About the Photographer
Maarten Tonsbeek is a dentist in Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom with, amongst other things, an interest in photography.
By using macro lenses with readily available SLR digital cameras, the incredible world of macro photography can be unlocked. The author would encourage others to start their jouney of discovery.
The majority of these images were shot in and around Canterbury in a small city garden and a nearby forest.
This only emphasises that you do not need to travel far and wide to find photogenic subjects.
Equipment and technique for the insect images
Most of these shots were taken with an now quite ancient Canon 20D, the Canon 100mm macro lens and a ring flash. The body of the camera is of less importance compared to the lens.
The ring flash is vital as the light of a normal flash would be shielded by the lens.
The use of a tripod is not possibly as the insect would have long jumped, crawled or flown away by the time you would have set up your tripod. The technique is hand held camera, very slowly advancing and gently rocking forward and backward whilst shooting to try and get the eyes of the insect in focus.
Equipment and technique the drop images
The aim of the drop photography is the generate two drops with precise timing so that the first drop's rebound is hit by the second drop. You then of course need to time your exposure accurately to coincide with this.
These insects look so colourful, are they (sub-)tropical?
No, all images on this site are native to the UK. It i sonly when you start zooming in this close that their beauty and colours are revealed. (Sub-) tropical insects will bring the spectacle to a whole different level again.
Why do you not use a tripod for the insect shots? Surely any decent photographer uses a tripod?
With the insect photography it is almost always completely out of the question to use a tripod as the insects would have long gone before you would have set up your gear. The only instances where it works are very, very slow moving or preferably totally static insects. Very reare indeed!
How are the drop shots done?
In order to coincide the exposure of the image with the correct timing of the drop(s) you will need some electronic help. For the DIY enthusiasts there are basic kits available on the internet which you can put together with virtually no knowledge of electronics. Alternatively, you can buy ready made devices which will get you up and going quicker but is much less fun. A search for 'Drop photography' will give you plenty of leads.
Which liquids do you use for the drop shots?
I have tried a wide variety of liquids:
- Water with food colourants
- Milk, with and without food colourants
- Orange juice
- Balsamic vinigar
They all have theur peculiarities and it is great fun to experiment with them.