Sometimes it is fun to go out in the yard or fields to see what subjects you can find close at home. I look to see if there are any interesting bugs to photograph. Usually I look for dragonflies, but any insects will do. Here are a series of Cucumber Beetles. I was using a Sigma 150mm macro lens with a 1.4x teleconverter on a Canon 7D. I also used a flash with diffusion to add some fill light to lighten the shadow areas to give a more even light on the images.
This is a series of some Blue Dasher & other Dragonfly images I shot over a few years using a technique for getting softer smoother backgrounds for dragonflies that you can not get close to photograph. Depth of field is limited with this technique, but I like the softer backgrounds which makes the detail in the dragonfly stand out. The subject Dragonflies are about about 5 to 9 feet away. Usually they are on a plant or branch in or over the water. Plus I get closer up images not needing a large or any cropping. I was using a Canon 400mm DO lens with a 1.4x teleconverter(s) and extension tubes to get closer focus on the small (about 1.5 inches long) Dragonflies. Basically converting the lens to only closer focusing capability. Sometimes I would setup the equipment with the lens, then extension tubes, the teleconverter and then camera. Or have the lens, teleconverter, extension tubes, then camera body. Different arrangements of extension tube(s) & teleconverters gives different “focus zones”. Depending on the width & position of the extension tubes used is how close you can focus on your subject. With all the added converter(s) & extension tubes you may loose autoexposure so I mainly set exposure by looking at a preview shot or histogram and adjust exposure from there. It takes a while to get consistent results because there are so many variables. But it works well once you get used to it. Many times I use fill flash to help light the subject because I loose so much light with certain combinations of teleconverter(s) and extension tubes.
Image somewhat soft on the bottom of the image from shooting through plants that were in the way, but liked the image anyway!
Showing an even more extreme “closeup” setup with double extension tubes & double 1.4x teleconverters (staggered). Also Fill flash to open shadows – usually with a BetterBeamer flash extender.
One of my favorite subjects are Dragonflies & Damselflies. The trouble is l have a wide variety of favorite subjects! This series was shot a few years ago at a somewhat local tree covered stream in Mahwah NJ. I could not get real close because of the stream they were over so I used a Canon 400mm DO lens with extension tubes. This enabled me to get somewhat frame filling images with a very smooth background. With the extension tubes I lost quite a bit of light so I used a Canon flash for filling in the shadows somewhat. Also because of the extension tubes, I had a limited depth of field that gave me extremely soft smooth backgrounds.
The Featured image was shot at f/8, 1/200th second @ ISO 1250, 2 images for a focus stack to get detail in the left wing, with an exposure compensation of -1.33 because of the fill flash. This also made the background a little darker
Image taken @ 1/60 th sec., f/11, -0.67 Exp. Compensation, ISO 1250
Image taken @ 1/125 th sec., f/8, -1.33 Exp. Compensation, ISO 1250