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Thread: Ant photography

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    Ant photography

    Hope this it the right forum for this!

    I was wondering if anyone had any tips for taking photos of insects, ants in particular - aside from being patient obviously. I've been trying to take a good shot for the past 1 or 2 weeks and have taken a few mediocre ones but nothing fabulous - the majority of them turn out blurry.

    TIA

    These are two I took yesterday, maybe someone could suggest where I'm going wrong? -

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ilovetobeyoung/3181149319/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ilovetobeyoung/3181132391/
    -Josie
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    Depending on how you want to capture your subjects, with the image I saw of yours you need to get a lot closer to the ant. it looks like you had taken it with the 50mm non macro lens. not close enough.
    Ants there is one sure way of getting them into some sort of area you need them, that is to place them on a leaf or stick and that is to be placed within a mote of water some how.
    Or if you like natural it is a matter of watch what they do and see when they slow down on a plant or the ground and capture them then.
    I am not a macro person as yet, but have had a crack, you need to be close at least.

    hopefully someone who knows more like Ving and others can shed some more light.

    Peter
    Any comments and critique always welcome
    Canon 400d twin lens kit & 60d : Canon 580 EX II & 430 EX II Flash | Cokin filters NDG 2,4 & 8 ND 8. + CPL | Sigma APO 150-500 OS DG | Canon 400L Canon 17-40L & 60 mm Macro.


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    Thakns Peter, I think you're absolutely right. I started off getting close and then backed off, I think I began to worry that getting too close was causing them to run away.

    Thanks a lot for the water tip, I noticed someone else on here had used that. I'll definitely have to give it a go. I was also thinking of placing a drop of honey near the areas they seem to gather in?

    I have been observing them a bit and waiting for them to slow down but eventually get fed up, hehe.

    Thanks again, that's been helpful

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    Hi iltby,

    This link will show you my one and only attempt at ant photography

    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ad.php?t=22522

    So I am certainly no expert having only done it once.

    I used a 105mm macro with extension tubes
    I put the ants in a controlled condition where I could keep them without fear that the would run away
    I chose the biggest, most interesting ants I could find, the small ones done have much detail and can be a bit boring
    I use 2 x off camera studio flash units to flood them with light so I could stop my aperture down a bit while using the extension tubes (extension tubes eat light)
    I took about 180 shots and out of that I kept 11
    I had nine ants in a fairly small area to increase my chances of getting a shot
    I had to use hand held as they move way too fast for a tripod
    I shot at 1/250 shutter speed to be in flash sync.

    Anyhow, that's what I did, I'm sure other people do it differently but it seemed to work ok for me.

    I hope it helps
    Shoot Hard ! Die Young !

    C&C always welcome - Bring it on


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    Hi Todd,

    Thanks a lot, that was helpful Those shots blew me away so you must be doing something right The ants I've been taking are incredibly boring little black ones, but I'm determined to get a good quality shot of one at the moment, even if it isn't incredibly interesting. Like you I've also been taking about 100 shots to get 5 or so good ones At the moment all I'm using is a 100mm macro lens; no flashes, extension tubes, etc (I wouldn't have a clue how to use them at this point), but will be keeping them in mind for the future!

    Thanks again

    I took these today, I think they might be a slight improvement-

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ilovetobeyoung/3186436677/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ilovetobeyoung/3187275678/
    Last edited by iltby; 11-01-2009 at 5:50pm.

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    There very nice shots, the only problem is they seem to be currently a shot of a leaf that happends to have an ant on it. You really have to get closer to make it a shot of an ant that happends to be standing on a leaf

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    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ad.php?t=15920

    I took these ants and they were running wild. I slowed them down with a tiny dot of honey. Worked for me. Good luck.
    Thanks for looking....Cheers,
    Julie-Anne / Julie / Jules / Julesy / JAS

    MY ..... MY BLOG..... Feel free to look.
    Canon 40D / 24-105mm L IS / 70-200mm L IS / 75-300mm / 50mm 1.8 / Sigma 10-20mm / Manfrotto tripod / Bits and pieces to fill the bag.


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    That's fabulous Julie-Anne, I think I will give the honey a go, it seems really effective.

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    That is really great Julie-Anne, they kind of look like buffalo around a watering hole

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    Honey works for me too

    As noted previously, find the biggest ants you can and use at least 1x magnification (I prefer 2x or higher).

    Cheers
    Leigh
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    Now that's close!

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    Seriously! God, you can even see their texture on their heads.

    I've not seen any big ants around my house to be honest I'll have to keep a closer eye out, there must be some sugar ants around.

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    Perhaps a ring light? Not a ring flash just a light. I'm building one with several small hi-brite LED's I bought from Dick Smith's and a ring adapter from Photo Continental.

    -R
    My current camera gear:

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    Hi R, I'm completely new to all this Would you mind explaining to me what a ring light is?

    I've been using honey over the past couple of days to lure them and have had a bit more success. I've uploaded some of the better shots to my Flickr (link in signature) if anyone's curious to see them.

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    A ring light is a small light that screws into the filter ring on your lens. It just allows more light to be cast on the subject. I have nearly completed mine, look at http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ad.php?t=23645

    I hope I told you what it is....

    -R

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