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Featured Insect diversity

Discussion in 'Nature' started by orflo, Jul 29, 2018.

  1. orflo

    orflo Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 21, 2014
    Some shots below of some frequent visitors in my garden, all shots have been taken with the 60 mm macro, some had a raynox 250, others had jjc extension tubes, some other pictures have been taken with a combination of the two. All of the pictures have been stacked, most of them in Helicon Focus, which I'm trying out now, I also tried Zerene Stacker but that's way too slow on my 'ancient' iMac (2007!), Helicon does things quite fast and the results are quite nice. Some, like nr. 1 have been focus stacked in camera (em1):
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    bubbles (1 van 1) by orflo, on Flickr
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    chorthippus dorsatus (1 van 1) by orflo, on Flickr
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    schorpioenvlieg/Panorpa communis by orflo, on Flickr
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    sciapus platypterus (1 van 1) by orflo, on Flickr
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    regendaas / horsefly/ Haematopota pluvialis by orflo, on Flickr
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    soldaatjes-Rhagonycha fulva (1 van 1) by orflo, on Flickr
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    Scathophaga stercoraria by orflo, on Flickr
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    drosophila- fruit fly -fruitvlieg (1 van 1) by orflo, on Flickr
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    unknown moth (1 van 1) by orflo, on Flickr
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    the balance (1 van 1) by orflo, on Flickr
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  2. Kalifornier

    Kalifornier Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 29, 2014
    Fantastic pics!
  3. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    Very nice set
  4. Great shots. Since you are stacking, I assume that involves a tripod? Do you use a focusing rail? How about a flash?
  5. orflo

    orflo Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 21, 2014
    Thank you very much!

    no flash is used, only the background on nr 6 was illuminated by a flashlight, because it was really too dark-green. A tripod is used on all of them, some are stacks of over 50 pictures, and it's impossible to keep the camera (em1 mk1) steady during that period (and sometimes the insects refuse to co-operate as well, so for every succesful picture there are sometimes up to two-seven failures, especially when it's too warm and the insects are already active). I do have a macro focusing rail, but it's not used for making the actual pictures, that is done by the automatic stacking/bracketing function in camera. The rail is mainly used to be able to come a bit closer to the subjects in a very slow way, so that they're not frightened off, and to fine-tune the distance between the lens and the insects. It's however perfectly possible to take shots like this without the rail, if the tripod can be placed closer and closer without too much movement it works fine, I even think that nr 1 was shot without the rail. There are also extension arms for tripods, they are probably useful as well but I didn't try one of these yet, and some tripods are designed with such an extension arm (vanguard, benbo (yes, right, not benro but benbo) and some others). A remote control is also very useful in order to avoid camera shake. Oh, most of the pictures have been shot with the ibis on, the only one I know for sure that had the ibis of is the last but one, the moth, but that's also a quite big stack (79 pics)
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  6. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa
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  7. Hayath

    Hayath Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 21, 2018
    Gorgeous dewy set!
    In love with #1
  8. Julia

    Julia Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
    Dresden, Germany
    Alright, so first of all: WOW! Amazing set of photographs. The first one is a stunner! Thanks also for not including any spiders – that made looking at the images much more enjoyable for me :) 

    Now, I have a question. I've just purchased the Oly 60mm myself and am using it with my EM1.1. I'm still learning how to use the lens; I normally do landscape photography so this is a huge leap and I'm learning a ton of new things I've never before had to think about.

    What I do love about your images is just how blurred out the background is – silky smooth! – and how much the details pop in the critters (I do use Affinity Photo for focus stacking, so I understand how that works). But, is the raynox 250 you mentioned necessary to get that look? Really, I literally have no clue about macro photography (yet) – just noticed that I'm not quite getting the "sharp object in the foreground with silky background" look during my tests.

    Are the images you posted crops, or do you really get everything this big with the extension and the lens?

  9. moonraker

    moonraker Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Wiltshire, UK
    Wow again, fantastic set of images!
  10. BrentC

    BrentC Mu-43 Veteran

    May 31, 2017
    Brampton, Ontario
    Awesome shots! What differential do you use in your bracketing setting? I'm guessing with the number of stacks you do @f8.0 its 1 or 2?
  11. dirtdevil

    dirtdevil Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 9, 2017
    @orflo@orflo When you use the Raynox, do you absolutely need to be in manual focus mode?
  12. orflo

    orflo Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 21, 2014
    Thanks you very much!

    the Raynox does help somewhat in creating the blurred background, and so does the stacking. For example the first image was taken with the Raynox, but also with the in-camera focus stacking, so not bracketing, and tha Raynox limits the sharpness in the back, so that helps to get this blurred; even with focus bracketing the background can be smoothed out (for example the panorpa communis, the third picture is a stack of 50 or even 60 images (I have to check) and still the background becomes nice and buttery. It also depends on the distance between the camera and the subject, the f-value, and so on..

    Thank you very much!

    Thanks, I normally use a differential of 3 or 4, only very close pics are taken with lower differntials, for example the eyes of flies or something similar. These 'larger' subjects bracketed with a very low differential have a big disadvantage: the number of pictures and the time it takes to take about 200 or more pictures, more pictures creates a bigger possibility for some movement or by the insects, or by wind or whatever. All of these shots have been taken outside, and it needs some rather perfect circumstances to get everything right (especially wind can be annoying)

    Well, no, you don't really need it, but I prefer to use manual focus in combination with the foucus peaking ability, it just gives more control on where to get a good start for the stacking/bracketing, the antenna of the last but one picture is a good example, only manual focus could get it really right, auto-focus couldn't find the starting point of it
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  13. Bushboy

    Bushboy Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 22, 2018
    Awesome pics! :) 
  14. orflo

    orflo Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 21, 2014
  15. StephenB

    StephenB Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 29, 2018
    Somerset UK
    Incredible shots, the bubbles add another dimension and take them from detailed to something else.
  16. orflo

    orflo Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 21, 2014
    Yeah, I love these bubbles as well, the conditions need to be right so that they form quite nicely and preferably abundantly, thanks!
  17. Walter

    Walter Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 6, 2016
    Hi Frank,
    absolutely superb shots. Thanks for sharing technical details.
    But above all it's the photographer's eye that makes the difference, the very special way you look at these creatures and present them in stunning compositions.
  18. 4Paul

    4Paul Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 12, 2014
    Paul Keller
    At the pond - a few months ago: The eyes of Hydrometra stagnonum, a type of pond skater. Width of the head approx. 0,4mm.
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