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Green Bug.

By paulbroad
Here for two reasons. One the usual comment, the other, anyone know what it is? Looked like a small Sheild Bug, but very small and they are normally larger unless it's a youngster. Less than 1/4 inch long.

EOS 7D with Sigma 150mm EX Macro at minimum focusing range to image about 1.6:1. Greater than life size. Sigma ring flash on auto but set at +2.3 stops at this magnification from experience. Manual on camera, 1/200 @ f18. ISO100. Focus on manual, camera on monopod. Focus by moving whole set up backwords and forewards.

All you out there new to macro, note there settings. They are mine, but might be a starting point for you. You do need flash for these of course.


Tags: Flash Macro Close Green Bug Wildlife and nature

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


6 5.1k 125 United Kingdom
27 Aug 2013 8:27AM
Although at first sight your images does appear to be very good Paul, they're a few minor faults which you might like to take into consideration. Firstly there appears to be a lot of movement in the image causing the vast majority of the composition to be out of focus. It is very difficult to pin point your focus point, however one can only assume it is the head of the little chap "Shield Bug". Choosing an aperture of f/18 gives you a larger depth of field. This does not appear to work out in practice, as I can only see a very narrow dof which tells me that you used a larger aperture. Capturing little critters like this I and many others normally opt for Ae (Aperture Priority) and in addition to that I select a higher !SO in order to bump up the Shutter Speed. If your ring flash fired then this would have accounted for the 1/200 second exposure which whether you are firing indoors in a studio or outdoors your camera will only stay at 1/200 or slightly faster at 1/250 because of the sync time.

Regards Nathan

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Ayoob 5 Australia
27 Aug 2013 8:34AM
Great macro shot........Grin
Nigeve1 Plus
3 1.4k 101 United Kingdom
27 Aug 2013 9:38AM
Great macro image, DOF with quite narrow apature and focus point has rendered the eye, head and most of the body in focus, I presume it is very small 3-4mm? (the bug). The antennae are also in focus; so often in macro images one or both are soft due to narrow DOF, I assume you made careful use of hyperfocal effect. The use of ringflash has rendered good even lighting in this case and absence of more distant areas has avoided the dark background which can sometimes detract from macro images with ringflash.
paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
27 Aug 2013 2:21PM
I don't think you've read my intro, Nathan. The magnification is 1.6:1. That means the depth of field, even at f18, will be about 2 mm! The ISO choice is due to using the ring flash as the only light source, thus the camera is set on manual to use just the flash.

Ideally, macro needs tiny apertures and a lot of light. If the ring flash had not fired in synch, then the frame would have been black. The only reason to up ISO is not enough light. In effect, the actual shutter speed is the flash duration, something well over 1/1000 second, so there shouldn't be much subject movement, but if there were, nothing would be sharp.

Macro is a skill in it's own right and we are getting a lot of it at the moment. The warm UK weather has brought out the insects. Looking through the critique section shows how many people need help with macro. Macro, remember. Not close up.

banehawi Plus
12 1.5k 3529 Canada
27 Aug 2013 3:36PM
The use of ring flash is in itself an area where techniques are used that would not be used with on camera flashes. I think this is whats going on here, and what needs to be understood. The bug is quite sharp, and as Nathan pointed out, that super shallow dof makes it difficult to pinpoint the actual focus point.

The ring flash special properties allow the use of very small apertures, as the flash surrounds the lens, and is concentrated right in from of the lens, coming in from all 360 degrees.

The shutter speed is in fact almost irrelevant, - this would look just the same at 1/100 as 1/200, as the exposure is exclusively performed by the flash.

So for the macro readers, and the ongoing discussion, this is a ring flash, - a special flash used for macro photography. It is possible to use an off camera Speedlight, but nothing beats the ring.



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