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Wasps, some in flight
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gardenersassistant



Joined: 31 May 2009
Posts: 133
Location: North Somerset, England

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:55 am    Post subject: Wasps, some in flight Reply with quote

I've been working through my rather large backlog and came across yet another unprocessed set of images from an exercise I did in 2018 comparing a lot of different setups to photograph wasps at the entrance of a nest in a wall in our back garden. These were captured with a Panasonic G80 and Olympus 60mm macro lens, with a Venus Optics KX800 twin flash, in this case (and unusually) using a monopod rather than a tripod to support the camera during the 35 minute session, during which I captured around 560 images (all single captures, no bursts, at an average rate of around one capture every 3.75 seconds).

I processed the raw files using DXO PhotoLab, Silkypix, Lightroom and Topaz Sharpen AI. These eight images are taken from this album at Flickr which has 1300 pixel high versions of the 16 images I kept from the session.

#1

1608 01 2018_08_19 P1530178_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

#2

1608 03 2018_08_19 P1530209_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h AIS by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

#3

1608 07 2018_08_19 P1530288_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h AIS by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

#4
1608 09 2018_08_19 P1530376_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h AIS by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

#5

1608 11 2018_08_19 P1520978_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h-2 AIS by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

#6

1608 12 2018_08_19 P1530436_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h AIS by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

#7

1608 15 2018_08_19 P1530127_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h AIS by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

#8

1608 16 2018_08_19 P1520913_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h AIS by gardenersassistant, on Flickr
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Nick

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Lou Jost



Joined: 04 Sep 2015
Posts: 4265
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are really nice, and nicely lit.
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enricosavazzi



Joined: 21 Nov 2009
Posts: 1250
Location: Borgholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are those rice grains on the ground?
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gardenersassistant



Joined: 31 May 2009
Posts: 133
Location: North Somerset, England

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lou Jost wrote:
These are really nice, and nicely lit.


Thanks.

Although I have tried quite hard over the years to get my flash/diffusion arrangements to produce light that I like, in the post processing for these I did manipulate the distribution of light and dark quite significantly, much more than I usually to, to make it more pleasing to my eye. (I have never been a "documentary" type photographer, trying to accurately portray the scene as it looked on the day. I'm much more along the lines of trying to make a "pretty picture".)
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Nick

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gardenersassistant



Joined: 31 May 2009
Posts: 133
Location: North Somerset, England

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

enricosavazzi wrote:
Are those rice grains on the ground?


I don't think so.
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MarkSturtevant



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Posts: 784
Location: Michigan, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice. I want to try again to get insects in flight - never got the hang of it.
I usually use a monopod rather than a tripod, since it is far less fussy to use in the field.
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gardenersassistant



Joined: 31 May 2009
Posts: 133
Location: North Somerset, England

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MarkSturtevant wrote:
Very nice.

Thanks.

MarkSturtevant wrote:
I want to try again to get insects in flight - never got the hang of it.

This only worked because they were moving in an out of a fixed corridor. Other than this nest and another one we had a year or two before, I have rarely photographed insects in flight. Bees a few times, and flies, once, and that's about it.

MarkSturtevant wrote:
I usually use a monopod rather than a tripod, since it is far less fussy to use in the field.

I used to use a tripod a lot, but several years ago I started working hand-held and I rarely use a tripod now. I never really got on with a monopod. The reason I used support for the camera for these sessions was that I had the camera in a fixed position, and holding it there for long periods was not practical (most of the sessions were longer than this one, an hour or more).
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MarkSturtevant



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
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Location: Michigan, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I use the monopod for two reasons. One being that it just less exhausting holding the camera steady for extended periods. The other is I can slow the shutter speed a little.

Dumb question: To freeze motion you mainly rely on the flash rather than shutter speed, yes?
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Adalbert



Joined: 30 Nov 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Nick,
All pictures very nice!
BR, ADi
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gardenersassistant



Joined: 31 May 2009
Posts: 133
Location: North Somerset, England

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MarkSturtevant wrote:
Yeah, I use the monopod for two reasons. One being that it just less exhausting holding the camera steady for extended periods. The other is I can slow the shutter speed a little.

Dumb question: To freeze motion you mainly rely on the flash rather than shutter speed, yes?


For medium sized invertebrates like these, and small ones like springtails, yes. I don't see larger ones like dragonflies very often, but when I do it is usually a bright, sunny day. Since the main camera I'm using is typically set up for smaller things I use a second camera set up with a telezoom lens with a mild close-up lens that I may or may not use on it, not set up for flash, and use natural light.

It depends on what camera I'm using, but with my small sensor bridge cameras in addition to flash I use fast shutter speeds, around 1/1000 or faster. This helps ensure that the illumination is dominated by the flash and that any natural light component is kept brief so as to minimise its blurring effect. With that setup I only slow the shutter speed when I want to raise dark backgrounds with natural light, in which case I may go quite slow, down to ... not sure, I'd need to dig around ... maybe 1/50th sec, slower perhaps. The flash tends to dominate the illumination of the subject and keep it sharp while the further away background will be picking up its illumination from the slow exposure, but sharpness isn't an issue for the background.

With the bridge camera+flash setup I occasionally speed up the shutter speed as much as I can in order to try to handle really rapid motion, again the idea being here to ensure that the flash is dominating the illumination. For example, I used 1/2500 sec for these.


1609 1 P1710632_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h AIS by gardenersassistant, on Flickr


1609 2 P1710606_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h AIS by gardenersassistant, on Flickr


1609 3 P1710689_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h AIS by gardenersassistant, on Flickr


1609 4 P1710637_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h AIS by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

For flowers etc the situation is different as I like to use natural light for botanical subjects, which can make working hand-held tricky when the light level is lower, in the shade on bright days, and everywhere on dull days, so despite the fact that I rarely use minimum aperture as I do for medium and small invertebrates, I can still get quite slow shutter speeds even after raising the ISO as far as I am comfortable with.

Despite the subject movement being relatively slow - things moving around in the breeze - and despite having good image stabilisation, the results can be mixed so I typically capture multiple shots of a scene to increase the chance of getting one that works ok with motion sufficiently subdued as to be non-problematic. Not exactly "frozen" as with flash, but adequate much of the time, although with more marginal results post processing can have an enhanced role.
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gardenersassistant



Joined: 31 May 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adalbert wrote:
Hello Nick,
All pictures very nice!
BR, ADi


Thank you. Smile
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MarkSturtevant



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a very fast shutter speed + flash, don't you have to use high speed sync on the flash? Otherwise the camera won't permit taking the picture.A fully manual flash would let you take the picture, but at those shutter speeds you would get the shutter curtains in the picture.
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gardenersassistant



Joined: 31 May 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MarkSturtevant wrote:
For a very fast shutter speed + flash, don't you have to use high speed sync on the flash? Otherwise the camera won't permit taking the picture.A fully manual flash would let you take the picture, but at those shutter speeds you would get the shutter curtains in the picture.


This is with a fixed lens bridge camera which I understand has a leaf shutter in the lens. It syncs at those speeds with ordinary flash.
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DrHook



Joined: 28 Jul 2017
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are all very nice photos!
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gardenersassistant



Joined: 31 May 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrHook wrote:
Those are all very nice photos!


Thank you. Smile
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