The advantage of working in slow motion

The moment my macro lens comes out I find myself doing everything in slow motion. Not because I get paid by the hour, but because it has an advantage.

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Some of the best macro photography subjects are also the least likely to let you stick a camera up to them. The tree frogs common in my area, for example, will scatter the moment you get within a couple of metres. It’s the same with some kinds of spiders, especially Huntsmans. But there’s a way of getting a camera really, really close to many of those kinds of subjects.

If you move the camera towards the critter in extreme slow motion — and I mean as slowly as you can manage — the critter will possibly not even notice your approach and will sit still while you get your shot. That trick has allowed me to get my camera within inches of the some of the most easily spooked small animals.

Huntsman Spider

This Huntsman Spider would have bolted long before I took this shot if I hadn’t approached it in extreme slow motion.

Now I’m not suggesting you try this with dangerous critters, just like how my official advice for photographing cobras and taipans is to use a telephoto lens, and from the opposite side of a lake.

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Beginners’ guides to digital SLR photography


Before you start


The essential basics


Making sense of technical stuff

Photography words

Photography words explained


Sneaky stuff


Common problems and their solutions

Preying mantis

Taking things further


Photography at night

Other photography stuff

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