Two boxelder bugs on the carcass of a third

Spring Day Macro at f/22

Having a lot of capable photographic equipment can be a distraction as much as a blessing. I do not have a lot of stuff compared to many. Notice that the byline of this blog is “Nikon DSLR Photography on a Budget” for a reason. However, what I do have has tremendous versatility. So much so that one can find oneself endlessly fiddling with lenses and settings. One trick I like to do to keep my focus on composition rather than equipment is to only take one lens with me. To focus even more, I sometimes do what I did today. I selected my camera settings and focus point, then went searching for subjects. This works well with macro in particular. I focused at the closest limit of the best cheap Nikon macro lens, the Micro-Nikkor 60mm AF f/2.8. I then just move the camera in and out to get the plane of focus where I want it.  I set the aperture high at f/22 for a good depth of field. Then I selected ISO auto (maximum ISO 3200, and both images today are ISO 3200) with minimum shutter speed of 1/200 sec. These settings limited the effects of camera movement–and today’s significant breeze; on a less breezy day I would allow a slower speed. I did sacrifice some grain, but grain on this Nikon D90 camera at ISO 3200 is pretty good. Better some grain in a sharp image than no grain in a blurred image.

Light blue petals, yellow center

Light blue petals, yellow center


After a four hours on the road yesterday, I went as far as the backyard today to capture some more spring in action. Among the shots I took, the two here stood out for me. The boxelder bugs at the top of this post were apparently snacking in the remains of a fallen comrade. The crocus is just a welcome spot of color.

Post-processed in Aperture. Incidentally, neither image today is cropped. Gotta love that macro!

One thought on “Spring Day Macro at f/22

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