Remarkably Detailed Macro Photography of Insects

Getting into the world of macro photography of insects and various bug eyed beauties. These photo’s include the usual from Spiders, Butterflies and Praying Mantis to the more unusual critters lurking around the garden.

Grasshopper Feeding

Macro shot of a grasshopper feeding inside a rose

Most of the macro photos here were taken in my garden in sunny South Africa. The garden provides a variety of opportunities from bright sunshine soaked areas to cool shaded areas. This also means a variety of subjects to shoot.

Macro Photography in the Garden

My go to choice of lens is the Canon 100mm Macro f2.8. This lens is amazing at capturing incredibly sharp images and is super fast when wide open. I would say it’s my favourite lens in my collection.

Prey Mantis Macro

Macro shot of a Prey Mantis

The shots are normally done handheld due to the nature of the subjects. It’s not exactly easy commanding an insect and even if one were to master said discipline I doubt the bugs would bother listening. I try avoiding external lights like flashes and instead rely on natural light which I feel gives a more pleasing effect and also allows for more speed when shooting.

Bug Macro

Bug on a flower

What I’ve Learnt Doing Macro Photography of Insects

When it comes to macro photography it’s all about patience. Insects generally don’t take direction well so you really have no control over the situation. What I’ve found works best is finding a nice spot near some flowers and waiting. It’s not a bad way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Taking photos with a macro lens will require some practice. I started out with my Canon 100m macro lens and a Canon 400D body. Later I started using a full frame sensor in the form of the Canon 5D MKII. Both require the same techniques when shooting macro. While most macro photographers use a tripod I find fiddling with one can be cumbersome while chasing insects. Handheld gives you far more freedom especially with active subjects.

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