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Thread: Moving in For macro - Some tips

  1. #1
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    Default Moving in For macro - Some tips

    Hiee Everyone..

    Here is a simple illustration on how one should approach and get into firing position for a macro shoot of "jumpy" insects that gets agitated with human presence. Most of the times, that i have seen in visits to places like AH...are ppl with great setups like:
    - monopods with ball hea ds
    - flash setups
    - cameras with lens...etc.

    However, most of them from my observation may not be well prepared for the shot even with those equipment. Alot of time the insects like butterfly drivin away by the photographer trying to adjust their equipment trying to get in frame.

    Here is an illustration of a good stance i observed form a fellow photographer on how he gets close to the subject in a mcro shoot cycle. He used a monopod, for quick setup and easy close in. However, one factor which made him stand out is thet he set monopod to a height of where he felt would be the point of view.

    Here's his flow:
    - See the insect.
    - Decide composition and direction
    - Set the camera to the neccessary modes - e.g Aperture priority ...or other
    twidly twidly adjustments that may have a lot of movement.
    - Set the monopod to the estimated height based on insect position.
    - Tighten the monopod ball head(if any) to allow minor slight angular adjustment at close in position.
    - All ready.
    - Move in for the shot.
    - Here is how he looked like.....goin in....moving back for further adjustments(if he needs too) such steath that did not scare the insect away...
    - He also gets to rest his whole body on the floor and the setup on the monopod.
    - With Camera in Manual mode....he move-in and out to do fine focusing...
    - And slowly retreat back and allow other fellow photographer to take the shot....



    Hope this little tip would make your macro outing a better one..
    Last edited by sulhan; 8th December 2005 at 01:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Member Papilio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Moving in For macro - Some tips

    A very good tip on the technical side of using a monopod and approaching the macro subject. Basically what Sulhan is advocating is to do all your adjustments and any jerky movements which may spook the subject, outside the subject's "circle of fear". Then move in slowly (and smoothly) with as little sudden movements as possible.

    Since you used butterflies as an example, the photographer's equipment and approach is only half of the issue. Most of us who have been shooting butterflies for years take it in our stride to first understand the behaviour of the different species of butterflies. I believe this is what birders do too - to recce and observe how the birds behave first, even before taking out their equipment.

    Different species of butterflies have different "circles of fear", and also depending on what they are doing. Those which are feeding tend to have a smaller circle of fear than those which are just standing around or sunbathing... There are some species which when in full flight, where we don't even bother to give a 2nd glance, as there will be very little chance to get these to stop and pose for a photo. Wait for situations that will even the odds for such species.

    The photographer's attire is also sometimes overlooked. A photographer with a bright white or yellow shirt will stand out, from the viewpoint of the insect, more prominently than one who is camouflaged in browns, greys or greens. (The trick is to remain "unseen" for as long as possible) Remember that the butterfly or for that matter any insect, sees a moving object as a potential predator. Once this moving object enters their circle of fear, the spontaneous reaction would be to take flight to escape. If the moving object stalks slowly, the insect is less likely to be aware of its presence, and hence continue to do what it was doing. (eg a cat stalking a bird)

    Hopefully, in addition to Sulhan's tip, this information will help to give a better chance at nailing your award-winning butt shot!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Moving in For macro - Some tips

    Great Inputs!!!...

    Append....Append...

    rgds,
    sulhan

  4. #4

    Default Re: Moving in For macro - Some tips

    bro, you always impress me with your sketches

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Moving in For macro - Some tips

    Geeez... great tips...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Moving in For macro - Some tips

    Wow great animation! Even made sure the guy is using a cf monopod
    If you understand my works, it's photography. If you don't, it's art.
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