Babies are so cute.
Babies are so cute.,
originally uploaded by Paul D’Andrea.
Spring is by far my favorite season. As the garden and trees wake up after winter I wake up with them. I love time spent outside looking close at the world popping to life.
Real close. I don’t want to miss any of it, and the macro world is so fascinating. You don’t have to look hard to find incredible subjects.
I don’t own a real macro lens, I get by though with an old manual Hanimar 55mm 1.7 handed down from my dad. I mount this lens reversed to my camera in two ways, one, mounted to the body with a knock-off BR-2A that I got off eBay.
The second is to use two Cokin P adapters (one 67mm and one 52mm) face-to-face, so that the end of my 70-300VR attaches to the end of the 55mm 1.7. Like this.
For lighting I’ve done all sorts of things. One is to use the cut out side of a milk jug rubber-banded to the lens to diffuse the popup flash (and to make it relatively large). Another it to use a flash bracket flipped over and crooked, so the flash is upside down and firing from the side.
For the photo on this post I first set up a shoot through umbrella to provide shade from the harsh sun. This wasn’t giving me enough light to get any depth of field at all so I set up two flashes on a bracket, shooting through the umbrella, set at 1/2 power each.
Because I stopped down to get a better depth of field I shot at ISO800. For stability I held the hours-old mantis on my hand, rested the lens on my arm and rocked it back and forth (ever so slightly) for focus.