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Hope you like the variety I have tried to bring in my portfolio. Most of the images have been put here for comment and that is always appreciated. I spend quite a bit of time in the Critique section and I know many visit my portfolio because I have passed comment on their work. Hope you think my work is of a reasonable standard.

I know that, even with 50 years experience there are still things to learn and that technology changes quickly.
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A quick view of paulbroad's recent activity.

  • Windswept

    As above. do not assume because the lens has f1.8 that you should use it much! f2.8 or 4 will be better for a bit of depth, but accurate focusing is still mandatory.

    • 21 Jul 2017 1:04PM
  • Acca Sellowiana

    I think there are comments here from those who may not appreciate what a ring flash is all about. There are a number of types but the basic idea is SHADOWLESS lighting when very close up. Better ring flash have at least two tubes so that you can vary the power of each to give modelling.

    Ring flash does a first class job when used correctly and is ideally meant for more scientific and record shots. This and other dedicated macro flash units can be the ONLY way to get decent depth of fied and sharp macro shots.

    Cheaper units just have one tube giving flat lighting. There is a tendency to call circular LED units ring flash and they are not, neither are they powerful enough.Ring flash, n it's basic form, is designed not to cast shadows - dentists and docturs use them or variations for medical shots in confined spaces - like mouths!

    You do not make clear which ring flash you used or what 'homemade contraption' means?

    This suffers pictorially from the very black background. You could use a slower shutter speed to get some ambient or place other foliage close behind to give tone. it is slightly soft, which may be hand holding and/or the effect of f22. I use the 105 mm Sigma which is quite superb, but tend to stop af f18.

    • 21 Jul 2017 1:02PM
  • Bordoir

    You get some good ideas and opportunities and then your technique is not good. We have said this so many times! You must try and get some decent quality, never mind composition - if the quality is poor, content and composition become rather less relevant.

    It's all said above - poor ligthing, but also the wrong aperture and shutter speed even for that lighting.

    Think before shooting.

    • 21 Jul 2017 12:51PM
  • Hoverfly in flight.

    I've put it in this section because I think there is something to discuss - a different method than what is normally recommended that seems to work. I have little interest in awards and feel that others might learn from more experienced workers experiments.

    My experience of the main gallery suggests that certain types of image get the votes and awards and that there is little or no comment or discussion other than 'great capture' or similar!

    It is worth trying macro with the same technique you might use for a flying bird or aircraft. Never tried before and first attempts seem encouraging.

    • 19 Jul 2017 5:06PM
  • Another dragonfly

    Not bad by many standards but the comments are as before. A much better composition, but you are half a stop over exposed and the depth of field is tiny on a big insect. Only the top right wing as viewed and a bit of body are sharp. You need f16 to f22 but then there is lens quality at those settings and light.

    You should not be using such high ISO for natural history macro unless absolutely necessary. Here you could have come down to 1/1000 with a supported lens, but I rarely go above ISO400 with a macro lens, preferring 200 or 100 and ring flash.

    You are trying to make water run uphill with a lens that is not very good at what you are trying to do. I had the Sigma 50/500 for years and tried some insects when force put. Most in the bin as I remember.

    • 19 Jul 2017 8:41AM
  • Better now?

    If you print a lot, as I do, you soon know if your screen is correct! I have mine set slightly bright to match my printer output which then looks correct. All to do with preference.

    Here, you are a bit too vibrant over all for me, but the left image has the more appealing tones and density. The right is just starting to go a touch muddy. As John says, different controls do different things but the effects overlap. You may be bit contrasty on the left but that links to vibrance.

    • 19 Jul 2017 8:35AM
  • Dragonfly

    It is actually a good try with totally the wrong gear. A male emperor I think.

    For this type of shot, ideally, you need the insect a bit bigger in the frame, although this is a decent composition pictorially, and the body/head need to be pin sharp. The really long zooms are just not designed for this and you have done about as well as you could.

    Insect macro or close up almost demands lowest possible ISO for sharpness and clarity and f16 to 22 for depth of field.

    • 18 Jul 2017 8:14AM

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