Cover New GroundFinally, I have picked up the camera again. Last Saturday, I spent a hot morning in a tent hide to shoot bathing birds in a small stream. Amazing how many individual birds visit the spot. At one time, there were no less than 7 species in a small bush next to the stream.

On Sunday, I wanted to do something new (to me), so I went for dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies. A whole new world and subject to me, which became painfully obvious. The working distance of my Tamron 90mm is just too small for subjects like these.

I have to get very close to be able to portrait them large enough and to get a nice out-of-focus background. No problem around sunrise, when they still need to warm up and cannot fly away. But from about 7 am on, I only found myself chasing my subjects like crazy with very few results.

So I switched to the 70-200/4, attached a 1.4x extender and an extension tube to be able to get a bit closer. The combination of a longer lens and the ability to focus relatively close improved my chances. Problem was the combination is very long and therefore not very stable. Also, the focussing range of the lens becomes very small, so I had to move the tripod tiny bits to be able to focus on the subject. If I decide that I really like to photograph damselflies, dragonflies and butterflies, I’ll sell the Tamron and go for something like the Sigma 150mm macro.

Large Skipper; Canon 1D Mark III w. 70-200/4 with 1.4x and extension tube; 1/640s at F4 and ISO 400; Gitzo tripod


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