Close up Photography of Insects (Two Photographs)
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I enjoy taking photographs of insects. Many are more interesting, especially close up, than you would think. Speaking to others who are interested in trying insect photography, the one thing I emphasize is that no matter the magnification you use the smaller the subject the harder it is to avoid fluorescent highlights. This is the case whether you shoot in natural light or with flash. I use a 105mm lens on a twenty-four-megapixel camera with a twenty-millimeter extension tube and flash in a soft box. The extension tube allows me to focus closer than I could with the lens alone (it goes between the lens and the camera). The flash lets me stop motion, use a lower ISO, and provides light in places where normally it would be at a premium. The soft box softens the light. Insects that are less than two or three centimeters long have as much detail as any insects, but those small details and the reflection of natural light can fluoresce (shine or create a rainbow effect). You can see this in the Midge (the insect with the fan). The Mayfly about four times larger does not have the same issues, even in the wings. While the effect can be pleasing it’s a sign that you are taking a photograph of something that is on the verge of being too small for a hand-held camera. By the way the Mayfly is not in flight, it has caught a thread of spider web and is hanging on. Mayflies often stop and rest for long periods of time.