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Ladybug inside a rose

I was screwing around trying to take water drop photos at the Huntington Gardens on Sunday when my partner Julie had the real find of a day: a ladybug inside a pinkish rose. 

I managed the above shot with the used Nikon 85mm DX micro lens that I recently picked up at a local camera show. It's great for macro shots (Nikon calls it 'micro' for some reason) but not the easiest thing in the world because the lens has a paper thin depth of field when used for close-up photography. 

I took this shot with the camera on a tripod and using a remote shutter release; the camera was probably eight inches or so from the ladybug. Camera settings: ISO 400, f/8 and 1/500 shutter speed. There was also a bit of a breeze, meaning that even using manual focus, the ladybug was swaying in and out of focus. 

I used my Nikon D5100's built-in flash for a few shots but didn't like the way it looked -- it definitely helped to throw some light on the insect but also was washing out the rose, which was light colored to begin with. If I had a remote flash, I probably would have held under the rose to see what kind of effect that had. 

I also might have tried using my iPhone's flashlight to get a little more light deeper into the flower. I didn't think of that until I was home later. Whoopsydoodle. 

There are other versions of the photo, some of which include the flower's edge. But I like this approach best. It's a little abstract, but that's kind of the point showing a bit of the colorful and miniature landscape inhabited by ladybugs. 

Please visit my SmugMug site to see some of my other work; prints are available starting at $11 for an 8 x 12. The prints are done by a quality firm that works with SmugMug. I have some hanging on my wall! 


This photo is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without my advanced written permission. All rights reserved. 

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