Robin Hoskyns Nature Photography – Blog

Images and stories of nature, science and conservation.


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First Macro of the Year!

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I found a 7-spot Ladybird inside the house yesterday so I thought it would be a great opportunity to dust off my macro gear!

I’m hoping try out some slightly more “environmental” macros this year rather that full frame close ups so I thought I’d use the wireless flash control on the 7d to experiment with more of a field studio sort of set up.¬†Since I got the 7d (well over a year ago now!) I have been meaning to try it out with wireless flash for macro work but up until now I haven’t had the time. I was wondering if this could be a way to get softer light on larger subjects as these need to be further away from the camera and I can experiment with much larger softboxes and diffusers which would be impractical to attach to the camera and it also might help to illuminate the background more with closer shots as light fall-off and black backgrounds are a constant problem with macro work.

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My Set-up with my coat to lie on as it was a bit damp still!

I used my new tripod which has a “tiltable” centre column to position my flash where I wanted it and my homemade “plamp” (some foam covered wire ties and some small clamps!) to hold the diffuser. This didn’t quite work as well as I’d hoped. The light didn’t seem as soft as I would like as there were still some blown highlights and it was difficult to find an angle where the reflections on the ladybirds shell were minimised.¬†Anyway I got some shots that I was happy with and the benefit of this sort of set-up appears to be much better background lighting which Is what I was going for. I think it needs a bit more experimentation and I’m going to try and see if it also works for the MPE for much closer shots!

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A more detailed shot of the lighting setup where you can see my homemade plamp.

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