Sunday, 14 August 2011

Guest photo - Fly, by Bob Latham

Hi all!

For my first post back after the holiday I thought I'd showcase a shot and a website of a photographer friend of mine, Bob Latham.

Bob has an expansive knowledge of photography including detailed technical information. He is a fellow Canon-user with experience of much of their range of bodies, lenses and accessories. I've often asked his advice regarding recommended equipment.

Anyhow, the shot:

I love the detail and colours in this shot and they are nicely juxtaposed against the black background. The eye of the fly sits near the intersection of the horizontal and vertical thirds which enhances the composition.

The technicals of the shot of are particular interest. It was taken on the Canon 1DMkIV (Phil goes a gentle shade of green!) with the unusual Canon MP-E 65mm lens (nickname the Magic Mole!) and the Canon MT-24EX flash unit.

The MP-E 65mm is an interesting lens in that firstly, it is Manual focus only, and secondly that it can ONLY do Macro. Most Macro lenses also function as normal lenses, but not this one. It goes from 1:1 magnification, all the way down to 5:1 - this is where the image on the sensor is five times life size! At this magnification the lens is very close to the subject which makes lighting difficult.

Many people opt for a ring flash like the Canon MR-14EX when doing macro shots like this. The ring flash has two issues though. Firstly, it doesn't light the subject properly at the higher magnifications of the MP-E (the light fires over the top!). Secondly, lighting with ringflashes tends to be a bit 'flat' (shadowless) despite the ability to light one half of the ring differently to the other.

The MT-24EX solves both these issues by putting two minature flash guns on a ring such that they can be angled right into the subject and also moved about to give more direction to the light.

Anyway - apologies for the lecture, hope you enjoy the shot that Bob tells me was taken on a calm french July evening whilst negotiating bramble!

Please see Bob's website here for more fascinating macro shots and other genres.

EXIF:  1DMkIV,  1/250 at f/11  ISO 200 MP-E65 and MT-24EX

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