The problem with photographing insects in New York is that I get maybe 4 good months, and then it’s back to birds for 8 months. By the time insect season rolls around again, I’ve forgotten what I figured out last time. So once and for all, let me write this down.
FYI, these settings are all for relatively stationary insects and a 1:1 100mm macro lens. Butterflies and dragonflies (i.e. large flying insects) with a telephoto lens are something else entirely.
Daytime, no flash
- f/8, maybe f/11 for deeper insects
- shutter speed 1/400 s or faster
- ISO 400-1600 as necessary to get the shutter speed up.
- Check your histogram
Consider using a tripod, cable release, and/or reflector.