- Animal & wildlife
- Date taken:
- nth qld Aust
- 1/800s f/8 ISO 400 330mm
- taken today, unsharpened
Hi, Dragonflies like many insects make great subjects to photograph but cause the photographer many problems as they are often very active and often very small making focus tricky. Regardless of how good your equipment is or how much you do or do not crop the image or how good your camera skills are a good wildlife shot can only be achieved under certain conditions.Helpful 1 28 February 2016
As wildlife is a subject I really enjoy I hope you don't mind me giving you my advice on how I would go about it.
My advice to you would be firstly give the insect a little room if they are likely to fly off as you can always crop in closer at post, or after taking a shot move slowly closer for the next one.
using a tripod can often make a real difference, focus manually for precision.
If you are handholding I find I can use auto focus to quickly lock on the subject then lean in or out ever so slightly just prior to pressing the shutter this way you can make sure the critical parts are in focus and of course make sure as much as possible in the plane of focus.
A lot of insects inc beetles and dragonflies have very reflective heads and thoraxes and looking at some of the recent shots of these you can clearly see that the sun has caused as many problems as any camera settings or issues as they never look quite right as it causes bright reflections, dark areas in the shadows, burnt out perches and false looking colours. If at all possible try to get the shot as the sun gets filtered behind a cloud or early morning or evening when the sun isn't high. Dragons and damsons can easily be found roosting on grass stems early mornings before they have become active, this will eliminate the light problems and the insect will not be able to fly off until they have warmed up their flight muscles. You can also get a lot closer this way without chance of disturbing it.
I'm not sure what camera you are using but as you have had a few problems nailing the focus totally are you using a single focus point? If not you should be for this type of shot, anymore than one focus point selected you may find the part you are focusing on is not as sharp as some of the areas close to it.
I always use back focus also so there is no chance that when I go to press the shutter that the camera will try and re-focus.
Using these methods you will find it easier to get focus and more time to compose your shot. Any distracting leaves, or stems can also be removed or bent out of the way prior to the shot. Cropping for final composition or straightening then will not be an issue and exasperate any focus issues as they wont be there.
Hope this will be of some help
Thanks guys , I knew this one was a bit out I threw it in because it seemed on topic.28 February 2016
Yesterday I went for a daytrip with the fam. to a mountain lake, unfortunately I forgot to pack my monopod and this was taken on a last ditch walk before we left . The lens was completely inappropriate for shot (120-400mm sigma with no macro function).