It's raining today...... grey and not particularly inviting to the landscape photographer .
The light is flat and although I could force myself out the door with Camera and tripod, I just don't have the inclination to.. So time to update the blog and where better to start than a picture.. The image above was taken last summer here in Cork... in the garden on a better day ! Mid summer the garden is alive with interesting subjects and flowers. If I remember it was in the middle of the day and the light was harsh , ( not ideal for landscape photography ). The hover fly in the image is tiny. They are smaller than wasps and very active, so photographing them takes patience and a bit of luck.... well maybe a lot of luck in my case..:-) Focus is the issue with such subjects, as there is little room for error. Using a macro lens, ( which is a specialist lens that allows the lens to get really close and with a 1:1 ratio , thats life size) is the only real way to get this type of shot. The actual image is very large and one can see the detail on the head of the fly. However in this version, it is scaled down for the web and proof marked. So, how was the shot obtained.. ? Camera was a Canon 5DsR, which is a 50mp, full frame sensor which produces ridiculously large image files.. too large in fact, but ideal for this type of work and favoured by the Stock Photo agencies. I used a diffusor panel to camera right and high to shield from the suns harsh rays.. the result is a softer light and well diffused . The next bit is the harder bit.. Basically lying down on the grass beside the flower bed and the plant in question.. The camera is in manual focus mode to prevent the lens from " hunting" around for focus. So, the focal point is locked and focus is achieved by very small movements back and forth in the area of where the hover fly is, or will be. Its a bit like the hobby of Fishing..basically waiting for the prey to come into your area..The camera's shutter is in burst' mode, which is firing several shots per second, depending on the camera's ability to do so. The 5Dsr only has a burst rate of about 5 images per second, which is not really that fast in today's technology.. To be fair the camera is not intended for sports or high speed shooting and is more a studio camera or Landscape camera with the ultra high resolution, allowing images to be blown up to billboard size if needs be. So, at that rate, the hit' rate can be low and it could take some time to get a really sharp, spot on image of the subject.. I believe that I was down in the prone position for about 15 minutes to get this shot, but it can take longer and frequently no success at all ...! But, it is so satisfying when it does work out.. you have an image that looks great in print and is saleable..but mostly the enjoyment of looking at the image first time on the screen in detail is the reward.. I can recommend Macro photography .. it's great fun and addictive so, be careful !!