Discussion in 'Macro' started by paddler4, Sep 22, 2019.
Very nice image, indeed. Please share some of the technical details - lens, camera, exposure, post processing steps on this image and your other insect image?
Sure. I used a Canon 7D because it has a higher pixel density than my FF camera--hence more pixels on the subject. I used a 100mm macro with a 36 mm extension, which gets me well over 1:1 if I can get close enough (which I often can't). The lighting is a standard flash (430 EX II) positioned directly by the front of the lens using a home-made bracket assembly. The flash is highly diffused; I have the wide-angle diffuser in place and have a home-made diffuser taped to the front, with a couple of sheet of parchment paper on that for more diffusion. I shoot normally at 1/125 and f/13 (nominal), using ETTL mode on the flash to let it control exposure. I vary ISO to increase or decrease the brightness of the background (with a higher ISO, ambient light matters more, and the fall-off to black takes a greater distance), but my starting point is ISO 200, which is what I used here. I set the focus on the lens manually, depending on the level of magnification I want, and then focus on the bug by rocking on a monopod. The whole rig is very awkward, and between my moving more than I should and the bugs moving more than I want, I usually have to take a bunch of shots so that I have one in sharp focus. In this case, I took somewhere over 20 shots and had perhaps 4 or 5 that were decent but only a couple that were really tack sharp.
This is what the rig looks like, except this shows a Wimberly bracket that I usually don't use rather than my home-made one.
Oops. Forgot about postprocessing. Nothing special. Because the lighting is controlled, these shots generally don't need complex local adjustments, and I can usually do them entirely in Lightroom. These three were done that way. The last one was the most complex, as the position of the flash wasn't ideal for the body of the bee, but even this one was not complicated. All I did was some global tonal adjustments, some dodging and burning, some texture, and sharpening. I cropped relatively little, which is a key to keeping it sharp. I altered WB a little, as it was a bit too yellow. That's about it.
BTW, even though in general, fine detail calls for a small radius in sharpening, I have found that in doing bug macros, I generally get better results if I increase the radius to around 1.5. I mask heavily to avoid sharpening smooth areas. I'd have to look, but I think most of them have a sharpening amount between 50 and 70.
Thank you very much for the information. You have given me much to think about.
Because of what I consider to be a very high level of art and technology on this site, I don't do "likes" -- but if I did, this would be one of them.
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