1. Welcome to NikonCafe.com—a friendly Nikon camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Dragon Fly --handheld

Discussion in 'Macro, Flowers, Insects, and Greenery' started by marine 337, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. Down on the pond
    OLY29046.JPG
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    OLY29048.JPG
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    OLY29117.JPG
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  2. Dragonflies are good subjects to shoot. I was wondering, why f/11 and f/13?
     
  3. Bobby--shooting at a lower f stop--f2.8 to f10 I find dof takes away my sharpness. the focus on the head is fine but the body starts to go outta focus. I may be wrong with my assumption ------but f16-f20 seems to work the best for me. Opinions gladly welcome.
    Ken
     
  4. It comes down to a personal choice, more focus on the d-fly by shooting at f/16 = more background involvement. Shooting at 2.8 you kill the bg, but you're right, only a small part of the fly is in focus. Sometimes I'll shoot at 2.8, then 4, then 7.1, etc., and pick my favorite shot later. I'm hoping to come down and shoot Scrub Jays near you in Rockledge this weekend.
     
  5. The trick is to get your sensor plane parallel to the side of dragonfly and use a slightly lower f-stop. The sharpness of most lenses starts to decrease past f8. The other option is to at least get the eye in focus and not worry about the rest.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. I always stop way down when shooting macro.
    You’re so close you still get BG blur
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. I think these are as good as can be expected considering the BG.
    Having the DF mostly OOF and a blurred BG doesn’t work
     
  8. At the pond 11/9/18 melbourne Fl
    OLY29187.JPG
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    OLY29204.JPG
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    OLY29211.JPG
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    OLY29213.JPG
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
     
  9. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    While the dragonflies are sharp, the backgrounds kill these shots. With the body parallel to the focal plane of the camera, you can stop down much more and blur the backgrounds. This lens seems to really produce 7-sided highlights so being particular about the backgrounds will help a lot.
     
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  10. Don't you mean open up more? Stopping down will make the backgrounds sharper.
     
  11. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    You are correct! My bad.....!
     
  12. Larry ---Karen sought of had me scratching my head----thx for clearing that up
     
  13. 73Z1

    73Z1

    Sep 15, 2008
    Sacramento
    +1 No matter what else, having the main subject in focus is job number one.

    I think the images are all pretty darn good, if not all award winners. When viewed at full size, the BG isn't quite so bad for most of them and they are all extremely sharp and colorful. The 3rd image in the second set is excellent, with a pretty good background. Clearly you have the skill to produce excellent macro images. Perhaps a bit of tweaking to the technique?

    If you look and move, sometimes you can choose a better background. I notice that in both sessions of shots posted, you are shooting from above, at about the same angle and distance. Moving the camera around the subject can significantly change the background and give you a different look for the same subject. I like to use f/8 - f/11 whenever possible to increase DOF in the macro image, but sometimes giving up some DOF helps make the total image better.

    Here is a macro example where the ground clutter wasn't as bad as you were stuck with, but there was an ugly bunch of big brown twigs and branches below the subject, so I used f/6.3 to help blur the BG. That caused the tail to go OOF, but the eyes and front feet are still sharp.
    13520-D500-620-1500.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


    I then tried a length-wise side shot to get the whole body more in focus. In moving to the side for the second image I realized that the greenery on a fence off to the side was far enough away to give me a blurred BG while still keeping the aperture at f/6.3.
    13421-D500-620-1500.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)



    I wanted a good image with a large portion of the wings in focus, so instead of shooting from above, I stayed low and (due to the light starting to fade), kept the aperture at f/6.3. I used the side background for blur and framed the image so that the lower wing obscured the tail. The wing hides the fact that the tail and most of the body is not so sharp. All 3 images are of the same, very patient, dragonfly.
    13414-D500-620-1500.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  14. What we don't know is how much these were cropped. I'd like to see the full picture. If there was a lot of cropping, the distance to subject and backgropund would have been more, increasing DOF and background sharpness.
     
  15. OLY25847.JPG
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    OLY25862.JPG
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    OLY26166.JPG
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    OLY26174.JPG
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Mike I have thousands of these little critters. Some from a pond , some from my backyard. I completely agree --different angles --different looks. I'll attach a few for your critique. I'm just out having some fun--don't take things to serious. Yell about the few I'm attaching. Regards Ken
     
  16. OLY26602.JPG
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    OLY26623.JPG
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    OLY26742.JPG
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    OLY26757.JPG
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. 73Z1

    73Z1

    Sep 15, 2008
    Sacramento
    OK, since you asked.... WOW! This last set has some spectacular images.

    The 1st one would be really good, except for the big brown twig. Focus is very good, but focus and DOF will not save the image from the distracting brown twig. Hurts the image more than the BG issues of the earlier images.

    The 2nd image is very good. The focus and composition are very good. The large dark section of the DF makes it a bit of an odd shot, but that is due to the insect, not the photographer. One obvious issue though, is the big round dust spot on the sensor that shows in the sky above the DF. Sensor dust spots are always a problem with images where there is a lot of sky or bright BG and the aperture is well stopped down. Need to double check for a clean sensor before shooting macros or the smaller aperture will clearly reveal them.

    The 3nd image is excellent. The focus and composition are great. The DF stands out from the dark background with great lighting from the flash above. A little bit hot with the flash, but overall an excellent image. Shot at f/18 and 1/60 sec. which shows up some when viewed at 100%. I think you would get better sharpness using a faster shutter speed and by opening the aperture to f/16 ~ f/13. This is for me the best of the bunch.

    The 4th image is the second the best of the bunch. Even though the tail is a bit OOF and shows some movement blur, that seems to add as an aspect of "live subject" to the image, whcih I like. The focus and composition are excellent. Again the DF stands out from the background with great lighting from above. I would consider it the best image, but it was also shot at f/18 and 1/60 sec. which shows up in the tail and the wings when viewed at 100%. The head/eye is excellent and the blur in the tail isn't a big deal, but the blur in the wing detail hurts.

    I have found that good use of flash helps considerably with insect macros. I use it to enhance the ambient and allow for f/8 - f/16 as needed for DOF. I think you did really well with the last set, but I suggest that you use the fastest flash sync speed you can for the shooting conditions. Motion blur by photographer or subject, is generally as bad as OOF due to lack of DOF.

    Thank you for posting the last set. I really like dragonfly images and you have some very nice ones here. Please post more when you have time.
     
  18. Few in the backyard
    OLY29333.JPG
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    OLY29335.JPG
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    OLY29342.JPG
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. OK, I am going to get down to basics. The photo's of the dragon flies are stunning and beautiful. How ever you did it don't change it.
     
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  20. A little luck and a willing subject can go a long way.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.