I had two afternoons free over the Easter Weekend to take some macro photos. With the sun out but not overly warm I set off to the banks of the River Stour, near National Trust White Mill. This place is good for mining bees at this time of year, and I hunt them down as they seek out nectar in the dandelions.
I took some blue and green cards that I supported behind some of the shots using a Plamp to hold the card. I like this as it gives a clean coloured background to the images.
First the ones with the blue card.
And the green card ones.
If I am close enough to some background I can get the natural greens in the backgrounds to show through as they get lit by the flash.
The above were all shot at 200 ISO. But having recently got a Canon 5D mkIV, I wanted to experiment with pushing the ISO up higher so that even when using flash, some ambient light would be picked up in the background. So I pushed the ISO to 1600, and took a couple of bees.
The result are pleasing to me, as the flash has frozen the bee, the background has exposed by ambient light. And the details are present in the subject, and the noise not an issue like it would of been on my older Canon 760D. Here are two shots taken with this technique.
Whilst hunting for the bees I also came across a Dance fly in the yellow flowers.
And finally in these I was using yet another diffuser setup – two bake bean cans on the Canon MT-24ex flash heads with some packing foam over the ends. I think this worked nicely on the bees, but I also was pleased with the results on this more flash reflective beetle.
All images taken on Canon 5d MkIV with Canon MPE-65mm lens (Light from Canon MT-24ex Twin flash with tin can diffuser setup).