Honeybee – Yucatan, Mexico
1/100s @ f/5.6 ISO 320 at 100mm
Macro Photography is: Photography producing photographs of small items larger than life-size (that’s it in a nutshell). Macro is not my favorite kind photography, but any competent photographer should know how to do it (and do it well). Next week’s theme at Northrup Photo, on Tony & Chelsea LIVE (Thursday at 5 p.m. EST), is Macro. My submission (assuming the internet is up & running here in Lima) will be the honeybee pictured above.
Also, next Tuesday (probably late in the morning) my second article should be appearing at Northrup Photo. It was supposed to be posted this past Tuesday, but we had some technical difficulties (since ironed out I hope). I’m not sure which one will be featured this time, I have two articles approved and pending publication: Shooting Wildlife in the Head and In Their Face and In Their Space. The first is about taking closeup wildlife portraits and the second is about taking street portraits.
During T&C LIVE Tony and Chelsea always select a number of submitted photos for review. With over 100,000 subscribers worldwide each weekly theme receives hundreds of photos; from these hundreds of photos probably less than 10% are selected for review. A very few are given a “5-Star Rating” and/or a “Pick.” I’ve submitted only two photos since joining Northrup Photo (one for the theme Weather, and one for the theme Reflections), and as luck would have it both were selected for review (an honor). Additionally, both were given a “Pick.”
For the theme “Weather” I submitted Cordillera Blanca (Photographed in Huaraz, Peru), and for the theme “Reflections” I submitted Monterrico Sunrise (Photographed in Monterrico, Guatemala). That both were selected for review was awesome, and that both received a “Pick” was AMAZING. You can view these two images better at www.IndochinePhotography.me. So this next week the theme will be “Macro” like I mentioned. Join us and submit your own macro shot for possible review.
So what makes macro photography so tough? It’s mostly the shallow depth-of-field (DOF). Typically you’re using a modest telephoto lens, in this case it’s Canon’s EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM prime lens, and you’re shooting very close to your subject. That’s great for your background bokeh, but it’s a real challenge to keep your subject in focus. I was shooting down on my subject in bright sun, so I was able to stop down my aperture to f/5.6 giving me a little more DOF, and most of the subject was on the same focal plane (FP).
Technically I think the photo is pretty good; with the focus being crisp, the exposure being good and overall I’m pleased with the composition (I like that the bee’s body is cutting a diagonal through the square frame). Artistically I don’t know quite what to say, it’s just a bug after all. I like bees, they’re kind of cool, but it’s not like they’re a dog. It’s hard to get the warm & fuzzies over them. Although I do have an Aussie photographer friend, John Moulds, who thinks spiders are just about the best thing in the world. I sometimes worry about you John.
So wish me luck next week. First that my article gets published, second that the internet is up & running here in Lima (so I can upload my photo for the “Macro” theme) and third that Honeybee gets selected for review (and a possible “Pick”). Visit me at www.IndochinePhotography.me. And join us at Northrup Photo and T&C LIVE (every Thursday at 5 p.m. EST). Until then good luck with your shooting, and have fun.
Stephen F. Dennstedt
Photographer, Writer and World Traveller