Saturday, February 25, 2012


Just so you have an idea of the difference between my former setup (18-200mm telephoto lens with built-in flash) and current equipment (105mm macro lens with external flash), here is a comparison:

Another photo experiment

This morning I tried a little bit different setup with the butterflies instead of my camera and it turned out quite nice, I think I'm getting closer to the effect I wanted (limited to no shadow, plus a fuzzy background).  A few years ago I read something about using a pane of glass a few inches above a sheet of paper to obtain the neutral background and to allow more room for the shadows to disappear, and to use a bit of clay to stick the pin into on the glass.  I used white paper but you can see it turned out a very nice soft gray which is perfect.  Here is the result, using the same camera and flash settings as last night:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Introducing my new macro photo setup

Drum roll please.....
(click on the photos for full impact!)

I need to learn how to better use all the settings the external flash provides, along with fine-tuning my camera settings to take the clearest photos, but I have to say that taking photos like these straight out of the box is making me quite giddy with excitement!  Eventually I'll have to get a second flash unit so I can have one on either side of the camera to cut down on shadows when taking photos of specimens.  For now, the single flash unit is working great and will be all I need for outdoor photos of live insects and flowers, as I'll just need it to provide a little extra lighting, and two flashes from different angles wouldn't look very natural in that setting.
My camera equipment is now as follows:
Nikon D80 camera
Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm lens (macro lens)
Nikon SC-28 TTL remote cord (for connecting to the flash from the camera when the flash isn't directly on the camera)
Nikon SB-700 Speedlight Flash
Manfrotto 293 tripod

First post of the new year

In my last post I talked a bit about some of the moths going into hibernation; I guess I followed their example!  Although I've been quiet with the blog, I have kept very busy these past months, and lately things are picking up even more.  I'm on pins and needles today because a package of camera equipment is due to arrive today, which will allow me to take better photos of all my butterfly specimens as well as insects and flowers in the wild.  Guess what I'll be doing this weekend?  Keep tuned in for photos!