Roger began the evening by telling the audience that he was going to show us his Macro images of Insects, Snakes, Frogs, Fungi and Wildflowers.
His talk covered a great deal of interesting information on Equipment, Depth of Field, Focus stacking, Bracketing, and his experiences when photographing moving and non-moving targets with many inside tips on how to get the perfect picture.
Roger began his career using Canon cameras and a variety of macro lenses, including a 100-400 mm, saying that the advantage of a long lens is you don’t scare the subject by getting too close.. He has since moved on to Olympus Camera Mark 3 and macro lenses as they are lighter in weight and have image stabilizer in both the body and lens. He gave a detailed description of the cameras, lenses and extension lenses that he favoured. (This can be heard in more depth on the recording of his talk in the Members Area.)
He stressed that the most important bit of equipment was the tripod and a tripod that can get down low so that you can lay along the floor as getting to the insect or flower level is essential.
Roger said he nearly always tries to use natural light and a cool overcast day often offers the gentlest light. On some occasions in extremely poor light he must use flash.
When photographing insects ,butterflies and moths Roger said that it is important to get up early as many of the insects come to life later in the day especially as the day warms up and do not keep still whereas when they are cold they are more lethargic.
He explained how to make a Moth trap, setting it overnight and then collecting the moths in the morning to photograph. He talked about the importance when photographing frogs to focus on the eye to ensure this is sharp and explained the difference in appearance between Grass snakes and Adders. During the talk wonderful images were shown complete with, shutter speeds, ISO levels and aperture readings which was most helpful.
Touching on depth of field Roger chatted about focus points and his use of focus stacking which can be done in the Olympus Camera. On some occasions he used as many as five focus points. which ensured a sharpness all the way through the image. He also tries the same subject on aperture settings for example taking an image at F16, F11 and F8.
When photographing Fungi, Roger suggested it’s important to take time to find a perfect specimen as many can get quite ragged, and points in competition would be lost for this. Also try to put the Latin or common name in when entering a competition and not just call it fungi. He was not afraid to share his tricks like using sticks and even knitting needles to get upright images of wildflowers.
Roger kindly offered to answer questions during the break and again answered questions from the audience at the end of the talk. It was another very enjoyable evening and Roger was thanked not only by Chris Andrews (Programme Manager ) but also by many members of the audience.
Next Week: RoseBowl Hosting Round 1 Remember to log on in plenty of time
By Carol Haines.