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All In The Detail Series Part 1

02 / 03 / 20

When I first got into macro photography I was instantly hooked and it became one of my favorite genres in photography. I spent time looking at all the awesome really close up work on the web but then was a little disappointed to find out a lot of this work was done with dead insects, stuck on a pin and photographed in a studio environment. I don't have anything against doing this for scientific reasons it just wasn't for me as a nature photographer. This gave me a goal; which was to get to the same level of results but out in the field with living subjects with a minimum of disturbance to the animals/insects and the environment.

This then led to a number of obstacles that I had to overcome from a technical point of view in terms of super shallow depth of field and using natural lighting. But these are topics for a different blog.

I produce a lot of macro work and most of it just gets posted on social media. When I put the images on social media I shrink the full-frame images which are generally about 6500 pixels and shrink them around 1200 pixels. The reason for this is two-fold. Firstly anything that goes onto social media can be ripped off and used by other people (including the social media companies themselves). Secondly, a lot of people are viewing these images on their phones. In doing this though so much of the resolution and detail of the images is lost.

In the past, I thought the only real way of viewing these images in their full glory was to see them as large (>1m prints). 

Then last week I was looking at an image in detail and produced a duplicated image where I cropped into the most important section. I then had this idea of producing a series of these images to demonstrate the detail which can be achieved in these stacked full-frame images. 

This is the first of the series!

All In The Detail Series Part 1

1. Horsefly perched on a fence

A handheld stacked image in natural light at around 3 times magnification

Canon 5Div camera, Canon MP-E 65mm lens

Settings; ISO 3200 Aperture f/7.1 shutter speed 1/100 sec 

All In The Detail Series Part 1

2. Robberfly perched on grass

A stacked image in natural light at around 3 times magnification

Canon 5Div camera, Canon MP-E 65mm lens, Benro Mach 3 tripod and Induro 5 way head

Settings; ISO 3200 Aperture f/9 shutter speed 1/60 sec 

All In The Detail Series Part 1

3. Proboscis anole (Anolis proboscis)

A handheld stacked image in natural light of one of the world's rarest lizards. This lizard was first recorded in 1953 and then not seen again until 2004. The lizard was photographed in the cloud forest of Mindo Ecuador at the amazing eco-lodge Séptimo Paraiso.

Canon 5Div camera, Canon 100mm Macro IS L lens 

Settings; ISO 1600 Aperture f/5 shutter speed 1/100 sec 

All In The Detail Series Part 1

4. Tiger beetle

A handheld stacked image in natural light of a tiger beetle in the cloud forest of Mindo Ecuador at the amazing eco-lodge Séptimo Paraiso. I had to watch this beetle for some time as they do not stay still for very long

Canon 5Div camera, Canon MP-E 65mm lens

Settings; ISO 3200 Aperture f/5.6 shutter speed 1/80 sec 

All In The Detail Series Part 1

5. Common Darter Dragonfly

A stacked image in natural light photographed early morning hence the dew.

Canon 5Div camera, Canon MP-E 65mm lens

Settings; ISO 3200 Aperture f/10 shutter speed 1/30 sec 

All In The Detail Series Part 1

6. Ruby Tailed Wasp

A handheld stacked image in natural light of one of the world's fastest wasps! Joking aside these tiny wasps rarely stay still and are an absolute challenge to photograph using this technique. But if you can get it in natural light and stacked the colours and the detail are phenomenal.

Canon 5Div camera, Canon MP-E 65mm lens 

Settings; ISO 3200 Aperture f/5.6 shutter speed 1/125 sec 

All In The Detail Series Part 1

7. Black Darter Dragonfly

Another dragonfly photographed early in the morning in a heavy dew. This one was perched in this unusual spot and was dangling like a jewel.

Canon 5Div camera, Canon 100mm Macro IS L lens 

Settings; ISO 800 Aperture f/5.6 shutter speed 1/80 sec 

 

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So the question to the audience does this work displaying the images like this?

Does it give you an insight into how the images would look as a giant print?

On social media, I did get one comment which was it shows the imperfections more. I agree it does! In some of the images, I can see more noise than I would like. On some images where I thought I had got the sharpness when I have done this viewing technique I realised I hadn't. But in the long run, I think that's a good thing as it just means I will work harder next year to further stive for perfection :)

Any thoughts or comments please let me know.

All the best,

Oliver

PS 

I do have some macro workshops coming up this summer I have only one place left on a one week tour I'm running with Greenwings which is here and I'm doing a one day workshop with Wild Arena in 18th of April and that one is here.

2 Comments

  • Great❣️ amazing👍🏼 unique😍❣️

    Margit - 2nd March, 2020

  • Fantastic images Oliver. Excuse my ignorance but as someone who is about to get into macro photography with my new lens, what does ‘stacked’ mean?

    Chris Laming - 1st April, 2020

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