Discover your subject
By Dirk Dom
I wanted to see if I could take some insect shots with my Olympus PEN. I took the Kiron 105 macro with me, an extremely good lens which I almost never use, for insects I prefer the Canon 200mm macro which allows me to take shots from a far greater distance. When we arrived, the sun was out and it was around five, so the sun was nicely yellow. I went to the back of the Put, and started looking. I put as a goal to come up with one interesting shot. There were lots of dragonflies, but those weren’t interesting.
I took this shot, just for fun.
While shooting a spider squatting down I lost my balance and rolled backwards in the nettles, and I got nettled all over my body, straight through my blouse. There was another insect photographer, and I went to say hello. He asked if I had seen a certain heidelibel, but since I’m a dilettante who just shoots and has no clue as to names, I couldn’t help him. He pointed out a bush with three small blue butterflies with their wings closed. The bush was dead and brown and he didn’t think it made for an interesting shot. I got to work at the butterflies.
First, a standard shot.
I got up and wanted to walk away, but then I thought: “Hey! What are you doing! Discover your subject!” and I put some real effort into it.
That was already a little better. See how it looks like a little jewel? With the tiltable viewfinder of the Olympus PEN I can shoot at angles an SLR owner can only dream of, and with the 105mm I could shoot at a very steep upwards angle, so I could include the blue sky:
That was getting better. With this lens I can shoot an image 18mm wide, but that gets extremely difficult because depth of sharpness is very thin. But I gave it a try, and one shot came out sharp.
I decided to do a shot at the steepest possible upwards angle, as an ant would see it:
And finally I took a shot from straight forward, because I’ve never shot a butterfly this way. See how pettable and yet alien it looks?
The truly amazing thing is that these butterflies stayed in one place during all of this shoot. I moved ultra slow all the time.
“Discover your subject”: It worked out!