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Some nature Macro

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So, these are some of my first, real macro shots. Hand-held with a vintage Vivitar 55mm f/2.8 (I think they were all at f/4 or f/5.6, no metadata on that :(

Any tips on hand-held macro work while out and about and not necessarily able or have the time to setup a full tripod? Especially for things that are down on the ground, or in hard to hold positions/locations?

Love the shot of the beetle, I like the way the focus is just right to catch this side of his head.

I'm in a similar position, I like to go out with a Macro lens and see what I get rather than spending too much time "setting up" - (tripod, ring flash, focus stacking etc.)

My solution is I'm thinking of upgrading my well used sigma 105mm f2.8 macro to the canon 100mm L 2.8 IS macro. I have relatively shakey hands at the best of times, so think the IS might be my friend for macro. (Even just a little help would be welcome-I've heard some comments that the hybrid IS isn't amazing)

I think these are good for handheld im getting similar results with my flektogon 35mm 2.8. My best advice is just to shoot many photos of the subject :P Blur is very easy to achieve sadly. Id still wish i had the 100mm 2.8 L lens cuz IS will be handy for handheld.
For things on the ground just carry around a big plastic bag (120litre or such) and put it on the ground so u can lay on it when u want to. Saves u from getting dirty and is really really cheap :P
You can also get some kind of mini tripod and have it always attached to your camera. Not hard to carry but they can be quite pricey. Or just take the cheap alternative again and carry around the famous beanbag with u! Yes its just a bag with beans inside but it stabilizes well :P
Get an old small pillow of yours and fill it with beans! There you go :D

samples i shot handheld with told lens (klick for 100%):

Unless conditions are good and you have time to set up a tripod, I find that handholding for insects is better, it's often about reaction time if you want some action shots. The only time a tripod is useful, is when the subject is at rest (usually roosting early morning, late evening). My advice would be to keep the shutterspeed high enough, easier with the shorter focal lengths, as insects are rarely still during the day. I also tend to pull back slightly from full 1:1 macro, so that I have room for me swaying and enable me to focus more easily and try to brace against a solid object if possible. You may also find a beanbag to be of use in some situations, they are much quicker to set up than a tripod and enable you to get down lower if needed.

A tip for a newbie,not my work though. this man is amazing.Anyone in the macro world will agree.He uses in the main a 5DmkII w/- MPE-65.All images are hand held,he does'nt own a tripod,check out his handheld multi image insect stacks,his dewdrops are to die for.


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