Insect Settings

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

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

wasp collecting pollen

  • 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.


5 Stars

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

I’m trying to come up with a system for rating my photographs in Lightroom. How’s this sound?

5 Stars: Submit to BBC Nature Photographer of the Year, Audubon Magazine Photography Awards, and other contests
4 Stars: Consider making wall prints and framing, using in a calendar, putting in a photo book, submitting to nature magazines, etc.
3 Stars: Submit for Microstock
2 Stars: Upload to Picasa
1 Star: Personal interest; documentation photo. E.g. a personal life bird even with a crappy photo.
0 Stars: Keep
X: Delete

Canon Cameras and Lenses For Sale

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Looking around my apartment, I notice a significant number of Canon lenses and cameras I’m not using any more. If you’re interested in any of this (especially if you’re in Brooklyn or Manhattan) drop me an e-mail:

  • Canon 400 mm f/5.6L lens: $1100
  • Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 SP Di VC USD XLD for Canon Digital SLR Cameras, barely used, $350
  • Tamron AF 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Macro Ultra Zoom Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras: $275
  • Canon 18-55 IS II, broken autofocus: $50 or best offer
  • Canon Extender 2X II: $250
  • Canon Powershot SX30IS, barely used: $350
  • Canon Powershot A650IS: $175

Most have original boxes, manuals, chargers, batteries, lenscaps, etc.

The Tamron 70-300mm and the Powershot SX30IS are still under warranty. The rest aren’t. Shipping is not included.

I will also consider trades for Canon DSLRs and pro-grade lenses.

Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

I’d been hearing good things about the relatively new Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II lens. In particular with a 2X teleconverter a lot of folks seem to think it outperforms the Canon 100-400 zoom as a handheld bird lens, so this weekend I rented one, hooked it up to my 50D, and took it for a stroll in the park. In no particular order here are my first impressions:

Comparing the 50D and the 60D

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

The newly announced Canon 60D SLR is shockingly not necessarily an upgrade from the 50D, and even less so from the 7D. Here, briefly, is an outline of the key differences between the cameras:

Random Thoughts on Canon’s Announcements

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

There were more announcements from Canon today of more new equipment than I ever remember seeing from them before. If Canon was making computers, there’d be enough meat here for a MacWorld keynote. I hope they keep up this pace in the future. Previously, they’ve been rather lackadaisical about releasing new professional grade equipment. Some of their lens models are almost 20 years old at this point. Let’s hope this is a precursor of more cool things to come. And now on to the specifics.

Canon 60D

The 60D was decidedly underwhelming. In some ways, it’s a downgrade from the 50D, especially if you don’t want to shoot video. It is slightly lighter, which is nice, and the controls it removed are controls I’ve never used anyway. Perhaps I’d find a use for the articulating screen. However I was really hoping for something that would be an improvement on the 7D, not merely a slight upgrade over a Rebel. Features I was looking for included better high ISO performance, waterproof, 45 point autofocus, better autofocus, ring of fire, and the ability to autofocus at f/8. Just maybe this camera has less noise at medium and high ISO than the 50D does. Once again, we’ll have to wait for reviews to find out. However it failed to meet all the other desiderata. At $1099 (body only) it is reasonably priced, but unless you want to shoot video you might well prefer the slightly cheaper 50D.