Critique for single shot nature macro please

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zzffnn
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Critique for single shot nature macro please

Post by zzffnn »

This is my best image out of my first 50 or so single shot nature macro images. Please be brutal and let me know how I can improve it, assuming I use the same equipments *.

Image

100% crop:
Image

Both are JPGs directly from camera (did not shoot RAW), as I am still experimenting with basics.

Images were produced by Raynox 150 snapped over Olympus micro 4/3 (E-PM2)) kit zoom 40-150mm at 150mm (1:1 on- sensor at around 8'' away), F/14, shutter speed 1/200, 1/8 flash power.

DIY diffusion with 6 layers of DIY difussion using progressively larger Vellum paper. I positioned flash head and diffusion at about 45 degrees leaning forward from lens tip. I can diffuse better by moving diffusion much closer, but that is likely only feasible with none moving subjects.

Focused by LCD, not by EVF (don't have one). I do notice that my focus point was slightly off and closer to camera than it should be.

* I do plan to upgrade to Oly E-M5 II with a ncie EVF and in-camera focus bracketing. Have a Raynox 250 coming too.

Please feel free to modify the above images. Thank you very much!
Selling my Canon FD 200mm F/2.8 lens

zzffnn
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Post by zzffnn »

Anyone, please? Thank you and have a great day!
Selling my Canon FD 200mm F/2.8 lens

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

Well if you insist :)
I think the sharpness is OK though as you say slightly misplaced, which shows more if you go tighter.
Lighting's not too diffuse which is nice. Perhaps if it were higher it would mimic sky better and fill in face detail.

I can't get past the OOF foreground twig. OOF foregrounds are always likely to be more dominant than background.
As there's not a lot of information or interest in the bug's surroundings, I'd lose a fair bit and frame it for composition, probably somewhere around the box marked.
Sure, to have some more of the bug in sharp focus would be better, for me. perhaps a stack of a handful of frames.
I tinkered with the BG because I felt steelworks grey didn't quite look natural.
And I lost the bright edge.
And next time I'd instruct it to show its legs in a way that made them visible against the twig.

Sorry to be so picky.
I never do anything which I don't tear to pieces, which is why you don't see much, so well done for posting ;)

Image
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zzffnn
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Post by zzffnn »

Thank you very much, ChrisR.

All good advice (not picky at all)! You know insect linguistics is not my strong suit though, so I can only try to ask bugs to post their legs well next time :twisted:

What did you mean by "and I lost the bright edge", though?

Indeed, the image looks much better with removal of the OOF twig, cropping near the marked box and replacing with green background. I need to form a habit of doing some diligent post work next time.

Light direction is indeed limited in my current lighting rig (as I have a single regular flash on Magic Arm). I can change it, though it would take at least 3 minutes to twist around the Magic Arm. Posable twin flash should work better.

Getting a camera with in-camera focus bracketing (such as an Olympus E-M5 Mark II) would provide field stacking, assuming the insect does not move and I can hand-hold the camera stably/long enough for such a stack. Or I should carry my monopod.....
Selling my Canon FD 200mm F/2.8 lens

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Post by ChrisR »

this edge:

Image
Chris R

zzffnn
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Post by zzffnn »

Ah, the upper right side edge. Yes, your version is definitely better. Thank you!
Selling my Canon FD 200mm F/2.8 lens

microman
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Post by microman »

Good start for sure. I tend to look alot on flickr for certain insects i want to photograph and if i find an image i really like i look if the person has an album with his gear so i can see how he sets up the lightning and if he uses some kind of tripod or special technique like stacking.

Mostly it seems to be up to training and learning what works. It annoys me more than id like beouse i like new tech alot ;D
Some of the best pictures can be with for example an older Sony NEX camera and pretty simple reversed lenses.

This blog is very good, lots to be learned thats not about the gear.
https://beingmark.com/macro-illustrated/

zzffnn
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Post by zzffnn »

^ Thank you. This is the 3rd time I am referred to that web page, for a good reason. Yes, it is well worth the study. He uses simple / not expensive gears and produced great results.
Selling my Canon FD 200mm F/2.8 lens

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

You asked if you should carry a monopod when focus stacking in the field. I'd say no, carry a stick. You don't want to be fiddling with knobs and rings, and you just need a little bit of extra stability. A stick is quick and sufficient.

zzffnn
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Post by zzffnn »

Lou Jost wrote:You asked if you should carry a monopod when focus stacking in the field. I'd say no, carry a stick. You don't want to be fiddling with knobs and rings, and you just need a little bit of extra stability. A stick is quick and sufficient.
Thank you, Lou. I will keep that in mind.

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