Saturday, November 18, 2017

How to photograph insects

April 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Feature posts, Nature

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Photographing insects is like traveling to a miniature world. It brings us the possibility to see what we can’t see in our daily life. A macro lens reveals to us new colors, shapes, and textures.

But even though, the camera and the lens are quite important, the two main components are patience and good observation.

In order to photograph an insect we should know some things about it. We can see if a bee likes certain colors of flowers or if the butterflies are attracted by certain scents. Are they easier to spot in the morning? in the shade? in bright sunshine?

Butterflies love orange juice. A few months ago I took my son to a butterfly exhibition, that morning I had washed my hair with a shampoo made with an orange scent. A soon as I came into the exhibit, all the butterflies flew to my head.

I did not realized what was going on, until a little girl said: “look at that lady! she has so many butterflies in her hair”. Now I use oranges to attract them to photograph them, and my son washes his hand with orange juice and the butterflies come to stand in his hands.

Most insects are fast, so it means we need to have good light available in order to use a high shutter speed. We also need to close the lens  and set the camera’s lens to a small aperture to keep our little subject in focus.

Insects are very sensitive to light changes, it means we should not project our shadow over them because it will scare them away. They are also sensitive to carbon dioxide, so if we breath close to them, they will disappear as fast as they can.

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