Hanging with the Frogs

1/160 @ f/8
Most of you know I live near the Everglades National Park.  Well, last night I loaded the family up at about 8:00pm to head deep into the Glades at the prospect of photographing some tree frogs.  There are a couple of trees at one of the simple pull offs that were rumored to be loaded with the little rascals after dark.  I am very happy to report that those rumors were VERY true.

I knew that the light would be nonexistent so I decided to take a portrait lighting set up.  I brought a light stand, umbrella, and a flash (outfitted with Pocket Wizards for remote triggering).  There were a few challenges capturing these images but with a little patience I was able to overcome them.  The challenges included trying to get the camera tripod set up just right for the images, shining a light on the frogs to allow for focusing, getting the off camera lighting set up (very interesting in tight quarters with an umbrella), and swatting mosquitoes.  If you managed to get all that set up and working it was just a matter of moments before the little guys decided to jump to another location.  Normally I would have my wife help but we brought our son (who's 3).  It just didn't seem like a good idea to let him run free in the Everglades at night...  eh, call me an over protective father.

1/160 @ f/7.1
I used my Nikon D700 with a 105 f/2.8 macro lens.  The hardest part was dealing with the lack of light and the shallow depth of field when shooting macro.  Always remember, the closer you are to your subject the more compressed the depth of field becomes.  If you are shooting normally you know that an f/8 aperture gives you a considerable amount of DOF.  When you are shooting macro and you are very close to your subject the same f/8 will produces a very shallow DOF.  The images you see here were all shot between f/7.1 and f/8.  Just look at how everything in front of the eyes and everything behind the eyes falls quickly out of focus.

1/160 @ f/8
This was a great place to go.

Remember, if you ever have any questions shoot me an email or give me a call.  You may not be the only one with the question and perhaps I can answer it with a blog post.