More macros with the 5D mk III

I was in the park this morning as soon as the gate opened. My trusty 180mm F3.5 macro lens attached to the 5D mk III. I was a little concerned as there were a few spots of drizzle and I am not clear how water-resistant the body is. I had a cover to hand but luckily the drizzle came to nothing. Light was poor and humidity was high. The mosquitoes were out and about but I had long sleeves and long trousers to protect me. They still managed to get my neck though and to add major insult to injury a bird pooped on my head. Just a small parting gift. If you want to get a head get a hat.

There were plenty of frogs around today but the big pond is useless for decent shots as it is surrounded by a pathway that allows you to photograph only over or through a fence. There is no way to get down to frog’s eye-level. One of the small ponds does allow this. The flip side of this is that the frogs see you coming a mile off and normally plop into the water PDQ. Today one rather helpful frog decided to carry on with his morning float. apparently unconcerned by me wielding a lens in his face. Not really but he did not seem perturbed as I went within a few feet.

The Floater

This was my approach shot from the left – note if you will the rather snazzy red knees. And then from the right hand side:

Right profile

On the big pond and therefore suitable only for a plan shot rather than a side elevation was this rather ugly bullfrog:

Hoplobatrachus sinensis

But the prize for the day went to another Rana guentheri, displaying a remarkable resemblance to George Chisholm (for the elderly amongst us)

The trombone frog

Now I am pretty impressed with the 5D but someone said my recent larvae shot was out of focus AND over-exposed. My dudgeon was pretty high over this but sadly it was right. After watching the group again I worked out that although they appear to be static the individuals are in fact moving and my shot was a 2sec exposure. Enough to ruin it. So today I went armed with a flash. I did not however go with any working batteries. Note to self, remember to check the batteries before you go out not when you are in the field. My other flash is powered by rechargeables and I must get a second set to be greener. But wait, I now have a camera with decent high ISO so I just whacked it up to ISO 6400  and that gave me the lightning fast shutter speed of 1/13s. Oh well, it was enough to catch a caterpillar in motion.

Metanastria gemella

Cute aren’t they in a larval sort of way. I found a much bigger congregation later on but the loud humming noise suggested I was either very close to a high tension power cable or a wasp/bee nest.Discretion was indeed the better part of valour.

Two final shots:

A rather dainty damselfly

Copera ciliata

And the piece de resistance, a robber fly.

Robber fly - Asilidae sp.

This was my favourite shot of the day and I hope you like it too.


Lightroom 4 and the 5D mk III

A release candidate LR4.1 is available for download at This includes the ability to read files from the 5D mk III. I have installed this already. Rather strangely, with LR4.0 many people complained of sluggish performance. I was quite happy. However this beta update seems slower to me than LR4.0. I cannot publish to Flickr either. Adobe is looking for feedback and this is after all not a full release so gremlins should be expected.

Here are 2 images with the 5D mk III from today freshly imported with the update 🙂

A frog he would a-wooing go

The caption is from an old nursery rhyme and took me back in my mind to early childhood and I can still hear the tune in my head…

A frog he would a-wooing go,
Hey ho, says Rowley,
A frog he would a-wooing go,
Whether his mother would let him or no.
With a rowley, powley, gammon and spinich,
Hey ho, says Anthony Rowley.

And here is one of my fungus shots:

Fungus on tree branch

I had tried to do this as a stack in Helicon Focus but I simply wasn’t happy with the result. In fact I failed with two stacks today. HF is not cheap  – registration for lifetime use id US$200 at the time of writing so I need to improve my tripod stability as even after 45 minutes of retouching I wasn’t satisfied. I tried to use this, my insurance shot, to correct the flaws but could not get it to work. I need to find a way of having this in the list of imported images as a retouching option but not in the actual stack build. If anybody knows how to do this please let me know!

More Macau coming soon.