On Sunday I attended a macro workshop run by Wild Arena and held at Knowsley Safari Park. It was a half day session hosted by Janet who was very knowledgable on the technicalities of macro photography but also very well informed of the subject matter for the day. We spent 50-60 minutes discussing studio and macro technique before getting down to the real task of photographing the frogs and chameleon. This was my first time using studio equipment but it was surprisingly easy to get to grips with. The setup consisted of a small table and a range of backdrops, a 500w main flash to the right with soft box plus a supplementary 250w flash again with soft box. The soft boxes both had ragged edges to them to cast a more natural catchlight in the subjects eyes.
The first subject was a Peacock Tree Frog which was photographed on a variety of tropical plants against a black background. The camera was set to manual with shutter speed of 1/250 and aperture at f16. shots were taken from various angles using a Canon EOS7D and a 100mm f2.8 macro lens. The results were really impressive. The next subject was a Running Frog placed on a mirror which was then soaked in water, a vivid green backdrop was added to create some dramatic reflections, this was certainly a quite impact-full technique. The final subject was a Panther Chameleon in a variety of poses on a bare branch, the detail on these creatures is amazing. All in all, about 250 shots were made over a 2 hour period and then drastically reduced during post-processing to around a dozen ‘keepers’. Thanks Janet for a really enjoyable experience and some great tips and tricks to put into practice.

Wild Arena Panel