As I’ve said before, I don’t have all the fancy bells and whistles when it comes to photo equipment. I make do with what I have, as most people do, with a bit of patience and a willingness to try a different approach.

I don’t have a macro lens for close up photography, so I’ve taken to using my Sigma 70-300 mm and also the “long” end of my Nikon 18-105 mm to get close to a variety of bugs and other small creatures. Here’s one example:

Now Don’t Raise A Stink!

The stinkbug pictured here made a rather easy target as he (she?) very s-l-o-w-l-y ascended this hydrangea leaf in my mother’s backyard. It was just a question of having the patience to wait for him to crest the top of the leaf so that his antennae and head rose above the leaf into the out-of-focus background of varied color. Depth-of-field is always critical in shots like this, and I’m just learning how to balance f-stop, shutter and ISO to deliver a good image — and with not-so-steady hands, it surely helps to have an optical stabilization lens when not using a tripod.

On to my next quarry, a grasshopper in the field near Ford’s Pond in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

At The Grasshopper’s Level

Getting down to the grasshopper’s level made this image more dramatic, again with his head and antennae above the flower. I also liked the pastel combination of color in the out-of-focus background. This one was taken with the Nikon 18-105.

Finally, we have the most difficult of the three: a dragonfly at Merli-Sarnoski Park. This is one of a ton of shots I took trying to get the lighting and sharpness to a good level.

Don’t Fly Away!

Once again, patience, luck and a good O/S on the lens helped things out quite a bit. I liked the glistening of the sun on his wings, happy to have caught a pause in their motion. In looking at this picture, Brent complimented it on the capture and the bokeh, but said, “Too bad he wasn’t facing you.” My reply was, “What the hell did you want me to do? Ask him to turn around?” Sheesh!

So I may not have all the lenses; I just make do. For those interested, here are the shot specs:

Stinkbug: f/5.6, 1/60, ISO 200, 300 mm; Grasshopper: f/6.3, 1/400, ISO 400, 75 mm; Dragonfly: f/5.6, 1/800, ISO 200, 300 mm.

Staff Writer Paul Sevensky is a communications specialist and amateur photographer.  When he isn’t shooting, he covers advertising and PR on his own blog, at View all of Paul Sevensky’s posts on The Roving Photographer.

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