A couple of years ago, I took some ladybird photos in our garden, placing them in a red plant pot for an abstract surrounding. But I was never quite happy with the results. I’m not sure I reached the potential of the idea, and I’ve since bought a better macro lens too. So I thought this spring was a good opportunity to have another go at the ladybird macro idea.
I used this glass plant pot:
I decided to go with blue & white, rather than the complimentary red I used last time. The Glass is primarily blue, but it’s laced with white swirls, which creates a really pleasing effect when photographed up close.
By placing an external flash to one side of pot, I was able to turn it into a light-box of sorts, as the light from the flash hit the glass, and spread around it. I’ve only recently bought a flash, and I’m currently enjoying learning how to make the best use of it.
I tried this with three different ladybirds, so each one wasn’t employed for too long. I also tried a mix of landscape and portrait shots, but generally I think the landscape-orientated images looked the best.
Ladybirds can move surprisingly quickly, so I needed a relatively fast shutter speed. This combined with the narrow aperture for depth of field, means that it’s important to get enough light on the subject. So the flash really helped for that.
Cute as they seem, ladybirds are beetles, and are valuable garden visitors since they eat many pest species which would otherwise be munching through the flowerbed or vegetable patch. To encourage ladybirds in your garden, try building some kind of insect habitat.
And while I was taking the plant pot photos, I also tried placing one on a spare bathroom tile, for this unusual abstract ladybird macro…
Post by George Wheelhouse, 2014.