Sunday, September 21, 2008

Technique

Moth at High Mag series 1-4
Moth at High Mag series 1-4
Originally uploaded by Dalantech.
Recently over at the Fred Miranda Macro Forum we were having a friendly discussion about which macro lens is best -and granted, we all know that it's the photographer who makes the image and not the gear. But I couldn't help putting my .02 in for the Canon MPE-65mm macro lens as well as add a few photos to the thread and the original poster had this to say:

“Very nice...I wonder, were these insects glued in place or dead from the freezer?, because I dought the working distance of the MPE 65mm is more than a couple of inches at best and I know how hard it is to capture shy bugs with a lens barrel looming up close to them...”

This was my response:

A fair question. I never shoot dead insects, but I do study the behavior of live critters so I can take advantage of their quirks to get close. With bees I get most of my photos in the early spring when the temperatures are low and the sun dips behind the clouds (the bees need the heat to drive their metabolism)...

5x
Miner Bee Mix series 1-5

...or after it rains (notice the wet hair)...

2x
After the Rain series 1-3

...or early in the morning when it's still cool...

2x
Solitary Bee 2008 series 2-3

...and they are covered in dew...

2x
Solitary Bee 2008 series 2-1

...sometimes they'll even crawl onto your hand to get warm...

2x
My Pet Bee series 1-3

...or shoot late in the day when they have perched for the night (this one is sleeping and I'm holding onto the twig)...

2.5x
Sleeping Solitary series 2-4

...you can even shoot very timid insects when it's windy since they would rather deal with you than the wind...

2x
Butterfly March 2008 series 1-3

...so you see there really is no such thing as a "bug lens" and that having a short working distance actually allows me to get photos that I wouldn't be able to take with longer glass...
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