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f16, ISO 200, 1/200sec flash used from the right.

Chasing me is a hobby to spiders - see they always know who is and is not afraid of them and make shure those that are get a good chasing!
Still when he rested for a few moments I got a chance to try the setup at some (around) 3:1 macro - and its hard!
I think I either need a different diopter setting for this sort of work or my diopter might be slightly wrong in setting (or I just shot badly Wink) because I did get around 38 shots of his back and 2 of his face! Getting the focus on the eyes was anything but easy.
Also the flash had to be on the right as in the hotshoe shadowing (working distance only a few cms) would be a problem with such a long lens - I hope to have a bracket soon so that the flash can be above the setup more rather than to one side where it gives thick shadows to one side.

Any comments/crits welcome - thank you

Camera:Canon EOS 400D
Lens:Sigma 150mm macro, 1.4 teleconverter and Raynox DCR 250
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Title:Coming to get ya!
Username:Overread Overread
Uploaded:29 Mar 2009 - 8:02 PM
Tags:Close-up / macro, Wildlife / nature
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
Admiral_Frost
29 Mar 2009 - 8:46 PM

Errrr too close for me great shot and yes they do know who's afraid !!
Dave

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User_Removed
29 Mar 2009 - 9:30 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Using a standard flash with macro is always tricky and can be a bit hit and miss. You have done well on this.

I tend to try for natural light where I can, but the smaller aperture to get the depth of field tends towards slower shutter speeds - fine if the subject is not going to move.

I have found a cheap reflector/diffuser useful. The reflector can bring in natural light where you are working in shadow (avoiding the need to use flash), or can be used to bounce the flash back onto the shadow side, reducing those black areas. The diffuser can be used to soften the flash.

A reflector would have brought out the dark side of the spider on this shot (literally - not metaphorically).

I have a cheap Kood version which folds up to the size of a tea plate and has diffuser, silver reflector and gold reflector as a zip on cover.

If I am using flash I tend to hand hold it off camera rather than on a bracket (camera on tripod).

The other useful accessory I use a lot is a 'Plamp' - a sort of flexible plant clamp. It is useful to stop stalks moving in the breeze when photographing plants or the insects sitting on them. This allows for slower shutter speeds and smaller apertures. I also use it sometimes to hold the reflector.

Brett

Last Modified By User_Removed at 29 Mar 2009 - 9:32 PM

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isibs
isibs  6 United Kingdom
29 Mar 2009 - 9:42 PM

Looks good , have you tried using another light type and adjusting the camera settings as you were shooting in raw, which mite help with focusing .
A ring flash could help if you are chasing the beasteis round the house.

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DATMAN
DATMAN  8
29 Mar 2009 - 9:50 PM

Great shot with super concentration on the face area.
I try to apply my 32 rule initially then adjust from that starting point. The rule is ISO320, 1/320th sec @ F32. To equalise shadow areas I use a Sigma EM-140DG Macro flashgun. It's very versatile.
Den

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Overread
Overread  53745 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
30 Mar 2009 - 11:52 AM

Thanks for the advice all!
Brettb - plamps and reflectors are something that I have considered using and a reflector like the one you describe is most likly the sort I would go after for some versatility. I do rather like "collecting" kit together so I try to control myself by making very sure that I not only want to but also understand how to use new bits of gear before I get them. I have been wanting to look into a plamp and reflector setup for some time now - the plamp mostly as I do a lot of my shooting handheld and so would like the plamp to hold the reflector - in light/no wind is this easily possible whislt remaining mobile?

Datman - that rule might work well, but sadly I don't think I can put it to use at the moment since my understanding of settings is rather basic - and because my camera lets me change increments in less than one stop sections I don't have a good idea what the full stop settings are as such. Its something to consider for the future though.

As for ringflashes in general I would really like one though at the moment I have my sights set on the canon twinlight setup - mostly as I also have my eyes on the MPE65mm macro also.

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User_Removed
30 Mar 2009 - 5:03 PM

I find the Plamp and reflector mobile and fine in a light breeze - both are small and light when not in use. The reflector just springs into shape and folds back with a twist. They are also quite a cheap addition to the kit.

I have thought about the twinlight set up as opposed to ring flash - it would have more versatility. I wonder whether the consistency of the ring flash might in the end make for predictable, repetitive shots. In the end cost will be the issue - there are other things I'd like first!
Brett

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JackAllTog
JackAllTog e2 Member 53469 forum postsJackAllTog vcard United Kingdom58 Constructive Critique Points
13 May 2011 - 3:10 PM

wow, that's a stack of lenses, again the raynox looks great. f16 is quite shallow still.
those extra hairs do distract a bit don't they.

Nice image Smile

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