Thursday, July 3, 2008
Sleeping Solitary Deconstruction
Since the bee was on rather long plant stem, and was pretty much fully asleep, I could move it around quite a bit. So I positioned it close to the ground with my left had so I could get some of the light from the flash to bounce off of the background and back into the camera to keep the area behind the bee from being completely black. At five times life size the flash is going to fall off quickly so I had to get within a few inches of some grass to get anything to show up in that upper left hand corner.
Now that I'm holding onto the plant stem that the bee is roosting on with my left hand it's a simple matter of resting the lens against that same hand and then slide it to get the focus point where i wanted it. Because of the way the MT-24EX's flash heads were positioned the focusing lamps were useless, but I had enough natural light anyway. See those hairs at the leading edge of the critters eye? That's what I concentrated on when I was focusing the scene. The lenses in the eye aren't easy to see sometimes, but it's easy to tell when those hairs are in focus. Also notice that I'm shooting from an angle that almost puts the eye perpendicular to the lens. Since the plane of sharp focus is also perpendicular to the lens most of the eye is razor sharp. I took four frames at 5x and I refocused for each shot. Of all of them I liked the sharpness and the composition of the image in this post.
I had the camera set to F11, 1/250 (max sync speed for the Canon 40D) and ISO 100. I'm also shooting with a Hoya 81A warming filter. In post all I had to do was run NoiseWare Professional, adjust levels (set a black spot), auto sharpen, and then rub out dust spots with the healing brush before saving the image as a JPG. Not much to post processing because most of it is done before I press the shutter release ;)