The beautiful world of insects seems to be full of surprises…there’s a lot of things happening in that tiny world that often goes unnoticed. Photographing these little creatures is quite challenging and adds to a great learning experience !
A few days back I was watering the plants on my rooftop garden when I saw a jumping spider at the edge of one of the flower pots. I quickly got my camera and spent an hour photographing this beautiful little creature.
How did I take these shots ?
I do not have a macro lens or any other expensive gear dedicated for macro photography. For all these shots I used a set of manual extension tubes attached to a canon 50mm f/1.8 lens.
These manual extension tubes are a great and cheap alternative to dedicated macro lenses. But, the only drawback is that, once attached to the lens, you won’t be able to use the Auto Focus anymore and neither will you be able to change the aperture of the lens(unless you have an aperture ring on your lens). So the only option you have is to switch to manual focus, but that’s not a big deal if you’re using a tripod. The process takes a bit of time and patience. And for changing the aperture there is one little trick. Usually macro photography requires a narrow aperture…suppose you want your photos to be at an aperture of f/11, then what you need to do is, put the lens directly on your camera and set the aperture value to f/11. Wait! Don’t remove the lens right now! Setting the aperture value to f/11 doesn’t mean that the lens’s aperture opening has changed, it’s still at its widest opening and will change only when you press the shutter. So what you need to do now is, press and hold the DOF preview button on your camera and then open your lens while holding the button. In this way your lens’s aperture opening will remain locked as per the desired value you had set on the camera. Now you can put the lens on the extension tube and start shooting !
What type of lighting did I use ?
For all the above shots, I used the built-in flash of my Canon 60D and a DIY Diffuser made out of cheap thermocol plate and also for some shots I used my Mobile’s flash-light as a secondary source of light 😀
One more post on macro coming up soon !