Alrighty so I have 28 photos to throw up here from yesterday and the day before, so bear with me. The light has been really good for macro work and the weather warm enough for the bugs to be about, so I’ve been practicing a number of techniques. Amongst these are manual focus in macro work (the nikon macro auto focus system is so reliable that I have scarcely practiced my macro manual focus technique) and flash. When I’m shooting bugs, I want, above all else, the eye to be in sharp focus – that means, in flies, each cell of the eye should be clearly visible. If that is absent, I won’t keep the picture. That has two implications. Firstly, it means I delete a lot of pictures. Second it means I have to shoot farely small apertures, usually between f/8 and f/16. That means short shutter speeds. If you want to train your overall camera technique, my only advice is to really practice macro. It brings out your skill in all areas of photography, and can reward you with some absolutely stellar images.
Despite the challenges, I’ve had a great ratio of keepers:junk over the past two days! When you have to wait for your flashes to recycle after every shot, you learn to get it right before pushing the trigger. Oh and also, you learn to appreciate just how ugly some members of the fly clade really are. Wow. I’m sure you’ll all agree with me, once you’ve seen the pictures.
This is the part that puts a hold on my new organisation system on the computer. I’m not sure if I’ve discussed it before, but I organise my nature photos phylogenically (that is to say, by kingdom -> phyla -> class -> order -> family -> genus -> species -> subspecies) That organisation system becomes complicated when the animals are unidentifiable, as is the case with the dozens of fly species that visit our daisies. I’m working around it though.
Anyhoo, that’s quite enough chitchat. Here are the photos!
Wahey and that’s that. I hope you like the pictures. Again, if you want prints, just talk to me. My contact card has my email on it, and you can also find me on twitter as the_moof, or facebook, at facebook.com/mark.scherz.
Now to go shoot some more of the same. Butterflies!