Just another Macro Monday

Sometimes when I head outside to do nature photography, a few nice shots quickly present themselves to me.  Other times, I am outside for hours and the subjects are not cooperating or I just can’t find anything that catches my eye.  3 hours had gone by after lugging around 2 cameras in a local meadow today and it looked like it was time to throw in the towel.  Low and behold, a charismatic insect in a charismatic setting was found while returning to my car.


Asian Lady Beetle atop a white blossom (probably Queen Anne’s Lace).

The above photo was taken with the Tamron SP 90mm VC Macro Lens and a Canon EOS 7D.  It is generally my preference to shoot from a tripod but when your subject is blowing from a breeze I find that a tripod can actually become an obstacle to getting the capture.  The sky had clouded over at this point in the day so I switched the exposure to full manual controls to ensure a proper bright image.  At ISO 400, which I consider my upper threshold for daytime macro shooting, I was still limited to a low shutter speed. 

Choosing a fairly large aperture of F/3.2 allowed more light to hit the camera’s sensor and provided a “dreamy” rendition of the white blossoms.  Composition-wise I thought that executing a vertical photo would create a more dynamic picture and the Beetle is in pretty good compliance with the Rule of Thirds.  I did have to shoot at least a dozen frames with the VC (Vibration Compensation) on.  1/100 of a second is not a very fast shutter speed to freeze a small fragile plant swaying in the breeze and increasing the ISO would degrade the image quality too much for my liking.  Nature photography does take a good deal of tenacity and perseverance in my opinion, but a few sharp shots a day keeps the grumpy Dave’s away.

Uncommon wildlife encounters

I have no problem photographing the ordinary and trying my hardest to make it look flattering, but every once in a while you stumble upon an animal or scenic opportunity that you feel very lucky to have encountered.  That’s how I felt when I discovered a group of young American Alligators calling for their not too distant mother.  I assumed I would have plenty of opportunities to photograph adult Gators on my Florida trip, but didn’t dream of a golden chance like this.

Baby Gator in Wetlands

Young American Alligator

Sunset over Wetlands, Loxahatchee NWR

I just flew back home to NJ from Florida yesterday morning and I have lots of files (hopefully good ones to sift through.  I will be uploading new images from the trip regularly to http://flickr.com.com/davidraymond but I hope to provide some commentary and technique on individual photos on here as well.

Here’s one sample landscape image from the trip to take a look at it, meanwhile I’ve got to get back to the RAW file processing!

Florida Landscape Photograph

Sunset over Wetlands