A day at the local pond

I know I usually post news here and post all my photos in the forum but I thought I’d do something a bit different today.  I had a few hours to kill while my daughter was out playing mini golf with a friend so I drove over to the local pond in hunt of some macro subjects.  My tools today were my Pentax K-5, Pentax AF 540 flash, and Sigma 105mm f2.8 EX lens.  I have been here a few times before so I really wanted to get a photo of some ants.  There is one tree at this pond that has plenty of ant activity so I headed right there.  Of course I took a bunch of duds, but I did manage to pull off a few decent shots.  I’m not a kid anymore and laying on all sorts of contorted positions on the hard ground doesn’t get along well with my knees and elbows.  But I still did the best I could.  Projects like this really have me pining for a nice ring flash.

After I had enough of the ants, I went in search of something else when I came upon this lady bug.  Its always nice when your subject is cooperative.  Too bad the wind was pretty gusty.  But I did manage a few shots.

After the lady bug I found a few caterpillars to shoot.  The first one realy caught my eye because it had its head buried in the top of the flower it was apparently eating and its body was in the shape of a question mark, or an “S”.  I just thought it looked cool so I snapped away.  The second caterpillar was not so shy and was happy to look right into the camera’s lens as I took its photo.


While I was shooting, a female mallard duck and one if its young paddled up and started sifting through the bottom muck very close by.  The sun was low and warm and it looked like it would make a nice shot.  So I popped off the flash, focused manually, and snapped off a few quick shots.  Just as I finished up, the sun hid behind some pretty heavy clouds and the good light was gone.  And that’s when it dawned on me.  I totally forgot to change the camera settings.  Oops!  When I shoot macro, the camera is in manual and flash is set to work in P-TTL.  I normally shoot in Av when shooting landscapes and wildlife.  I just didnt even think about changing the settings and came out with several photos of that mama duck that looked like this.
I have to admit that I was pretty dissapointed ad a bit annoyed at myself for not checking.  But we all make mistakes right?  So onward we go.  When I got homeI thought I’d try to recover the duck photo just for kicks.  It was bound to be full of noise right?  Look at how dark it is.  Well here is the recovered photo.  I was totally amazed.  I don’t know how well this would have worked on other cameras but I was totally blown away at how noise free this came out and how much detail was actually captured.  The K-5 always seems to amaze me.
Well that was my day at the local pond.  What did you shoot today?

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2 Responses to A day at the local pond

  1. Robert Cain says:

    I’ve been considering getting a Macro lens, I think I just might do it, I’ve been doing more landscape wide shots. I think I’ll focus on the little things and see how it goes. Any suggestion on Macro or was the sigma fine for you?


    • Scott says:

      Hi Rob, I’m doing well with the Sigma 105mm, but I also have a Pentax 35mm Macro. Of the two I use the 105mm the most. I really like the extra distance away from the subject you can get with the longer focal length lens. Tamron also makes a very nice 90mm Macro. And I’m sure that your camera maker makes a fine lens as well. But for the money, I dont think you can really beat the Sigma.

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