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Bug, DOF and BG

Bug, DOF and BG
Photo Information
Copyright: Alexei Alyokhin (Alex99) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-07-15
Categories: Insects
Camera: Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D, Konica Minolta AF 100 F2.8 Macro (D), Hoya HMC Super UV(0) 55 mm
Exposure: f/14.0, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): 100 points or more (Chapter 2), !"Living on the edge...", Fantastic macros!, Heteroptera of Europe+Turkey-2 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-11-19 9:50
Viewed: 5194
Favorites: 3 [view]
Points: 136
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I could not define precisely a species of this bug, but in connection with my last macro shots I am more interested in below-mentioned problem.

DOF, BG and illumination.

At macro photography I have come across such problem.

First, at photographing at the ultra close distances as a rule it is always necessary to use a flash.

Secondly, it is necessary to apply small values of the aperture for achievement of a appreciate DOF. (At a macro photography it is often desirable to have the largest DOF).

Thirdly. In these conditions the background becomes very dark, almost black. This effect especially become apparent strongly when objects of a background are remote from shooting object and light of flash, reflected from such objects, is too weak.

At the same time in a reality the background is well illuminated. Often well blurred background is very colourful, expressive and decorates a picture very well. To reflect its beauty, I see a few opportunities.

The first. The use of macro lenses with a larger minimal focus distance.
The second. The use a cropping. But it is possible only on cameras with very high resolution matrixes.

But both these decisions imply shooting at larger distances, with other equipment and are beyond a discussing problem.

Certainly, it is possible to use the photo editor, but it is very difficulty (as general color and tone balances can be broken) and it is no longer the photography but is art creativity.

Therefore it is necessary to search for the compromise between illumination of a background and DOF. It is third way to solve (to go) this problem.

However to the person, as it is usual, it would be desirable all and at once.
What we must do? :)))

jeanpaul, metcher, batu, horia, kaminski, cataclysta, carper, hester, marmottelolo, wallhalla15, taba, Pentaxfriend, Maite, Juyona, blakitan, greenpinkorange, scottevers7, cecilia, SkyF, SelenE, marhowie, ramthakur, RAP, jcoowanitwong, jrubiocasado, valy67, aido, uleko, saguzar, peter_stoeckl, vanderschelden, Hil, izler, fyapici, oscarromulus, AndyB, tiobibi, Aramok, star74, Shoot_Score, RP1, mikou, cicindela has marked this note useful
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Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To peter_stoeckl: To my colleague.Alex99 1 11-25 05:33
To aido: Again with usAlex99 1 11-24 07:25
To mrcrow: Thanks for helpAlex99 1 11-23 08:22
To claudine: Intuition or/and techniqueAlex99 2 11-21 07:53
To dew77: New techniquesAlex99 1 11-20 11:31
To ellis49: 4th but true way!!!Alex99 1 11-19 14:27
To horia: Many Thanks.Alex99 1 11-19 14:16
To batu: Thanks... (Solution)Alex99 1 11-19 14:12
To greenpinkorange: Thanks.Alex99 1 11-19 14:04
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Critiques [Translate]

Bonsoir Alexei
Félicitation pour ce magnifique prise de vue en macro de ce bel insecte,J'aime bien le jeu de couleurs sur sa carapace ainsi que les jolis détails et le beau BG.
Merci et au revoir...JP

Well i wish i could give you good answers for your questions but i'm also learning about macro, which is my favorite form of shooting. The sufficiency of lighting is always a good factor to NEED in macro photography. I wonder if increasing the ISO would help although noise would be a problem. I hope i helped a little with my little knowledge of macro photography.
I would however like to comment on the good technicalities of this picture. First of all, it is very sharp and detailed. You focussed on the right part for sure. I like the colors of the insect against a plain green background. IT sure is complimenting.


Great job to detail,
sharp and clear


  • Great 
  • reina Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 257 W: 1 N: 330] (2032)
  • [2006-11-19 10:12]

Alexei, great shot, this way it looks like a pretty big guy but I now from practicing its not an easy job with reflection. So the way I see it you did a pretty good job with your choice but we will let the pro's judge.

Hi Alexei,
that's perfect - the sharpness, the colours, everything, I love it, thanks, bye
Sabine - wishnugaruda

Great macro with excellent pose, POV and composition. Very good exposure and sharpness. Nice BG.

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2006-11-19 10:52]
  • [+]

Hello Alexei,
no comment necessary!
I think, you know that it is perfect!
Best wishes, Peter

P.S. I did not work with a flash up to now and try to obtain macros with small aperture and 'very' long shutterspeeds - sometimes 1/13 to 1/20 sec - hand-held based on my 'calm' hands. It often requires dozens of pictures to obtain one suitable.

thanks for this crystal sharp close up, Ori

Hi Alexei,
a very good close-up with great details and POV.
I like the composition and the colours too.
A flash is always helpful in macros but use it as a fill-in flash, balance the daylight with the flash, you will have long shutter speeds as Peter menation so a tripod is very useful. And try to use a low ISO as you can. Even if the noise is under control, you may lose the small fine details in macro shots with high ISO.
I use my standard flash with a diffusor with my 180mm macro,
because the closest working distance is 0,46m.
You did a great job with this macro.

Great photo and note. What can I say more. I can rely learn more on treknature

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2006-11-19 12:22]

fantastic one Alexei
the composition is mice the point of view is great even the dof is very good, nice light and very nice to look at, good work.
gr. jaap

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2006-11-19 12:23]

Wonderful shot. Perfect POV, nice strong colours and sharp deatails. You mention difficulties but seem to have produced an excellent shot. I love the green BG



  • Great 
  • volkan Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 497 W: 10 N: 4] (2425)
  • [2006-11-19 12:47]

Marvellous capture with beatiful blurry background,colours and sharpness.
Well Done

Très belle photo,les détails sont extras,les couleurs naturelles ,douce et jolies. Thomas

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-11-19 13:23]

Hello Alex , Great macro shot , what a beauty ,very good details compositie colours pov and bg , tfs , Greetings Teunie .

bonjour alexei
bravo,les probleme que vous evoqué dans votre note ne se trouve pas sur ce cliché parfaitement reussi.pour l'espece je ne sais pas non plus.

Hi Alexei,
A lot of DOF.
Nice compo..
Good macro

Hello Alexei,
this is a great macro shot. Great colours, excellent sharpness and great POV. This is a great composition. Thank your for posting.

Hi Alexei,
Excellent close-up!
Very good clarity, sharpness and colour.
Well done and thanks for sharing!
Regards, Krzysztof.

  • Great 
  • taba Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 466 W: 124 N: 312] (1847)
  • [2006-11-19 15:24]

Hi Alexei
The result speaks for itself...
great composition, BG, sharpness and colours..

well done.

Hi Alexei,

WoW what a shot
superb sharp details
Perfect colours, POV, DOF and BG

TFS Thijs

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2006-11-19 16:09]

Hi Alexei
What a macro!!! That's a really good job! Perfect I'd rather say. As I don't know much about photograph techniques all your posing almost makes me a bit dizzy (please forgive my ignorance), but it's very interesting, I must say. You can learn a lot with such explanations. Thank you very much.
Best wishes

Hola Alexei,
Excelente nitidez, luz y color. Una foto muy buena y con mucha calidad. Saludos

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-11-19 17:56]

Parfaite macro!

Félicitations et merci pour le partage.


  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2006-11-19 18:09]

Hola Alexei, Perfecta macro, excelente colores y magnífica compo... es un trabajo genial, muchos saludos TFS

Hi Alexei,
This is a great macro shot, eventhough some may prefer to view all parts of this bug within sharp area of DoF. Well focused on significant parts of the bug -as Steph mentioned.
Great shot.

Ben Lakitan

Hi Alexei,
An excellent macro shot. Beauiful colors and sharp detail. Nice frame filling composition . Well seperated from the nice OOF backround. Looks superb!

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2006-11-19 23:09]

Hello Alexei

WOW amazing definition and detail.The DOF and POV is excellent.The colours are well saturated.Nicely composed.Wonderful job.TFS


An outstanding image, super detail and clarity.
Excellent as always...

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-11-19 23:42]

Hello Alexei,
a marvelous macro shot in all aspects. POV, sharpness and details are excellent.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-11-20 2:41]
  • [+]

Privet Alexei,
Wonderful close up.POV,BG,DOF.....everything is perfect here.Good advices were given before.Black BG disturbs me also when i'm going to use flash.Sometimes i put into BG a white cardboard:) and i prefer to use flash against sun or other light source.Have a great week!

Hello Alexei,
This is a great capture!
The details are amazing, simply...
Excellent framing and a fine composition, macro work from top shelf!
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-11-20 4:33]
  • [+]

Hi Alexei

A very good problem you raise here!
There are however some factors that might help in such situations, and the ones that come to mind now are: the tripod and the high ISO (if you have a decent camera - like yours)...these might avoid the usage of flash and thesefore give you that beautiful and colorful BG. Regardin the apperture, well from my experience it really depends on the subject, its shape and positioning.
Have in mind though that i never used a SLR nad i'm only saying judging after my experiences with my compact cam and after the things i've read and learned on TN...so i may be a bit wrong :)

Either way, this particular photo is a great example of how a macro picture should look like. Excellent balance between focus and OOF, great light management and lovely, rich colors everywhere!
Graet work, my friend!

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2006-11-20 9:04]

Hello Alexei,
I have read all the critiques and see that there are really good technical tips. I liked your photo a lot, it's sharp, well focused, a well controlled exposure. Great work. TFS

Well done Alexi.
I could not help but notice this one :)
Excellent POV, BG, detail and sharpness. Light and color is just about perfect as well..Perhaps one of the best shieldbug macro's I've seen on TN.
Have a Great Week!

Hi Alex,
You have done a wonderful job of this macro. Superb point of view, focus, colours, sharpness and details. The BG is perfect.
I have tried to follow the technical exposition in your note [rather unsuccessfully again ;-(!], but I do hope it makes a lot of sense to people who follow these things easily.
TFS and take care.

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-11-20 12:49]

Hi Alexei,
Beautiful bug captured from an excellent pov with a wide dof that let see clearly all the bug. Excellent colors, composition, and background.
TFS, José M.

Hello Alexei,
This is a great macro! Those details, colors, POV and DOF are just stunning! Very good composition and exposure. I like it a lot along with this very interesting reflection in your notes. I'm not the person who can help a lot as I do not do many macros. I work mostly with my intuition instead of with real photographic techniques :) TFS,

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2006-11-21 12:56]

Impresionante macro Alexei, con una estética muy especial, basada en un excelente punto de vista y agudeza, gran control de la iluminación, DOF y foco, obteniendo además un perfecto trasfondo difuso.
Para completar, un muy atinado encuadre.
Felicitaciones y saludos... Ricardo

Impressive macro Alexei, with a very special aesthetics, based on an excellent point of view and sharpness, great control of the lighting, DOF and focus, also obtaining a perfect diffuse background.
To complete, a very accurate framing.
Congratulations and regards... Ricardo

  • Great 
  • clnaef Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 778 W: 67 N: 645] (6814)
  • [2006-11-21 12:58]

Magnifique insecte bien photographié.
Bonne soirée.

  • Great 
  • sily Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 239 W: 6 N: 395] (1934)
  • [2006-11-21 18:38]

HI Alex!
Great and detailed macro, real perfection, angle, BG, everithing fits together,we call this bug stinking bug or stinky Martin, I don't know why.

Hi Alexei,
Fantastic macro picture. I like the details and texture that you showed here. A fine work to appreciate. Regards,

from a naturalist point of view it is essential to get all the major recognizable detail on the subject...so great dof is required..and with macro and f32 you wont get any background..

if you need background the shot will ge environmental and general with bulk recognition of the species and its environs..

i like both..

to finish what i think you were driving at ..exposure need be suitable to illuminate but also provide a high enough shutter speed even for tripod shots..as the subject can move..wind etc or mere normal activity

my conclusion is to set ambient light settings for backgrounds and strobe the subject closing down 1 stop...which is sort of like fill in flash...and i do realise you need sunny f16 conditions to get this...

going to extreme two lamps may need to be used..one to produce a large light source diffused to cover the background..and the strobe to freeze the subject..

next a 4 x 4 jeep to carry the generator and gear...:)

isnt photography challenging..

ps...the newer digi cams operate on low noise 1600 ASA speed settings..this could solve the problem ..i see this on the new panasonic DMZ camera..


Hola Alexei
Impresionante definición en todos los aspectos, dof,pov, compositición, color, nitidez.
Un gran trabajo, mis felicitaciones.
Un saludo, Jorge

Hello Alex !
Such a wonderful bug ! I love the colors and patterns on his back. The details are awesome, really, and the colors as well as the POV and the composition are truly splendid. The BG is beautiful too, nicely blurred to make the insect stand out. very well done !

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-11-23 15:56]
  • [+]

Hello Alexei,
This is a wonderful macro shot, definitely one of the best I've seen here at TN. I really like the POV, and the detail is superb. Great exposure, colours and DOF, perfectly framed. I could probably spend hours and find nothing wrong here, it's a beautiful shot. Great camera work.
Best regards,

What a wonderful capture.
Your notes are OUTSTANDING.
This is a very well composed & presented subject.
Excellent clarity.
Excellent focusing.
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • chiliu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1457 W: 0 N: 1176] (6526)
  • [2006-11-23 20:34]

Hi Alexei,
Great quality macro!
Very sharp and clear detail, excellent composition.
Thanks for sharing!

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2006-11-24 11:51]

Hello ALex,
Brilliant shot of this "stink-fly", I love them, and your focus, colours and composition are all perfect! Impressive!
Many thanks, Ulla

Hello Alexei,
Your shot is TERRIFIC. The macro is excellent and I can appreciate fine details on insect anatomy. Colours and uniform BG are beautiful.

Hello Alexei,
brilliant image!
The superb result of a very good sense for composition and a dramatic point of view, coming with excellent photographing techniques, very good macro equipment, and wise considerations.
Excellent considerations indeed on how to take the perfect picture. You are contributing a lot to this site by publishing your considerations and ideas the way you do it in your wonderful notes.
Top level document of nature, and a piece of art as well.
My congratulations!
With thanks and best regards,

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2006-11-27 15:54]

Hi Alexei,

Fantastic capture, superb composition, pose and POV, excellent focus as the details are totally perfect I feel as if I could touch it and feel the texture, lovely colours and nice lighting reflected on the insect.

TFS Hilary :o)

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2006-11-27 17:36]

hello Alexei
i recognize this bug but i have no idea about its certain ID. i think this photo is presenting successful using of light, flash and lens. i like point of view, depth of field, colours, sharpness and details

Privet Alexei.
Wow! Very nice shot and very useful-helpful note. You have done the best of the best. Congratulations my brother.


Really nice shot. Nice POV and the details are absolutely superb. I like the light, it gives the bug a real nice glow.
Well done

Wow an amazing macro superb detail and sharp. perfect composition and great POV best rgds Necip.

  • Great 
  • Adam73 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 208 W: 5 N: 522] (2253)
  • [2006-12-11 14:01]

I love the composition of this shot. The colors are perfect and lighting superb. Great shot.

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2006-12-28 5:25]

Hello Alex,
A great macro of this bug!
Superb detail & colours with a great POV and nice clear background.
The lighting is great as is the DOF.
Nice one,well done.

A happy new year to you!

  • Great 
  • meyerd Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 585 W: 64 N: 2238] (7531)
  • [2007-01-15 16:04]

Dear Alexei,
my praise is not needed any more. Here it is anyway: WONDERFUL. What I like too is the great discussion on technique that was involved. I learn and learn, just what TN is for. Thanks for letting me peek over your shoulder.

To the bug: in my opinion it is Carpocoris fuscispinus of the Pentatomidae family. It can vary a lot in coloration, bright or dark, but the pattern remains typical. It has an European- Siberian distribution and is not rare, but little known.

Be good and cheers, Dietrich

Hello Alexei,
Excellent capture.
Nice blurry background and vivid colors.
Details and point of view are superb.
Well done

Alexei, firstly I wish I could find bugs like that!
It being winter still makes that somewhat of a chore...
But wait, there is more... having found such bugs,
what is one to do? Sneak up and score?

I think you did that! Tfs, Jay

Hi Alexei,
As the majority of your macro photos, this one is just about perfect! Great DOF, crisp sharp details, good color and dead-center eyeball composition. Thanks for the informlative note, as well.

  • Great 
  • RP1 Gold Star Critiquer [C: 154 W: 1 N: 6] (251)
  • [2007-07-06 19:25]

Very Sharp picture. Intéresting comment.
TFS, Roger

  • Great 
  • mikou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 869 W: 68 N: 1479] (6093)
  • [2007-08-06 7:22]

Hi Alexei.
This is one from many your precise macro works.Excellent POV with superb sharp details on this bug and beautiful blurry BG.Wonderful colors and light too.Fantastic picture.Good Luck.
TFS and best regards Milos.

  • Great 
  • juanjo Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 167 W: 8 N: 27] (1142)
  • [2007-09-30 10:41]

hello Alexie

this is wonderful close up picture

DOF is very good , allows us to appreciate all the details all around the bug

of course colours an POV are very good too.



  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-10-27 1:26]

Hi Alexei,
Just acknowledging this wonderful shot. Will come back with a proper critique in a while.

Hi Alexei!
The old year is just ending so I decided to find something from your archive :) And here I am!
A lot of positive words can be written about this picture, starting from great POV and sharpness, through beautiful colours and details, and ending (??) with delicate and blurred BG :)

And what to say atthe end of this comment and at the end of this year? Well, I hope that we meet here in 2008, watching great pictures and writing (and reading) interesting notes and friendly emials :) I wish you and your family all the best and only good moments in 2008!
Friendly yours,

Hello Alexei.

Excelente Chinche, parece una pieza de orfebreria bien trabajada y colorida.

Jose Luis.

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-06-06 19:36]

Hi Alex,
firstly what a lovely bug you have captured. Very sharp and very clear indeed.
Next, thanks for the tips, experience and point of view in your notes. It helps and it is very useful indeed.


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