Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Macro Photography....On a Budget

I'm working on a seminar type thing and I've decided to do it on 'Macro Photography On A Budget'. Not seen any other seminars or workshops on this subject and I do like to be different. ;-)

 It's been a little while since I've done some macro photography...a month or I got a wild hair last night and got my kit out. What inspired me was the cutest little caterpillar which I found in my garden.
Tiger Moth Caterpillar
 My ever helpful husband looked it up and declared it a Tiger Moth Caterpillar. He's helpful like that. :-)

This little fella was very quick which made it quite difficult to photograph him. When you get down on the macro level your Depth of Field (DoF) is quite shallow and your focusing has to be spot on. Quite difficult when your subject is moving! My husband came to the rescue though, quizzed me about where I found him and what plant he was on. Next thing I knew he came in with a twig from the plant that I found him on. Bless him.

No idea what the plant is, it grows in our garden is all I can tell you. If anyone recognizes what it is I'd be ever so grateful. My husband thinks it might be a Weigela. In any case, this little fella didn't waste any time, he went right to work chomping on it.

These images are not cropped in any way, I've only made them smaller to make them easier to view on the web.

What is macro photography? The definition gets a bit muddy when you try to describe it in digital terms in my opinion and experience. But basically it's a 1 to 1 ratio or greater. Example, if you photographed this on a film camera, then your subject would be the same size or smaller than the image captured on your negative.  There are special lenses for this and special equipment as well. This special kit can be very expensive and most people just can't justify the cost. There are some very nice 1:1 macro lenses out there which are great for macro work and can be used for every day things like portraits. There are some special lenses witch give a greater than 1:1 ratio but they aren't any good for anything but macro photography. This is where my macro photography on a budget comes in. You can have a bit of macro fun without investing in expensive kit that you won't use for anything else. Of course it's not as easy to use as the special made lenses, but that's half the challenge and fun! :-D

I'd best get busy and finish writing this seminar or it won't happen. If I'm successful I'll be giving the seminar at a major photographic shop in Bristol one day not too far from now. Wish me luck!

PS... I do personal one to one workshops on how to use your camera and improve your photography. I also occasionally do group workshops. If you're interested please feel free to contact me for more details. Most of my customers come back for more and/or were recommended by someone else.  <- I'm very proud of that. :-)


  1. Hamish, Light Blue guru and insect fiend11 May 2012 at 16:56

    That'd be a tiger moth caterpillar, known as a wooly bear in North America. They're relatively common in the UK. They'll eat pretty much anything; dandelion and clover should be fine, but plantain or honeysuckle are also good. If you keep it in an ice-cream tub, covered over the top with an old pair of tights, it should be ok; give it fresh food every couple of days. After a while it should pupate; in that case, just leave it be and it'll eventually emerge as a tiger moth, which is white with black spots.

    1. Thank you Hamish. :-) I let him go right after the shoot. Many years ago when my children were...children...while out on an exploration of the woods, my daughter captured a caterpillar in a bug box for the other kids with us to look at up close. While we were watching him he started to pupate so she kept him in the box until he emerged as a moth/butterfly some time later and she released him. It was so long ago I can't remember if it was a moth or a butterfly.