Chin’s Nature Corner

Grasshopper nymph Grasshopper nymph

Green grasshopper Green grasshopper
These grasshopper nymphs provide two more examples of my workaround to achieve a higher magnification
of close-up nature subjects taken with a Nikon 18-200mm (wide-angle to telephoto) zoom lens.
My workaround (Part 2)

NOT LONG AFTER I bought a used (or second-hand) Nikon D5300 DSLR body to use with an "inherited" 18-200mm zoom lens (27-300mm in 35mm equivalent) for general photography, I began trying out this camera-zoom lens combination for nature close-up photography.
 I experimented with this "combo" and found that with the lens racked out to its longest extension (i.e. at 300mm equivalent) I could, with some care, shoot living creatures such as bugs, butterflies and other insects at its minimum focal distance.
 With a fairly large size creature like the Lime Butterfly (please see my previous article), this often resulted in a decent image that I could use without cropping. However, with small creatures I would need to use a workaround which can be summarised in three easy steps:
 1) set the camera for large (maximum) image size, i.e. 24 megapixels on the D5300, 2) in the viewfinder, carefully place the tiny subject smack in the centre of the frame, i.e. the "sweet spot", and 3) at the computer, crop for composition and scale the image at 72dpi for posting on the Web.
 The nymphs of two grasshopper species (please see above) provided further examples of this workaround besides those
provided by the Cycad Blue and Paler Grass Blue butterflies in the previous article.
 Recently, I had two opportunities to use this "combo" and workaround for bird photography. Let me stress that these were rare opportunities as one would have to get really close with a 300mm lens to get a decent-size image of a bird.
 The first opportunity came when I saw a White-vented Myna pecking a dead rat in the backlane behind my house. It was an "unsavoury" scene but that's nature. At one point there were four birds picking the maggots creeping out of the carrion, less than ten feet away from my kitchen window.
 I shot through the iron grill of the kitchen window and got a series of photos with one to four birds on the scene. In the end, I chose for the workaround treatment a photo where I could see the eye of the bird most clearly (please see below).
 The second opportunity came when a pair of Yellow-vented Bulbul settled on my front gate to rest. One perched on the metalwork while the other sat down on the gate post. I grabbed my camera and shot from my front door. I managed about half a dozen shots before the one on the metalwork spotted me, raised the alarm to its mate and flew off, followed by its mate.
 Opportunities like these don't come every day, and I'm just glad to have these images to share with you. By the way, I used GIMP to crop and scale the images. ~ CFS, 27-11-2018.
White-vented Myna White-vented Myna

Yellow-vented Bulbul Yellow-vented Bulbul
The White-Vented Myna pecking a rat carcass and the Yellow-vented Bulbul resting on my front gate
gave me the rare opportunities to use my workaround on these bird photos.

This page revised on 27 November 2018. Copyright © Chin Fah Shin.