Photo Challenge: Ladybugs

This weeks photography challenge wasn’t planned as much as it was a sudden fascination with ladybugs. There are hundreds outside my door living around a large leafy plant who’s name escapes me right now.

So here’s to the little guys and gals.

Aperature f1.8

I found my first photography challenge on the DPS website, who also assign various challenges.
Attaching my fixed 50mm, f1.8 Canon lens, I spent the whole week taking shots with my aperture fully open.
Immediately I started to have second opinions about how to best employ shots.
Initially all my f1.8 shots were at close range, photographing insects or flowers, and sometimes close portrait shots. I’m using a Canon Rebel t1i so my scaled down sensor crops the image a bit and magnifies the image.
But having to shoot everything with one focal length and aperture forced me out of that habit. I took shots from close up, far back, and some from very far away, just to see what happened.
Here are the results.
Ladybug: Shot up close into a plant directly downwards, 1/320sec. This is how I usually think of using wide open aperture.

Paraglider/Village Women: These shots were taken from over 20ft away. The paraglider has very little behind him, so the effect of the open aperture was lost more than the women who appear more clearly than the rock behind them.

Dog: Here I discovered how much I enjoy a focus sandwich. In other words a clearly defined subject, in between an unfocused foreground, and background.

I shot this same alley when the sky was less overcast. The contrast of the shadows and light made me realize that diffused light would be necessary to make this sandwiched effect. Also, my shutter speed needed to be set to something over 1/1,000sec to prevent over exposure and to keep a sharp focus.
My conclusion for a focus sandwich recipe.
1. Diffused light
2. Fast shutter speed.
3. Wide open aperture.
4. A foreground and background to contrast the focus with.
Try it out.
For next week, my challenge is over exposure, shooting and in post production.
Feel free to suggest new challenges you would like to see on the blog.