Ewww! Bugs

Ewww!  Bugs. 

Here is collection of stupid bugs.  How do I know they are stupid?  Any organism with so few brain cells that you can count them all is stupid.  These were just bugs that were around when I was out shooting other stuff.   I shot them with a variety of lenses and settings, but here are a few tips for getting good shots of buggage:

  • Resist the urge to stomp on them (take their picture first).
  • Open your lens all the way to blur the background (smaller f/stop number), focus n’ shoot, refocus ‘n shoot, refocus n’ shoot.
  • Stop your lens down one or two stops to increase what is in focus (depth of field) by spinning that wheel next to the shutter button (larger f/stop number) then focus  n’ shoot, refocus ‘n shoot, refocus n’ shoot.
  • Focus on the nearest eye; it is what people look at the most.
  • Try a few angles and remember, your depth of field will be thin so most of the picture will be out of focus:
    1. Perpendicular – Put camera perpendicular to the bug’s body to get most of the bug’s body in focus
    2. Angle – Put the bug at an angle so you see some his (or her?) body but still see the whole face (do bugs have faces?)
    3. Straight – Shoot the face straight on.
  • If you are using a zoom lens, zoom all the way in, then back off the zoom just a bit to sharpen the picture (zooms are softest at their extremes).
  • Carry an extension tube with you at all times and pop it between your lens and camera body as this great accessory will allow you to get closer to your bug as it increases the lens’s ability to focus close up.
  • Shoot a ton of pictures because most will be awful and electrons are free.

Most of the pictures I take of bugs end up in the trash due to blurriness.  There are two reasons for this, 1) Shaky hands, and 2) incorrect focus point.

For shaky hands, I always use lenses with image stabilization / vibration reduction.  But even with this marvelous technology, my messed up neural system will wreck most of my pictures.  So, I almost always drag along a tripod and I try to shoot in live mode to minimize mirror flop shake.  (Hmmm…. “mirror flop shake” sounds like something you do after a shower.)   To improve my focus problems, I take Ritalin… er actually, I shoot many shots and always refocus before each click so at least one or two of them will be in focus.

By the way, none of these pictures were taken with a dedicated macro lens.  While I didn’t document how I took these, I most likely used an extension tube and or cropped heavily.

The Equipment:

Location Types: Backyard. Galleries: Bugs and Critters and Nature. Tags: Extension Tube.

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