Tuesday 3 July 2012: Basking dragon
You all seemed to really like yesterday's blue spider. Thankyou all for the hearts and stars. The spider made number four on my list and you even sneaked the spider into spotlight!
Not a great session today, but after yesterday just about any session would be disappointing. Fitri, my old faithful helper, caught up with me about 20 minutes in, which basically meant that I was done for the day, as she walks ten paces ahead and beats the bushes with a big stick to chase the insects out for me.
I am still struggling with the learning curve for my new equipment. The 105mm macro lens is far more demanding of technique, requiring a steady hand, even with the vibration reduction technology. I have bought a monopod but have not tried it out yet, preferring free hand photography. More speed helps, but the need for depth of field means pushing the ISO up. The increase in pixel count helps here, allowing more ISO before the image becomes noticeably grainy.
Today I tried to get more depth of field without pushing the ISO too much, but I paid the price with blurry images. I might go out again this afternoon and get some practice in with the monopod.
I am feeling the need to be more discerning about backdrops, especially on the dragon shots, too much clutter and the wing detail is lost. In the past I was just grateful to get close enough to steel a shot or two but I think it is time to step up my game or at least try.
Extreme macro is proving to be quite a challenge with a depth of field of around half a millimeter. Even your heart beat seems to throw the focus in and out. I think it is just a case of choosing the feature that you want and accepting the loss of sharpness on the rest, a bit like yesterday's spider shot were I really wanted to capture the eyes but in doing so lost the pedipalps (feelers). I guess a ring flash and a high F-number would help but that will have to wait.