Macro: 2011 so far.

July 06, 2011  •  Leave a Comment

I really love macro photography – it’s a chance to get down and dirty with nature and find things that you’ve never noticed were all around you.  Most of these shots are from my garden (which is nothing special), with a few from local heathland.  I just wanted to share my favourites so far from this year… (don’t worry, there’s only a couple of spiders!)

These are the petals of one of the flowers I bought for my wife.  I took it as a 365 shot early on in the year.

Reaching Up

 

This is a Wolf Spider.  It looks big and scary, but it’s only about 6mm long (body) – the black space it’s in is the gap between the door and frame of my dilapidated shed!

Mr Wolf (48/365)

 

A dew drop on the end of a blade of grass.  This was flash lit, and had a big bit of glare at the bottom of the drop, so I used the clone tool in Lightroom to copy local grass across – easy, and amazingly effective.

Drop

 

Another spider – this one is a Nursery Web Spider.  A little bit longer and more slender than the Wolf Spider above, and I deliberately cropped this shot for a more sinister look.

In Wait... (62/365)

 

A daisy.  Nothing special, but you don’t get to see the underside very often.

Underneath Daisy (109/365)

 

This Large Red Damselfly shot was taken at a local bit of heathland.  I was practically laying on a pile of leaves to get the shot, and once I’d taken it I noticed the strange noise coming from the leaves.  I hopped up, looked down and saw I’d been lying in a massive load of wood ants!

Large Red Damselfly (110/365)

 

I don’t have much experience with butterflies – I thought this was a Wall butterfly, but I’ve been informed it’s a Speckled Wood (and that looks like a better match too!).

Wall Butterfly (I think)

 

I’ve been taking macro shots for more than 3 years, and have tried many different setups.  I generally use a specific flash setup now, but I always try to get natural light shots if I can.  I really like this one – the shallow depth of field, the clarity of the ends of the seeds and the dark green background.

Stuck in the Middle (116/365)

 

This was a quick shot – it’s always good to get out after rain (or even during rain!)

Rain Drops (166/365)

 

Whilst this isn’t a perfect shot (too much flash glare and very heavily cropped), I’m pleased that I managed to catch this little mite (literally).  It’s a red spider mite – one of those tiny, tiny red dots that you see wandering around on the ground during spring and summer in the UK.  It can’t be much more than 1mm long – that’s the power of macro!

Spider Mite (172/365)

 

Another natural light shot – a bit of a different angle to usual.  Nice shallow depth of field, looking down on the moth.  He/She was obliging enough to keep their antennae mostly in the plane of focus, so I think this works well.

Moth (182/365)

 

Yesterday, I finally found a few grasshoppers.  I’ve been seeing them out in the garden quite a bit recently, but I’ve not had my camera with me or been in a situation when I can’t take the shots.  Today, I went out to specifically find them, and in the grass around a lavender bush we have I found what I was after.  This first one was flash lit – I think (s)he looks quite cute!

 

And this was natural light – very shallow DoF at f/2.8.  This little one stayed still long enough for me to try f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6 and f/9, and whilst most of the f/2.8 ones didn’t work (you have to be soooo accurate with focus at that setting), this one had both the sharpness in the important areas of the grasshopper, and the loss of any background detail.  Happy with this.

There will be more macro over the year – especially in autumn when the spiders come back out to play properly!  It really is amazing what you can find!

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