Another image from my session with my kitchen orchid. I like this zoomed out version as much as the close up ones from my previous posts.
I bought some new portable studio lights last week and have just been able to start playing with them. First test subject was the ‘kitchen’ orchid. Messing around with high key images today, I really like the overall effect of this. It would look great as a canvas! Any takers?
Canon 1D MkIV with Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro and Elinchrom Quadra with softbox.
A bit different from the butterflies in the last few posts, todays image, no 066, is of a ladybird on top of a common spotted orchid. I photographed this image using the same macro technique as the butterflies.
I really like the latin name of this: Coccinella septempunctata. If you split the septempunctata in half you have ‘septem’ meaning seven (which is why september is the 7th month in the roman calendar) and ‘punctata’ just means punctured or spots. Seven spots! Brilliant! This is the same for most ladybirds… 14 spot is quatuordecimpunctata (a mouthful I know!!) and 2 spot being bipunctata.
Seven-spot Ladybird, Coccinella septempunctata. Herefordshire, June, 2010.
Canon 1D mkIV with 100mm f/2.8 macro lens.
Following on with a flower theme, image 008 is of an Autumn Ladies Tresses orchid. The subject was backlit by the sun with the background in shade. I used a small gold reflector to bounce some light back on to the flower, giving this very contrasty image.
Autumn Ladies Tresses, Spiranthes spiralis, Malvern Hills, Worcestershire, August, 2010.
Canon 1d mk4, Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens.
Image 007 shows a close up of one of the flowers of a Lizard Orchid that I was told about growing next to a main road near Bristol. I love the faces that you can see if you look hard enough! The background was very messy so using a small aperture of f/3.5 I blurred the background. It helped having a dedicated macro lens as I was using the minimum focussing distance of the lens (28cm) to its fullest, the subject distance being 33cm away.
Lizard Orchid, Himantoglossum hircinum, Bristol, Somerset, June, 2010.
Canon 1d Mk4, Canon 100mm f/2.8 lens.
Checking the exif data for the Bee Orchids I photographed last year said I’d taken them between 10th and 27th June. Well I searched and searched and couldn’t find any. It was only when I checked the other night that I found a single really small orchid. I’m not sure whether its been a bad year for this species or not, but I can definately say they are very late flowering around this area compared to last year. Anyway, the next task was to photograph it. I tend to use my Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens for most of the macro subjects I find, but after purchasing the Canon 1D mk4 I am finding the depth of field with this lens to be tricky. Due to the sensor being a lot bigger than my old 40D, the subject appears smaller in the viewfinder, which means you have to move closer to the subject which in turn, makes the depth of field smaller. Is everyone still following…? Good! (cus I’m confused and I’m writing it!! lol!) Anyhow, hmm.. because the depth of field is smaller due to being closer, to get more of the subject in focus, you have to increase the aperture. This will have two effects on the image/settings. 1. It will cause the shutter speed to go down (unless you increase the ISO) and 2. It will bring the background more into focus and you will lose the nice clear background that you want in an image. Not good… so… in my bag I also carry a Canon 17-40mm f/4.0 L and a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS. I also have an 25mm extension tube and a 1.4x converter. It doesnt happen very often but I had a brain wave. I mounted the 70-200mm on the tripod and attached the extension tube aswell. An extension tube reduces the minimum focussing distance of a lens, (25% in this case with a 25mm) so you can get closer to a subject (and therefore have it bigger in the frame). This would also get round the fact that I would be further away than with the 100mm macro (because of the magnification of the lens) which should therefore give a more diffuse background. It worked a treat and the photo below is what I achieved of a plant that was no taller than 15cm. Settings for the top shot were Canon 1D mk4 with a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS lens at 170mm with a Canon 25mm extension tube. ISO200, 100th sec @ f/8.0. The lower image is with the 100mm macro lens at ISO 400, 1/80sec @ f/8.0. Compare the two backgrounds and settings. I know which one I prefer.
Knowing that there are plenty of butterflies to photograph in this area, I had a slow walk back to the car and found two Marbled Whites butterflies mating on top of one of the orchid spikes. The female is the browner looking one on top. I couldn’t resist getting a few pics and heres one that I particularly liked.
If you enjoy reading my blogs and viewing my images, please get in touch as it would be great to hear from you.
As always, all my pictures are available to purchase. Please contact me for more details.
www.ianbutlerphotography.co.uk or email email@example.com