Macro Sampler


Being we are not supposed to be out and about, especially here in NJ, I thought these images would give some an inspiration to see what you can find interesting to photograph in their own yards or close to home. You can post yours so we can see what is happening in others areas. They closed all the Parks and other outdoor spaces here and limit travel basically only for food & essentials. They are even limiting the amount of people in the stores. So here are some macro images I have taken in my own yards over the years with different types of cameras and lenses. I tend to use a variety of cameras, lenses & different types of m43 and Canon Cameras. Many times for macro images I adapt older Canon FD manual focus lenses on my m43 Panasonic or Olympus Cameras. Doing this I get an approximate FOV of 2X on these manual focus lenses plus get a longer working distance to my subjects and with increased depth of field (in simple terms). It is fun to see what you can come up with. The featured Damselfly image is taken with a Canon FD 200mm f/4 macro lens on a m43 camera. My most used FD macro is the 200mm because it gives me a longer working distance to my subjects. The following sampler of macro images are with both m43 Cameras and Full Frame Canon Cameras for an interesting Macro Mix.

Blue Dasher v2 CU 2img stk

Blue Dasher Head Shot – 200mm Canon FD Macro on m43 Camera (Full Frame Equivalent View – FOV ~400mm)

Praying_Mantis_2img stk_v4_150mm_w1_4X_210mm_6400_ISO_76A4856

Praying Mantis Portrait – 150mm Macro Canon R

Eastern Pondhawk V3_MG_2625

Eastern Pondhawk – 200mm Canon FD lens on m43 Camera (Full Frame FOV ~400mm)

Blue Dasher_v2_f16_420mm_DM 6_19_76A0627 copy

Blue Dasher, Male – 300mm Canon EF lens with 1.4X Teleconverter

WaterDrop_web_2img blend

Water Drop Panorama – 2 images, 200mm Canon f/4 FD Lens, m43 Camera

Water_Drop_stk v4

Water Drops After Rain – 3 image Panorama, 200mm Canon FD lens – Panasonic m43 body


H Dandelion v1 6img 200mm

6 image Focus Stack & Pano –  200mm f/4 FD Canon Lens on Panasonic m43 Body

Dandelion Natures Fireworks v2 7img stk

Dandelion 7 image Pano & Image Stack, 200mm Canon FD lens, Panasonic m43 body

Dandelion stk 5 img a1

Dandelion 5 image Image Stack for more Depth of Field, 200mm Canon FD lens, Panasonic m43 body

Spider 6 img stk m43 200mmFD v2

6 image, 200mm Canon FD macro, Panasonic m43 Body


1 shot, Canon FD 200mm Macro, Water Drop, Panasonic m43 Body

water drops leaf_MG_7897

200mm, Single Image – Aligned camera so I was shooting straight in to subject eliminating the need for stacking multiple images.

_MG_7679 v2

Water Drops – Single Image

Blue Dasher FM v4 yd_MG_9828

Female Blue Dasher Head Shot – 100mm Canon FD macro lens

Damselfly v3 DM 7 17_MG_8691

Damselfly – 200mm FD Canon Macro lens

Lily 9img stk v2Lum 150macro + 1_4X f4

Flower detail – 200mm Macro lens, Panasonic m43 Camera

Day Lily aftr Rain 6 17 v2

Day Lily After Rain – FD 200mm, m43 Camera

Dandelion 4img stk v2

4-images stacked in CC Photoshop, 150mm macro @ f/8


bud Tree wat_dropYard 6 17 v2 m43_200FD_1400394

Starburst on bud, 200mm FD on m43 Panasonic Camera

Milkweed bug eggs_onleaf v2 6 17_43G4555

Milkweed bug eggs on leaf – Panasonic m43

Day Lily stamen v1 shrt stk

Day Lily Stamen v1 – Short Stack (2 images) for softer background

Rain dropstack 3_10img

Water Drops after the Rain – 10 images @200mm m43 Olympus Camera

Raindrops 21 3img v2

3 image Short Stack – @200mm m43 Olympus Camera

Feather v1 DM v2 2017_43G7187

Single Shot – 200mm @ f/4 for Softer Background


Water Drop On Leaf – 50mm, Panasonic m43 Camera





Lady Bug – 100mm macro

Echinacea stk end_1370720 v3

Echinacea Multi-image Pano, 200mm FD Macro lens, Panasonic m43 Camera

_Korean dogwood v1 3X 1360782

Korean Dogwood – 200mm, m43 Camera

lg bug wings v4_HP 1360998

TreeHopper (?) 200mm, Panasonic m43 Camera

1 feather fish stack  v2

200mm macro, RainDrops on Feather (looks like a fish) Panasonic GH2

Zinnia stk v3

Multi-Image Zinnia Image, 200mm m43

Teneral Eastern Forktail Damsel v2_43G2829

Teneral Eastern Forktail Damselfly, 200mm Canon FD lens, Panasonic m43 Camera

Eastern Carp Bee v3 brig 2015_MG_0230

Eastern Carpenter Bee, 200mm FD Lens, Panasonic GH2

jagged ambush bug v3_43G7000

Jagged Ambush bug, 200mm FD lens on Panasonic GH2

RainDrops on Web v1_MG_7388

Rain Drops, Multi-Image Stack, 100mm, Panasonic m43

_1260344 lichen

Lichen on Wood, 200mm, Panasonic m43 Camera

_MG_8669 damselfly v3

Damselfly, 200mm FD Macro lens, Panasonic GH2

_MG_8695 pond daselfly v3

Closer View – Damselfly, 200mm Canon FD macro, Panasonic m43 body

_1260772 v3

Water Drops on Flower Stamen, 50mm FD macro, Panasonic m43


Early Morning Hoar Frost

We went to a local park early in the morning because it was perfect conditions for Hoar Frost. Hoar Frost is a deposit of ice crystals on objects exposed to the free air, such as grass blades, tree branches, or leaves. It is formed by direct condensation of water vapour to ice at temperatures below freezing and occurs when air is brought to its frost point by cooling. We had to get there before the sun hit those areas with the frost which makes it more difficult to photograph because there is not much light, meaning much slower shutter speeds. I did not have a tripod so I raised my ISO higher than I usually use. I was using a 150mm Sigma macro lens so I was shooting bursts hoping 1 or 2 frames might be a little sharper than others. With some of the handheld series, I loaded them into a layered Photoshop file and aligned them. Then I let Photoshop merge the sharpest areas of each into one file. It was fun searching for subjects out in the fields and you never know what you will find. Once the sun melted the Hoar Frost I noticed there were some amazing cloud formations. Since I only had the 150mm macro lens with me, I switched to my iPhone to capture some cloud panoramas for a future blog.


Snail Macro

When I was leaving to go to work, I noticed this tiny snail on the edge of the front door frame. It was smaller than a 1/4” long. I went back in and got a 100mm macro lens and shot a series of images at f/2.8 for a focus stack. I had to do this because I was using available light and did not want to push my ISO over 1250 ISO. Using a series of images for the focus stack letting Photoshop select the sharpest sections of each frame and merged them together for a final image. It was 5 am so it was pretty dark. I rested the front edge of the lens on the edge of the door frame and shot a series of focus points. Then let Photoshop do the rest.

Dandelion Closeup Image Stack

Very closeup images of Dandelions going to seed remind me of fireworks! One of my favorite setups for this is a m43 Panasonic Camera body with an old Canon FD 200mm f/4 manual focus macro lens. So with this setup I can go to 2x macro without extension tubes, plus I have a great working distance. It is sort of equivalent to a 400mm  macro on a 35mm format. This lens seems to work great on m43 bodies. Plus it gives a great working distance to your subjects. These are image stacked from 4 to 7 images at different focus points and combined in Photoshop.

C_Dandelion 4stk img 4aDandelion Natures Fireworks v2 7img stkDandelion stk 5 img a1E_Dandelion stk 4img v2F Dandelion stk 4img v1G Dandelion stk 4imgH Dandelion v1 6img 200mmI Dandelion 6img stk v3

Reflections In Water Drops

The weather has not been cooperating to go look for photo subjects, so I was trying water drops inside. I had wanted to do this for a while so I had gathered some of what I needed at work to take home. I used a sheet of plexiglass, treated with Rain-Ex to make the water drops bead up more, (lessens the surface tension on the drop making a better round drop). I braced it a about 6-7 inches above a flat surface so I could position photo subjects underneath so I would get interesting images in the water drops. I had an 18 x 24″ plexi so my braces holding up the plexi would not be reflecting in the drops. I also used, to be safe, small bottles of water which were clear to also help. It takes some trial and error, but you learn as you go and towards the end of my session I have come up with better techniques for next time. The hardest part was to get an interesting pattern of drops. I put some glycerine in the water and used a syringe to apply a pattern of drops by hand on the plexi. I did not want to use a spray bottle because some of the drops would blend together and get an odd oblong shape. I also was shooting at a very slight angle, but shooting directly down might be better. But you might reflect in the plexi so I have to see how that works. I tried a 150mm macro, but I switched to a 100mm macro which seemed to work better.  I was trying different apertures. It seems to be a balancing act to distance of drops to subject and f/stop used, but it is a trial and error as you go to see what works best for you. I might try a 50mm macro next time, but might have to have the plexi closer to the subject. I also tried a 2 image focus stack on some. One for the reflection in the drop and one for the base edge of the drops. I did not want to go above f/8 as I did not want my main subject for reflecting in the drop to be more in focus. I used a variety of subjects, but my favorite was a small US Flag I had on my desk. I tried different positions, f-stops. After my first session I have a few ideas to make it better next time. Just moving your main subject a little makes for different views in the drops.

Flag_stack layersflag_43G4131flag_43G4121flag_43G4096flag wave v1flag water drops_43G4227flag water drops_43G4097flag v2_43G4226flag v2_43G4211flag v1_43G4085Flag v1 _43G4201dollar_v2 v243G4232

Day Lily Stamen Image Stack

The Day Lily’s were blooming in our garden, so I wanted to do some closeup image stacks for practice. Usually I use a 50mm or 100mm macro lens, but I wanted a little more distance to concentrate on the stamens. It was a cloudy day so it was as if I was using a giant soft box so there were no harsh shadows to deal with. I used a 150mm macro to help concentrate on the stamens and still give me the working distance I wanted. This was a 6 image stack, focused pretty much just on the stamens. I did not want the whole flower in sharp focus, so I concentrated my focus stack only anthers on the end of the stamens. Again combined and assembled in Photoshop. Each Lily has 6 stamens attached at the base of the petals, and each stamen has a stalk called the filament that ends with a two-lobbed anther filled with yellow dust like yellow pollen.

Closeup Of Dogwood Bloom with Water Drops

After a rain, I went out looking for photo subjects. Our Dogwood tree had blooms on it so I started there. I found a bloom with water drops and a sun star on the drop. I was using a 200mm macro lens on a m43 body which also accented the sun star with the iris of the lens.

Feather Closeup 1X to 5X+ in Studio

When the weather gets colder and the days get shorter and grayer it is fun to shoot some extreme closeups of natural subjects in the studio. When I am photographing outside I collect subjects to photograph in the studio at a later date. My favorite is feathers, but leaves, seeds or almost anything natural can be interesting. Your studio can be your kitchen, living room, etc. or an actual photo studio. It is fun to try stretching your photographic vision in a controlled environment to see what you come up with. It can be extreme closeups of everyday items in your home or natural items you find and bring inside. It is interesting to see even a slight change in angle or shift in lighting can make a big difference in your final image. Simplistically, shooting parallel to your image gives you more depth of field across the subject, shooting at an angle gives you more of a view to highlight a certain area in sharp focus and a softer look in other areas highlighting a certain area you want to show. Also you can use many homemade items to add to your image. Try a small reflector or mirror to bounce back a little highlight to an area or even a white fill card. Lighting from above and behind adds more to surface textures. It is fun to try different techniques or just experiment to see what you get. Another technique to try is focus stacking, especially for closeup macro shots for more depth of field in your image. Images below are from 1X to 6 or 7X with a variety of macro lenses. 50mm macro, Canon MPE 65mm , 100mm macro and 150mm macro.

Feather stack eleven v1

Feather – 11 stacked images for more depth of field

feather stack eight v2

Feather Image – 8 stacked images for depth of field

_43G5943 stack v4

Feather – 4 stacked images for depth of field

feather_43G6019Feather v1_43G5993feather stack v2_hp 43G6010Feather 5x_43G6016Feather 4x_43G5998_43G5986 set3_43G584 stack v2

Feather CloseUp Stacked Images

Busy with work and not great weather outside, so have not posted much lately. Had a chance to play with a feather in the studio with extreme macro at 1.3X to 6.5X and multiple images combined with Focus Stacking in photoshop. Used a Canon EOS1D MkIV with a Canon 100mm macro and a Canon MP-E 65mm 1X-5X macro lens.

Here are a few examples.

feather v1_43G5980 v2

Feather v1_43G5993



feather base no stack_43G5925

Feather 5x_43G6016

feather 5x v1_43G6026

_43G5857 set2 hp v3


Pond Bubbles

With the coming of Spring, I cannot wait to get our pond cleaned out from Winter’s leaves and debris, to ready it for the flowers, bugs, Dragonflies & Damselflies. It is my outdoor macro and small critter studio and is amazing what shows up during Spring, Summer and Fall to Photograph. Here are some images from last year.

_MG_0273 v3

Closeup Dragonfly Wing – Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro @f/14, 1/13 sec, +0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 640

_MG_0295 v2

Closeup Dragonfly Wing – Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro @f/14, 1/50 sec, ISO 640

_43G5395 v3

Common Green Darner, Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens, 30mm Extension tube, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, 20mm Extension Tube, f/8, 1/125 sec, -0.33 exp. comp, ISO 1250


_43G5554 v3

Common Green Darner, Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens, 30mm Extension tube, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, 20mm Extension Tube, f/8, 1/100 sec, -0.67 exp. comp, ISO 1250


_43G9553 v4

Blue Dasher, Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens, 30mm Extension tube, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, 20mm Extension Tube, f/8, 1/250 sec, -0.67 exp. comp, ISO 1250


_MG_048 v24

Hemlock Cones, Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 150mm Macro f/2.8, Canon 1.4X Teleconverter Series III, f/5.6, 1/60 sec, ISO 400


_MG_0240 v4

Bug on Leaf, Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 150mm Macro f/2.8, f/7.1, 1/320 sec, -0.33 exp. comp, ISO 320

_MG_0393 v8

Canon 7D, Sigma 150mm Macro f/2.8, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, f/8, 1/320 sec, +0.33 exposure compensation


_MG_0426 v3

Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 150mm Macro f/2.8, f/8, 1/200 sec, ISO 400


_MG_5968 v3

Canon EOS 7D, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DO lens, f/11, 1/320 sec, +0.33 exposure compensation, ISO 320


_MG_8509 crp v3

Blue Dasher, Female, Canon EOS 7D, Canon 400mm DO f/4, Extension Tubes, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, f/5.6, 1/200 sec., -1.33 exposure compensation, ISO 1250


Blue Dasher Flying_43G9506

Flying Blue Dasher, Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO f/4, 30mm extension tube, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, 20mm extension tube, On Camera Fill Flash w/ Better Beamer Flash Extender, – 2.67 exp compensation, f/10, 1/125 sec, ISO 640


Blue_Dasher_43G9333 a

Blue Dasher, Canon EOS 1D MkIV, Canon 400mm DO f/4, 30mm extension tube, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, 20mm extension tube, On Camera Fill Flash w/ Better Beamer Flash Extender, – 0.67 exp compensation, f/8, 1/250 sec, ISO 400


Blue Dasher_80I9925 v3

Blue Dasher, Canon EOS 1D MkIII, Canon 400mm DO f/4, 30mm extension tube, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, 20mm extension tube, On Camera Fill Flash w/ Better Beamer Flash Extender, -1 exp compensation, f/8, 1/30 sec, ISO 400

_43G2780 v2

Big Red Skimmer, Canon EOS 1D MkIII, Canon 400mm DO f/4, 30mm extension tube, Canon 1.4X Series III Teleconverter, 20mm extension tube, On Camera Fill Flash w/ Better Beamer Flash Extender, – 1 exp compensation, f/8, 1/30 sec, ISO 400

Skimmer wing_MG_0251 v2

Closeup Dragonfly Wing – Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro @f/8, 1/30 sec, -1 exp. comp., ISO 400

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