Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Yes, More Bees

This is filler material since I haven't made much progress on any of my bigger posts (Sonia trigger review, $30 garage studio).

On a whim the other day I decided to go out to the garden and shoot a little with my macro lens (a 100mm FD with EOS/FD converter). Boy, the biggest problem with the thing is it doesn't automatically stop down when the shutter is released since the mechanical aperture release doesn't work on EOS. Well, it does, but there's a big difference between automatically hitting that lever and rotating the wheel on the converter. The end result is it is difficult to find focus on fast moving objects, let alone compose a frame well.

So, out of 90 shots, I got maybe six decent ones. Oddly enough, many of them looked very similar, like these last two. Click to see them larger...

I used strobes because I wanted to get as much depth of field as possible and avoid shutter speed blur and noise from high ISOs. Plus, I just wanted to play with my flashes :)

At first, I tried to use the sun as a third light (actually, at first I tried to use a strobe as a third light, but that's another story). My goal was to use the sun as fill but I quickly found having my key light be something other than the sun gave me very different results in the image than when I looked through the viewfinder. So, instead, I used the standard cross-lighting the sun approach but lined up my key light with the sun, so what I saw in the viewfinder approximated the final image and I was able to drop the ambient (sun) about four stops down so my 1/200sec sync speed didn't cause any blur at magnification. For whatever reason, my radio triggers were having trouble getting the 1/250sec sync speed; maybe I need new batteries.

Anyway, I know for some of you this is just a lot of mumbo-jumbo. Feel free to ignore it and just enjoy the shots of the bees.

For you technically oriented people, I ended up getting some pretty decent pictures of bees, definitely sharper than most of my other shots with a much better depth of field. For next time, I may try to restrict my light a bit more to darken the background. I think it could look REALLY cool if I get it right.

Of course, I won't even bother submitting these to microstock sites; I'm sure they've got tons of bee shots already!

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