Jul 15, 2012

Macro Photography at the Mass Audubon Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary


Exploring a local wildlife sanctuary can be very rewarding and beneficial for our photography. Usually one can find birds and other wildlife that are willing photographic objects, beautiful flowers, or insects of all sorts. My last local photo tour brought me back to the Mass Audubon Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary in Worcester, MA. The sanctuary is located near Worcester, MA and is a short 55 minutes drive west of Boston. It has lots of trails to explore, a beaver pond, and a butterfly garden at the main building and entrance. I stayed put at the garden and had to pick a lens for my photography. That day the macro lens for insects won over the long lens for hummingbird photography and I followed my quest for flower and insect macro photography. Inpatient for some reason, I dismissed my usual playbook and handheld the camera most of the time. Increasing the ISO setting from 100 to 200 upped the shutter speed significant thereby raising the odds for a sharp, high quality pictures. There were mostly bees going about their business and a couple of butterflies stopped briefly to tease me; in fact not staying long enough to capture any photo of them … frustrating indeed. A skipper moth on the other hand was more photogenic and posed a few times for me and my camera on a purple coneflower. A good photo opportunity always arises when a butterfly or skipper moth inserts its proboscis, coiled tube through which nectar and fluids are imbibed, into the flower and sucks the floral nectar. This is the decisive moment when we focus on the head and eye of the insect and fire away. Taking about 45 pictures that day resulted in 3 or 4 useable and sellable photographs. Two of them were added to this nature photography blog post. The aperture for the first picture above was set to f/8 resulting in an exposure time of 1/125 seconds. The second photograph was taken at f/8 and 1/100 seconds. Removing dust spots, minimally adjusting contrast, lighting and color saturation before sharpening during post processing in the digital lab was a piece of cake.