Macro Photography: How to Take Handheld Photos of Insects

I won’t pull the wool over your eyes – taking good insect photographs is not particularly easy. If you’ve ever attempted to photograph a butterfly, dragonfly or bee, you will already know that macro photography can be a fiddly and frustrating process.

Just locating and getting close enough to insects can be challenging; even if you get within picture-taking distance, subjects have a nasty habit of flying or scurrying away before you’ve had chance to trigger the shutter.

Insects are typically timid, secretive things, hiding away amongst vegetation or resting in places where it is difficult to get a clean shot, while they are also most active during the middle of the day when the light it typically harsh. Working at high levels of magnification results in any motion (subject or photographer) appearing greatly exaggerated, while depth-of-field is wafer thin.

Obviously, using a tripod makes life far easier – camera motion is eliminated, and you are able to frame shots precisely and focus with pinpoint accuracy via LiveView. However, in reality, mini-beasts will rarely hang around long enough for you to set up your three-legged friend and instead you will need to rely on shooting your macro photos handheld.

how to take better handheld photographs insects

Although taking handheld photographs of insects might not be easy, great results are still possible with the right combination of good technique, patience, and persistence.


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