Environmental Portrait

Evironmental Portrait of a Jumping SpiderTo view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

The most impressive of portraits are those that show subjects in their native environment. This applies to people as well as insects.

Recently I talked to a photographer who was interested in capturing insects and bugs in natural light.  As I had a flash on my camera it was hard to make the case that natural light is what I prefer.

When an animal poses we seldom if ever have the choice of light, the animal makes the choice.

Flash gives me smaller fstops, less worry about shake etc., but whenever I can shoot without it I do. Close up even a very small fstop gives only a short depth of field.

4 responses

  1. This is an amazing shot of the jumping spider, especially when viewed in high resolution. Your framing of the shot was wonderful–I really like the diagonal line and the curled leaf–and the focus on the eyes (all of them) was really sharp, which is tough with such a limited depth of field.


    October 10, 2013 at 7:14 am

    • I see Mike has just said everything I was going to say, so I’ll just agree wholeheartedly with him!


      October 10, 2013 at 4:26 pm

  2. Totally agree about the animals determining the light. Most of the purely natural light shots I see of insects and spiders at true macro (1:1 or greater ratios) are taken in the early morning when the arthropods are still “sleeping.” Even then you still need a tripod and little/no wind (or a way to stabilize whatever the bug is on). But I think the payoff is great – the light makes for great soft colors. A lot of great eventual focus stacked images are shot in the morning

    In the day time, natural light is just not often practical with moving subjects and the restraints of macro. I rarely use a tripod. I’m looking for subjects from the ground up to the highest point I can reach with my camera (sometimes a little higher when I can’t get my eye to the viewfinder — naturally my success rate is lower in those cases). If they are sedentary for a while, I can try more things, but even a bug at rest is going to move feelers or antennae which leads to blurrier bits.


    October 10, 2013 at 11:50 am

  3. I love how you captured the eyes of the spider!


    October 10, 2013 at 10:59 pm

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