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Everything posted by twolfe

  1. I know we have a few excellent macro photographers on the forum, but I thought I'd share a couple of links to some other insect macro work that I admire. Slovakian photographer Ondrej Pakan does some really nice work with insects with water droplets on them. I'm not sure how much if his work is done outdoors with natural dew/rain and how much is done in a studio. If he is doing a lot of work outdoors, then he has a great technique for blurring the backgrounds. http://500px.com/search?page=1&q=Ondrej+Pakan++insect&type=photos&utf8=%E2%9C%93 http://500px.com/biker11 (Use this link if the first one doesn't work. This includes some images that are not insects.) I also love the work of Polish born photographer Igor Siwanowicz (now lives in Germany with his wife and cat). He has been mentioned on this site in the past several times. (I even mentioned him in my welcome thread). Still, I thought it was worth another mention since we have some new members. He makes beautiful portrait images of insects and other critters and also does microscopy and digital art. Many of his photos are taken in an indoor studio. I've never seen a photo of his indoor set up, but there are a couple of images of him shooting outdoors. Here's a link to some of his insect images. http://blepharopsis.deviantart.com/gallery/?q=insect Sorry about any ads that may pop up while visiting these sites.
  2. I'm pleased we now have a forum for discussing insect photography. Please post your camera, lens, lighting, macro techniques and photo editing and stacking software questions here. All skill levels are welcome here. We have some members who are great photographers, and I'm hoping they will join in on the discussions, help answer your questions and share some of their tips.
  3. Nick, I think it would still be helpful. You could start with the first page of the Idolo consolidated thread. Sporeworld was trying to keep that updated. However, there are a lot of tips throughout that thread that would be helpful to have in the caresheets. Even though I cleaned it up, it's still a lot to read through. Some of the photos from you and Precarious (especially housing) would be helpful to include for this species. I'd be willing to help but am not available to do so until May.
  4. twolfe

    20130410 103514

    Adrienne, two of my adult females you sent me look like that. Another one looks very different. The majority of mine are females.
  5. twolfe

    I just bought This ......

    Albert, Digger has made a lot of good points... Regarding Giesle's photo... He is filling the frame with dried Orchid flowers and an exuvium (skin). So, he wouldn't have had to have his lens as close to the subject. The closer you get to the subject the less depth-of-field you have. That means the amount of area that is sharp in front of the point you choose to focus on to the back of your main subject is quite shallow. I may be repeating what has already been mentioned as I didn't re-read every post. His dried Orchid flowers and the exuvium also about the same distance to the camera.
  6. twolfe

    I just bought This ......

    Albert, you should be able to photograph your large adults without needing the extension tube if you are trying to do the entire body and not just a portrait. I only use manual focus when doing macro photography. It's really not possible to get the entire mantis in focus without stacking multiple images. I rarely stack and instead try to get the head, eyes and the closest legs in focus. Typically the larger the mantis, the easier it is for me to photograph. If you look at this image of a Yellow Orchid, only the head and forelegs are in focus. http://twolfephotos.smugmug.com/Animals-Insects/PrayingMantis/i-J4NWjSF/0/M/IMG_2013-01-02_5592-M.jpg If you photograph the mantis when the body is parallel to the camera, it's easier to get more of it in focus.
  7. twolfe

    Hi Question about DSLR

    Andrew, I shoot Canon. Nikon cameras are nice, too, but the professional lenses seem to cost more than the equivalent Canon lenses.
  8. twolfe

    Need a New Lens, Anyone Used These Before??

    OctoberRainne, thanks for explaining your method for lighting when you photograph your mantids. We should probably start a thread on this sometime.
  9. twolfe

    Need a New Lens, Anyone Used These Before??

    Since we're talking about Canon lenses, I'll let Canon explain what IS (image stabilzation is). http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/standard_display/Lens_Advantage_IS
  10. twolfe

    Need a New Lens, Anyone Used These Before??

    A, the minimum focus distance for the Canon 100mm lens is 1 foot. That means that I need to be a foot away from my subject in order to focus on it. You can reduce that amount if you attach an extension tube to the 100mm lens. I generally don't use an extension tube for making portraits of larger mantids, but I do use it when I need to get closer to smaller subjects.
  11. twolfe

    Need a New Lens, Anyone Used These Before??

  12. twolfe

    Need a New Lens, Anyone Used These Before??

    Alex, I didn't say that you needed 100mm. I just said that more macro photographers doing indoor photography use the 100mm than the 60mm, and that I don't know anyone personally who is using it. Part of the reason why is that it's not compatible with the camera bodies that most of the people I photograph with use nowadays. And as I mentioned in chat, it's not compatible with either of the camera bodies that I use. I like to buy the best glass that I can afford because I use lenses for several years, but camera bodies wear out or become obsolete. I looked at the reviews on B & H Photo for the 60mm lens, and it's highly rated. I like the minimum focus distance. With the 100mm lens, if you are photographing a smaller mantis, you can use an extension tube to reduce the focusing distance if you want to get closer to the mantis to fill the frame. Keep in mind that lighting can be a challenge when you get that close to a mantis if you aren't using a special macro flash or a way to angle your regular flash. Is there a rental place where you can rent the lens to test it out for a while? No matter what lens you get, I'm sure you'll find it easier to make macro images than what you are using right now. If anyone on the forum is using this lens, I hope they will give you some advice.
  13. twolfe

    photography preferences

    Hopefoot, isn't it funny that word is filtered here? A mod typed it in the chatroom and had to laugh it was filtered. Agent A, I filled out your survey...partly because I'm interested in how many Canon shooters we have. By the way, Canon only has one n. Hard to answer some of the questions though. I personally don't use stacking software, but I have nothing against it. I love some of the results I have seen. I tried it but found that it didn't work well with the mantis models I was using as they sway too much or move their antennae. I know many use deadstock for some types of insects. I mostly buy my equipment online. But when I was upgrading from a prosumer model to a professional camera body back in 2007, the online companies I deal with would not allow pre orders and they wouldn't create a waiting list. When the new Canon pro bodies come out, there is often a wait to get them. Perhaps it's intentional. Anyway, a local camera company did put me on a waiting list, and I ended up buying from them after a three month wait. I forgot to mark that I use a macro twin lite. Also, I wasn't sure if you were only referring to photographing insects. I have a lot of accessories that I use for other types of photography.