There are a few different ways to capture macro images, some of which can be quite intricate. I dislike using tripods and I don’t have much patience for complicated set-ups. So, my preference is to shoot macro photographs handheld. This short article features a selection of f/11 butterfly macro images captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1X, coupled with an M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro lens. An Olympus STF-8 Twin Macro Flash was also used.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
When selecting an aperture for macro photography one needs to consider the shooting angle used to photograph the subject and the creative effect that is desired.
Some photographers may prefer a very shallow depth-of-field when doing macro work. Others may want more of the subject being photographed to be in focus. During a recent visit to the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory I decided to create a selection of f/11 butterfly macro images.
My objective was to create a reasonable amount of depth-of-field when subject butterflies were positioned at an angle to my camera, or when facing my lens head-on.
As regular readers will know, I added an Olympus STF-8 Twin Macro Flash to my kit earlier this year. I’ve found this flash unit to be an excellent and easy-to-use addition to my Olympus kit. All of the photographs in this article were captured using TTL mode.
I chose an aperture of f/11 as it would produce a decent amount of depth-of-field while somewhat limiting the potential effects of diffraction when shooting with a micro four-thirds sensor.
Overall, I was quite pleased with the results of these handheld f/11 butterfly macro images. To my eye there is a sufficient amount of depth-of-field to focus a viewer’s eye on the head of the butterfly.
Having some out-of-focus areas also helps to direct eye flow in the photographs.
When selecting a shooting angle it is important to consider background elements. I usually look for clean, unobstructed backgrounds as these help to achieve good subject separation.
Depending on the position of the butterfly, I’m very comfortable using either the EVF or rear screen of my camera. Using a two handed grip on my camera is preferred. The IBIS performance of the E-M1X is stellar and does allow me to capture handheld macro images with only one hand. This was the case with the image below. I had to reach in towards a butterfly feeding station with one hand to create this photograph.
Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.
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