; and my manually focusing, but that difficult with a moving Bee.
Any image of a subject that moving requires a fast shutter speed; in this shot, the speed is fast enough to stop most movement. The closer you get, the faster the shutter, as you will magnify movement. Your exposure mode is not specified here, however you would usually be controlling the camera using Aperture, Shutter priority, or Manual. This is something you will learn with practice, and theres tight interdependency between aperture, shutter, ISO and focal length. Faster shutter needs wider aperture, and if the light is poor, then ISO has to increase; the longer the focal length you have 185mm here, the faster the shutter, usually 1.5 times the focal length; and having VR does help, but only with your ability to hold the camera steady, - it wont help with a moving subject.
Close-up photography can be like this one, shot from far off using a zoom lens, but its more commonly understood to be a shot taken with a macro lens, close to the subject. Both have different techniques.
I have uploaded a modification, scroll up and click the tab, and view large; its as sharp as I can get it, plus its brighter. You can see that theres no real improvement in the depth of sharpness of the Bee, just a little improvement in the AMOUNT of sharpness.
Others that contribute to the critiques will add more on top of some of the general basics Ive covered, so stay tuned.