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What a fantastic photo. May I ask what camera you use? Christine.
I don't think the make or type of camera is the key thing in producing nice photos of invertebrates (or small flowers/plants, my other main photographic interest). That said, I currently use a Panasonic G3, and before that I achieved broadly similar results using Canon bridge cameras with very small sensors, the SX10is and before that the S3is.
You can obviously capture superb photos with more expensive cameras with special (and sometimes very expensive) macro lenses and flash arrangements. For me the "magic ingredient" in terms of equipment is an inexpensive "achromatic" lens that I put on the front of the camera. I have four of these, in terms of increasing power they are: the Canon 500D (a lens, not a camera!), which is good for larger invertebrates of crane fly size; the Raynox 150, which is good for larger flies etc; the Raynox 250, which is good for smaller flies etc; and the Raynox MSN-202, which is good for really small things like springtails.
I don't know if it is proper to do this here, but if you are interested in seeing more of what can be done with such add-on lenses you could look at my stuff on flickr, at http://www.flickr.com/photos/gardenersassistant/. Almost all my pictures there were taken using achromats.
I prefer to use natural light because I think it often produces a more pleasing result (for my taste at least). And post processing can play a big role too.
Best not to take too much notice of what I say though, because many people who like to photograph small animals (or parts thereof) know that one or more of the approaches I regularly use doesn't work: I regularly use natural light, small apertures, slow shutter speeds, high ISOs, autofocus and cameras with small sensors. Indeed, some of them know that none of these work. :)
Seriously though, there are many permutations and combinations of equipment and techniques that you can use to photograph small things; you have to find what works best for you.
Images from Gordano Valley Avon Wildlife Trust sites http://www.flickr.com/photos/gardenersassistant/collections/721576266896...
Images mainly from our garden http://www.flickr.com/photos/gardenersassistant/
Hi Nick, I'm sorry it's taken me a while to reply - I should have kept a reference for your little black weevil! And then I had to look up some of your equipment, so that I didn't sound too stupid... I thought it was so generous of you to reply in such detail and I would like to thank you most sincerely. I've a Lumix FZ 18 which takes good shots of flowers but I shall take on board all your advice as I'd really like to photograph the creepy crawlies.
I've enjoyed browsing through your Flickr photos - thank you again and a very Happy Christmas, Christine.
I believe you could use one of these adaptors on your FZ18 and then attach a close-up lens.
With this you could use an inexpensive 58mm close-up filter set such as this, which would give you a wide range of magnification but not top notch image quality because they are made from single pieces of glass.
Alternatively, but more expensive, you could use an achromat (made of several pieces of glass) which would give better image quality but a narrower range of magnification. The Raynox 150 might be a good one to start with (a reasonable amount of magnification, a reasonable working distance from the subject - about six inches - and not too difficult to use). Or possibly the more powerful Raynox 250, although this is a bit more difficult to use because of the greater magnification and shorter distance from the subject (about 4 inches).
With smaller subjects getting enough light on to the subject becomes an issue. I tend to use natural light but that can be quite tricky. Most people use flash, usually with DIY diffusers.
As you can't fit an external flash to your camera you might want to consider a DIY snoot.
And perhaps have a look at this and click on the first link.
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