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14 Nov 2013

Late last night while I was working at my desktop computer, something flew through the window and hit my face which startled me. My first reaction was to jump away from my desktop computer and turn on the ceiling light (note: was working in the dark with the monitor as the only source of light).

Carefully approaching my computer desktop, I started searching for the "thing" that had hit me on my face (... yes, I scare of cockroaches ^o^). After over-turning some of the gadgets on my desk, I finally found a small beetle-looking bug (less than 1cm) that landed on the blades of the USB fan.

Tried to shoo it away but it only budges a little and seems rather comfortable there. The idea of using extreme macro photography on it struck me. I pulled up my 100mm macro lens with a reverse 50mm lens attached to it and took a couple of really close-up shots of the beetle. Please refer to my earlier article on how-to take extreme macro photography using a reverse lens.

EXIF: ISO 100, F/32 and 1/200s (0 EV).

It was my first attempt and success to shoot an insect using extreme macro photography, and it gives me more confidence to try it on other types of insects. During the photo taking, the beetle-like insect has been rather obedient and moved only a little. From this, I've learnt 2 things:

Flashes are definitely required

As the Depth of Field (DOF) is very shallow in extreme macro photography, I've used a very small aperture (i.e. F/32) to increase the DOF. In order to freeze the subject or avoid shakes on the hand-held camera, I need a fast enough shutter speed (1/200s). At F/32 and 1/200s, the photograph will definitely be greatly under-exposed and thus flash is required.

Continuous Shooting and Take Multiple Shots

It is rather difficult to focus at such near distance and huge magnification on hand-held camera. Any slightest movement, either caused by the insect moving or hand movement, will throw the entire subject out-of-focus. The best way to overcome this is to turn on continuous shooting mode and shoot as many shots as possible.

EXIF: ISO 100, F/32 and 1/200s (0 EV).

It is really amazing to see such huge magnification of insects that cannot be seen by naked eyes. Pictures above are downsized to 20% of the original photo, and the bug is only less than 1cm.

Please visit to see the large resolution and magnification of the insect ...