Macro Silhouettes

I have been asked by a couple of people now about how these are done. They are very simple really. All you need is a subject that is willing to pose for a minute. I would advise manual focus because the auto-focus screws up when you point the lens into the sun. Pre focus onto the subject and then line the subject so it lies in the sun. Then take the photo. I would advise low ISO settings because the sun is bright and you want the widest aperture you can without over exposing the subject. A few warnings though. The sun is, of course, bright etc so close your eyes when you take the shot. Do this technique at dawn/dusk when the sun is at its weakest so you do not burn your sensor (Though this has never happened to me and if you do it at dawn/dusk then this is unlikely). I find these types of shots much more interesting than regular portrait macros. I have nothing against these though.

I am trying to experiment with new techniques these days, so keep updated on www.maxbrown.zenfolio.com/ or www.twitter.com/max_wildlife

Here is an example, if you do try this tell me how you get on! Thanks for reading.

Insects In Flight

 

Insects are incredible creatures, and have been the fascination of many naturalists who dared to delve into the most numerous of all orders of life. I too am fascinated by their delicacy and variation. There are too many to count, and therefore make perfect photographic subjects. If you spend enough time in the right place you are sure to see them. However getting the right shot takes a lot of persistence and patience, which I admit challenges me and is one of the reasons I pursue them. Here are a few shots of insects taking flight, action in the frame can make for a more spectacular image.

Max

(Follow me at www.500px.com/max_wildlife)

Abstracts

 

 

Sorry I have not posted lately, work has been getting in my way and a lot of pictures to sort and edit!

I am an avid wildlife photographer and I usually take photos of birds or insects but I have been collecting a few photos lately of plants. To make the photo more interesting, defocusing is a nice technique but also slow shutter speeds to give motion blur. Some of these were taken with my 100mm macro, which can focus close on details not always seen. However I have been shooting with my 400mm prime and it gives awesome blur and bokeh, compressing the foreground and background. This in my opinion is as important as the subject itself, a bad background makes a bad picture, for example if there is too much background clutter. That problem can usually be solved by getting down low and throwing the background out of focus. I do not know if these photos actually work so some feedback would be much appreciated.

I have some new projects going so I hope to post some bird photos soon. Thanks for reading.

Max

www.500px.com/max_wildlife

Entering New Ground

Just a quick update,

I have recently got a new lens, a canon 400mm f5.6 which I intend to shoot birds with. As you know from my last posts I am mainly a macro photographer so this is new to me. I did indeed have a 70-300mm lens but I just loved macro too much! Now all the insects are either dead/hibernating/larvae/eggs they have become considerably non-existant. Plus many of the photographers I know are into bird photography and I now know why, it is brilliant. Now I have also found some resident owls and kingfishers so my efforts will be put into getting some shots of those elusive birds which won’t be easy.

I did go to the London Wetland centre the other day and was glad too see some grebes swimming around, so I turned my lens to them, got down low and got some shots.

Max Brown (www.500px.com/max_wildlife)

Fungi Foray

 

 

I do like Fungi. I find them curious, but it is hard to take interesting and imaginative shots of what are static (some say boring) subjects. I still love them to bits though, there is something magical the way they burst through the leaf litter, the way they appear in the most unlikely places and the way the fruiting bodies can be any shape you can imagine. I would love to study them more closely and perhaps one day I will – they are a whole kingdom of organisms in themselves and are every bit as interesting as animals.

I was inspired by Edwin Giesbers (who appeared in the BBC wildlife magazine) and especially his fungi pictures. A link is here and well worth checking out:

http://www.edwingiesbers.com/index.php/portfolio/?album=1&gallery=13

My pictures are all taken from my favourite Fungi haunts and I have only scratched the surface here with these pictures. I was in fact going to blog about something else but I haven’t yet seen on this website any fungi featured, which made my mind up. Mature woodlands are the best for fungi photography, they offer the biggest biodiversity, especially ones that harbour native trees, Oaks, Birches and Beeches are perhaps the best to find many species of fungi. However I have found many fungi out in the grassland habitats, the aptly named Field Mushroom, very edible, is a prime example.

So I urge you to go out and photograph them, I hope I have inspired you a little and if I havent I am sure the link I have provided will.

Thanks for reading,

Max Brown :)

(www.flickr.com/max_wildlife)

 

A Summer Of Macro Photography

This summer was a particularly long one because school ended early after the exams. This has allowed me a lot of time to get out there with my favourite lens (canon 100mm macro) and shoot insects, fungi and plants which were my favourite subjects. In fact I love this lens so much that my Tamron 70-300mm has barely been on my camera at all. If you are thinking of getting this lens (100mm Macro) don’t hesitate, get it and you wont be disappointed. My local patch so to speak was my local park. However it was not to last because the council chopped all of the grass and the insects died with the grass. Sad, I went looking for unspoilt territory in my local area, which is a vast sea of buildings, uninviting for small creatures such as insects. But small as they are they make their way into all ways of life. I turned to the local golf course and it has proven a fantastic place for wildlife, I see Little Owls and woodpeckers there regularly. But the insect life was better than expected and a relief from the horrors that has befallen my local park.

The golfers are usually okay with me and I have never been hit by a golf ball but it is worth it for the dragonflies that patrol the little strips of water, for the grasshoppers chirping among the grass, for the frogs and toads and for the beautiful sunsets I often stay for, long after the golfers have packed up and gone home. I find it very peaceful after dawn and just before dusk. Here I can experiment with the lighting which is often too harsh during the day. I found back lighting particularly pleasing and gives a different feel to the photos, and as the light is constantly changing, no two shots are the same.

I have been out a lot to various places in Surrey too to photograph insects including Chobham Common, Leith Hill and Denbies Hillside. These are fantastic places to go as they are so rich in wildlife but the downside is limited time but many of my best shots have come from these places. Dawn and Dusk simply are fantastic times to photograph insects, even if the subjects are slightly harder to find, they are always more rewarding. I have only recently started going out regularly in the mornings and I will continue to do so. I find photography as an escape from everyday life, and enjoy it very much so so I can, in my own little world, forget my troubles and worries.

I dont have a proper website yet but if you want to view more of my work please visit:

www.flickr.com/max_wildlife

And thanks for reading!

Max Brown.

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