Shooting Into the Sun: Back-light + Flash = Cool Effects
June 20, 2013  Author:  

I have long shot macro mostly with side- or front-light, although using a macro twin flash gives me the flexibility to shoot in most any direction. However, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered shooting directly into the sun can create some very cool effects – under the right circumstances. I came upon a butterfly […]

A Matter of Perspective: Shooting Butterflies from All Angles – Guest Article by Steve Russell
April 25, 2013  Author:  

Starving for small, living creatures to shoot during the winter months, I visited the Butterfly House in the Seattle Science Center hoping to get a shot or two up close. Butterflies from all over the world live their brief lives in an 85-degree glass greenhouse filled with tropical plants and it’s open to the public. […]

Arctic Snowy Owls in Washington – Guest Article by Steve Russell
March 25, 2013  Author:   (2)

I have long admired Paul Bannick’s photographs of Arctic Snowy Owls and, living in the Pacific Northwest, it never occurred to me that I would ever get the chance to shoot them myself without heading north. But the opportunity came my way when I discovered that the owls were making one of their “irregular” winter […]

Eat or Be Et – Guest Article by Steve Russell
December 28, 2012  Author:  

This is a photography blog, but sometimes subject matter themes present themselves at timely moments of the year. As we humans celebrate our holidays by consuming turkeys and other animal life, so too, do the bugs around us consume each other and it is all done in concert with the natural law of the jungle […]

Shooting Dragonflies: Show Up, Watch Stuff Happen, Shoot it When it Does (Part 2) – Guest Article by Steve Russell
October 4, 2012  Author:  

See Shooting Dragonflies: Show Up, Watch Stuff Happen, Shoot it When it Does (Part 1) here. Shooting Roosters Some roosters startle easily so shooting with a longer lens helps. I use a 70-200mm lens with a 1.4 extender and can fill a frame with a dragonfly from about 4-5 feet away or stand further back […]

Shooting Dragonflies: Show Up, Watch Stuff Happen, Shoot it When it Does (Part 1) – Guest Article by Steve Russell
September 13, 2012  Author:   (1)

Dragonflies are remarkable subjects to shoot. They come in brilliant arrays and combinations of colors from cherry red to sky blue to emerald and olive greens. Each huge compound eye has up to 30,000 lenses and they see better than any other insect. Their four independently controlled wings flap at 30-80 times per second, which […]

Macro Mating Revisited: Guest article by Steve Russell
August 6, 2012  Author:   (2)

It’s been almost two years since I last wrote about shooting bugs in the act of procreation, and you know what? They’re STILL doing it! Right out in the open in public parks and backyards. This time around, though, I have more macro experience behind me and I’m better equipped to shoot them when I […]

Raindrops, Dew, and Bubbles – Macro Heaven: Guest Article by Steve Russell
July 6, 2012  Author:   (1)

Raindrops, Dew, and Bubbles: Macro Heaven Climate change has hit hard in most of the nation, but the Pacific Northwest continues to experience even cooler and rainier weather than usual. With the sun behind the clouds much of the time, I took a chance one early damp morning a month ago and ventured out to […]

Shooting Super Close with the Canon MP-E 1-5x Macro 65mm Lens: Guest Article by Steve Russell
April 20, 2012  Author:   (1)

First off, I love my Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 lens. I’ve shot thousands of quality macro images with it, but I began hungering to get closer still and discovered the Canon MP-E lens, which delivers extreme close-up images of up to five times (“5x”) the magnification of the standard macro 1:1 […]

One Subject, Eight Legs, Eight Ways
October 11, 2011  Author:   (2)

One exercise that had a lasting effect on me in Elizabeth Stone’s and Doug Johnson’s Intermediate Photography Workshop four years ago was how to work a scene. We learned to shoot from the same spot or shoot a single subject at least eight different ways. In the macro world having the mindset to find eight […]

Shooting Damsels and Dragons – Flies, That Is
September 20, 2011  Author:  

  Damselflies and Dragonflies are some of the most curious, colorful, and strangest looking creatures I’ve run across in my quest for macro subjects, and also some of the most challenging and rewarding to shoot. I stumbled upon a popular roost for Damselflies in the park earlier this summer and shot them for at least […]

The Joys of Using Canon’s Macro Twin Lite (MT-24EX) Flash
July 25, 2011  Author:  

Following my adventure with bees, I put away the Speedlite, screwed on Canon’s dual macro flash (with diffusers), and haven’t looked back. The versatility of being able to so easily adjust the intensity (exposure compensation) and direction of light along an arc has opened up new possibilities for lighting and clarity in my macro images. […]

8 Great Tips For Photographing Bees
June 22, 2011  Author:   (8)

For the macrophile in search of fascinating subjects, colorful backgrounds, and technically challenging photography, look no further than the nearest stand of pollinating flowers. There you will invariably find buzzing, herky-jerky bumblebees bouncing from one flower to the next collecting pollen. How do you shoot something that is so small and in perpetual motion? After […]

Spring Babies: The Good, The Bad, and The Creepy
June 2, 2011  Author:  

Spring finally arrived in the Northwest and new life popped up in familiar places. The Mallards and Canada Geese babies showed up at the local park and in the macro world, hundreds of tiny orb weaver spiders emerged from their nest in the eave of the roof over my deck. The subjects were a study […]

The Dockyard Derby Dames: Photographing Roller Derby
April 11, 2011  Author:   (1)

(Note: I decided to forego my scheduled installment of the Nicaragua series in lieu of the latest and greatest opportunity that has come my way.) Rrrrrrrrroller derby! The words evoke names of stars like Joannnnnnn Weston of the Bay City Bombers when I was a kid. Now the names have morphed into monikers like Farrah […]