Category Archives: Photography

How To Photograph Interesting Little Creatures – Yes, You Will Get Dirty!

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I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t fascinated by animals. And not only the cute fluffy or furry ones that meow or bark, but ones on the ground that we don’t see very often. There’s nothing more fascinating than those little beings like grasshoppers, butterflies, baby birds, ants, beetles and bees.

This picture of this caterpillar coming out of its cocoon to become a butterfly was seen by accident. Call it sixth sense, call it just being obsessed by any photo opportunity, but I saw it.

I was doing ‘clean up’ on my computer a week ago. As I waited for the computer to do it’s ‘thing’, I looked outside and saw something moving slowly along the brick pavement. I could not see what it was so I wandered outside to get abetter look.

There he was. This little guy was struggling to come out of his cocoon that held him snugly for all those months and now he was emerging to greet the world. I couldn’t believe what fortune I had as far as a photographic opportunity had come my way. (That just seems to happen with me for some weird reason.)

I rushed back inside and grabbed my camera, my macro lenses and prayed to God I had a memory stick in the camera. I turned the camera on and it said I had memory available. Thank you God! I then leaned down and took a couple of shots, trying not to scare him away or back into his cocoon.

I got so close I accidentally breathed on him and that’s what he did. Pop! He was back in there faster than anything.

So I had to wait for about 5 minutes before he stuck his head out and continued his journey again. He dragged that thing around the back garden for about half an hour, not being able to free himself of it. The patience and persistence in this little guy was amazing.

Now, okay, he’s not going to win any awards for being the best looking creature in “Amy’s garden”, in fact he’s really ugly, but he would win first prize for perseverance.

You will find that a lot of creatures like this, photographed up close look like something out of a horror movie, but really they’re not bad at all. (Except spiders, now they’re downright evil and any one that likes to photographh them should see a shrink.) Caterpillers and other little creatures actually don’t care about us at all which gives us supreme photographic advantage. They don’t put their paws, wings, feelers over their faces saying “oh god, don’t take my picture, my hair isn’t right!”

This amazing guy was taken at first with no macro lens and the photo did not offer me any detail close up. When I applied the marc lenses I used 3 of them which magnified him x7. But the only problem was that because he was moving, he was out of focus many times.

So there I was, laying flat on my stomach following this guy around the garden for 15 minutes determined to get the “right” shot of him. So I got these ones.

I felt I was really lucky because it was an overcast day. And as you know overcast days create filtered light which is perfect for photography.

When using macro lenses you do have to be careful of two main things. The first is that they have an incredibly short depth of field. This is why I had to be fast up close with this little guy or I’d he’d drag him and his cocoon out of the focal point.

The second is that the closer you get to something the more you loose light. You see when something is small, or has a very small area, there won’t be as much light on it as there would if this subject was large.

I took roughly 25 shots of him and came out with about 5 good ones. I wished he could have stayed still for me!

So remember if you see something like this, don’t miss it because it might not happen again.