Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Froggy Went'a Courtin'

I've really been having a lot of fun experimenting with wide-angle macro photography this spring. Although I'm still striving to get more depth-of-field in my backgrounds, I like the direction that this series is going in. These two photos are of one of the many spring peepers (Hyla crucifer) that have been singing for weeks around the pond behind our place. These very diminutive tree frogs are a perfect subject for my current set-up because they are so very small (max. 1.5" snout to vent) and therefore are able to fall completely within the sharp area of the image.

One of my friends recently commented that these images look fake, or almost like they were made on a set or with post-processing. I must admit that I know what he is alluding to. However to me, this strange juxtaposition of the foreground and background is what makes this technique appealing. I should say that I am, in fact, doing all of this in-camera just in case any of you were wondering as well. The addition of off-camera fill-flash on the subject certainly adds to the surreal quality or 'museum display' feel of the photograph.
I like this approach to macro-photography because it allows the viewer to see some of the subject's environment, which is an important element for natural history photography and certainly something that is quite often lacking in macro imagery.

4 comments:

Philip said...

Well I must admit they dont look fake to me I think they are great captures :)

-clark- said...

I really like the photos of the frogs. I have been trying to take photos/film of peepers this spring, and I know how difficult it can be to at least see one. How did you get it to stay put long enough to get pictures?

Heather said...

I'm enjoying your wide angle macro experiments, too. These peeper photos are great specimens. Keep playing with it - I think you're on to something!

clay bolt said...

Heather and Phillip,

Thanks for the encouraging feedback!

I'm investing in some new gear this week which will hopefully improve this technique even more (flashes, new wide angle lens).

Clark,
In order to make this work, I created a 'set' and tested my exposure, etc before bringing in the frog. By doing this, I was able to avoid stressing it out too much and it was able to go its way in a few minutes.