I must say I'm enjoying this thread. Even the bickering, which has been kept fairly civil. The photos are absolutely amazing! All of them!
However, I have a big question. How the heck do you get these photos of insects without them flying away just when you want to take the shot? I've tried to take photos of butterflies and just when I've got it framed, it flies away. Same with bees--they'll move on to another flower. Because of that, I have very few with the insect in the frame and lots of out-of-focus flowers. Any tips from you all? Thanks in advance!
Your question is pretty much all that makes macrophotography such a challenge: you have only a very small window to capture a very tiny creature---who's likely terrified of your presence. Add to this another element to the equation: wind
. Even if you have a subject who is willing to sit still, at least here in Florida there is almost always a perpetual breeze. So not only do you have a very limited window of opportunity to capture something like a butterfly, but even if you have nice equipment all set upon a tripod, your subject is still swaying in the breeze!
So while you're trying to get the perfect shot in the wind, at any moment your subject might fly away also (or never stops crawling). It tends to make a person want to gnash his teeth together and consider using his equipment like a club
Compare this to landscape, model, or building photography. Landscapes and buildings aren't going anywhere, and a paid model is trying her best to cooperate
with your photographic efforts, rather than do everything possible to avoid them. Therefore, a photographer of these subjects essentially has all the time in the world
to compose the best possible shot.
Macrophotograpy is exactly the opposite. You have a very limited window of opportunity to get your shot at all, let alone to get everything perfect. Yet, the flipside is, you don't have to spend thousands of dollars setting up, paying someone, or travel thousands of miles to get out into the middle of nowhere to get what you're after either. You just open the door and go outside.
I don't feel qualified to give you any technical tips, all I can say is enjoy the fact the opportunity to improve is all around you. No need to travel, no need for any great expense passed your camera and lens; the only limit to your interesting subject matter is your own imagination. This is why I am grateful to those who have posted, as they have taken photos of subjects I myelf would have never thought of. One of these days, I will get my technique down and I hope to be able to contribute some really nice shots
BTW, Donna, what equipment do you use, and do you have any photos to share?