In The Stillness Of The Early Mornings

Early morning, when most things are on its stillness – while the morning breeze are yet to be awaken from its slumber; this is the best time to capture insects with their splendor details. Stillness is one of the most important factors in macro photography. Even the simple click of the camera could register movement and blur the image, so a fast shutter speed is needed. And to get the finest details a small lens opening (aperture) is what you need. It is during this time also that almost all of them are out; this is when usually do most of their business (whatever that is); this is when they eat or hunt for food – I think, like humans, breakfast is an essential meal for them.

Mounted on my Nikon D200 is a macro 105mm lens; since speed is of big importance, a flash is necessary – what I have is the SB-900, though I sometimes use my camera’s built-in flash (when I’m stupid enough for not checking if the batteries are charged.) Since I’m dying to get even closer to these creatures, I bought a close-up filter for my lens, but it’s so hard to focus once it’s attached; I guess I need more practice or a tripod.

I don’t want to sound like a pro, but if you want to get into this kind of hobby here are some tips that I would like to share:

  1. Be sure to rub-on an insect repellant on your exposed skin. A tip that I myself seldom do, so what I have at home is not just an insect repellant, but an ointment for insect bites.
  2. Prepare to get dirty. Insects could be everywhere, especially on the ground; so don’t be surprised if find yourself kissing the ground.
  3. Make sure you eat something or it’s okay with you to skip breakfast. Once you’re out there and have started shooting, you’ll find it hard to stop or even pause. As one pro from Lightstalking group has mentioned regarding macro photography: wherever you are, there is a subject in every inch. Me, I usually go out to shoot around six in the morning – I’m not a “breakfast person” so I could start even without coffee – and before I realize it, it’s way past ten or later; the only thing that stops me from shooting is when all my batteries are drained.
  4. Always make sure to check your batteries.
  5. Enjoy it and you’ll love it.

17 thoughts on “In The Stillness Of The Early Mornings

  1. I’m glad someone is as in love with insects as I am. Most people think of them as “just bugs” but I find them beautiful, complex, and intelligent beyond imagining. One of my hobbies is setting up my patio garden so that monarch butterflies have plenty of milkweed and nectar flowers. I keep track of the chrysalises and the number of butterflies that are produced each year, and one season 108 monarchs were born from my garden alone. (I live in Southern CA so it’s a long season.) Their life cycle is so miraculous and complex. Insects are like beautiful jewels and your photography captures their gorgeousness, complexity, and mystery magnificently. When I looked at the first photo in your blog, the one of the bee on top the flower, I saw millions if not billions of years of evolution guided by a great intelligence to create such a creature and such a plant. It was a breathtaking moment.

  2. If there’s something we definitely have in common, it’d be our interest in photographing the little wonders of place. I may not have much of those on my blog but the fact remains: I also have a multitude of these “small wonders”, as I call them, ranging from flowers to insects and anything small in size or shape, which I all took from different climbs to some of the well known mountains in our country. You inspired me to start sharing those too anytime soon.


    I’d like you to know I instantly became a fan (lalo na ng malaman kong Pilipino ka rin pala).

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