Image Doctor: Motorbike Frog
Photographer: Neil Barber
Camera Type: Canon 7D
Lens: Sigma 105mm macro
Shutter Speed: 1/60th
Adjustments: In Photoshop: Cropped a small area out and darkened down the top corners a little.
Photographer's Comments: I enjoy taking macro shots but normally of the wild orchids that grow in our area. We have quite a lot of these little fellows as well, so I thought I’d give it a go with catching one of these. Not so easy, as they shoot off pretty quick if you get too close. It’s hard to tell if I get the focus spot on being hand held and trying to balance so close to the ground and they have this shine to their body. Any advice would be helpful.
Image doctor's advice
What a cute frog! I wish we had a few of these fellows living in our neighbourhood; they would be a nice change from the mice that we have had of late.
Photographing macro subjects is never an easy challenge, and it is always made more complicated when your subject is inclined to hop away whenever you get too close.
Ensuring that you have enough light about you is always useful macro photography; at least this gives you the chance to use a small aperture to maintain good depth of field, and also to use a fast enough shutter speed so that you can compensate the movement both from the subject and in the camera.
One useful trick I have learned over the years is what I call “focus-bracketing”. To do this I put the camera onto the high-speed motor drive mode (usually at 3 frames-per-second) and then I hold down the shutter button while gently moving backwards or towards the subject, which I feel is required (do this with the Auto-Focus lock ON or with the focus in Manual Mode). The aim of this exercise is to ensure that I get as many photos as possible in a short period of time in the hope that at least one of them will be in focus. This sure beats taking my time to focus only to have the subject of way on me.
Now the only thing that I have done to improve this photograph is one really simple little trick. In Photoshop I have used a large soft paintbrush to make a single stroke of black over that bright detail on the bottom of the picture. Because I used a soft brush it creates the effect of a vignette and looks really natural.
Cheers for now, Anthony.
Image Doctor's edited version