UPDATE, JUNE 2024: Strobist was archived in 2021. Here is what I am up to now. -DH


On Assignment: Cicada

I almost always use light when shooting with a macro lens. In addition to adding to the quality and direction of light, it provides a smaller working aperture, with is important for scrounging some much-needed extra depth of field for close-ups.

And this little guy, who was one of about a gazillion cicadas that invaded the mid-east Atlantic area as part of the 17-year "Brood-X" cycle, was no exception.

This is a very easy thing to do, provided you have a strobe/stand setup.

I just pop the strobe onto the stand, set it to manual power (1/32 or 1/64 - really doesn't take much) and position it before shooting a test shot at the camera's highest synch speed. Use the best guess on the aperture, and then adjust by checking out the image on the back of the camera.

Once you have a good working aperture (the background will likely still be very dark) just dial down your shutter speed until the overall ambient exposure is reading 1 1/2 to 2 stops underexposed. This will create a good lighting ratio.

Once you are familiar with the process, the total time is about 30 seconds (if that) from the point that you plunk the flash down.

Next: Star Gazer


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My current project: The Traveling Photograher's Manifesto