Sunday, 15 July 2007

First Macro Shots

I wrote recently that I had managed to purchase a 'new' (used just a couple of times by the previous owner) EF-S 60mm f2.8 macro. I've got it mainly for weddings to do detail shots, but of course when you get a macro lens your thoughts immediately turn to bugs 'n stuff.

So to give my 'new' macro a test drive, I went out today into the winter's sun in search of insects to shoot. It took me ages to find any, but once I did I was amazed at how many I must have missed as I went back over sections of the garden. I settled on two particularly large stick insects that were in the right light, and in very close proximity to each other.

It was very windy, although I tried to set up so that the wind was kept to a minimum. Still, I found myself waiting regularly for the wind to die down before taking the shot. Once I was set up, the next consideration was focusing - and depth of field. For focusing I switched to manual, and for depth of field I sat on around f8 to get decent sharpness and fast enough shutter speeds considering the wind. Of course, all of this was set up with a tripod, again to minimise any chance of blur or shake being introduced to the final image.

I'm not a macro specialist, and I don't profess to be, but I was very pleased with the results I managed to get from this set up. I did have to get up very close and personal to the insects, but they seemed to tolerate my presence (for about half an hour at least), long enough for me to get off twenty or so shots.

They aren't the most technically brilliant macro's ever taken, but I was very happy with my first outing with the EF-S 60mm f2.8. It was a whole heap of fun, so it won't be the last time I go out looking for small creatures to photograph.

One last thing about the whole experience as far as using the 30D is concerned. Because I was outside in fairly bright light, I struggled to get a decent 'feel' for the image off of the LCD screen. In fact, until I got back inside and viewed them on the computer, I thought the images looked horrible! In this respect I think the Nikon LCD screens have got it all over Canon (and no, I'm not trying to turn this into a Canon vs Nikon thing - I just think it's a legitimate observation). I did check the histogram on the 30D often, and all looked good, so I just hoped that this would translate into good images on the computer - and it did. Whew!

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