USGS releases video interview with macro photographer Sam Droege

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Macro Photography by USGS

Macro Photography by USGS

As you may remember, we recently shared a post with you where the US Geological Survey (USGS) released hundreds of high resolution macro photos of bees and other insects as part of the lab’s survey into the native American bee species – Read our previous post here ‘Hundreds of Insect Macro Photos Released By USGS’.

Well… today we are even more excited. In this video interview released by USGS (September 26), Sam Droege (the photographer of many of the high resolution macro photos) shares his macro photography knowledge with us. He walks us through the macro photography equipment that he uses to create the high resolution photos, talks briefly about the specimens/subjects, his macro photography techniques and more importantly provides us with valuable macro photography tips on getting photos that are sharp and in focus.

It is a 40 minute video so make sure you are comfortable before you hit the play button! When you watch the video, make sure you pay extra attention when Droege talks about the following –

  • Camera Gear – Canon  5D Mark II Canon MP-E 65mm, remote trigger
  • Photography Technique – Focus Stacking (15-300 photos stacked)
  • Focusing – An automated slide rail to assist with focusing (Can be programmed with different distances to shoot a picture)
  • Lighting – Twin macro flashes faced towards the sides of the ‘Light Box’ to bounce the light onto the macro photography subject.
  • Background – Black felt and correctly positioned lighting to achieve a black background
  • Challenges – Working so close with the specimen sometimes has its challenges. It requires you have well prepared specimens,
  • Post processing – Photoshop
  • Macro photography on a budget – DIY tips and tricks on creating the poor man’s macro photography setup for focus stacking




Wasn’t that an impressive video? As you have heard, Droege uses a macro photography technique called focus stacking to get a high resolution and in focused shot of their subjects. If you are keen to learn more about focus stacking, you may be interested in our Focus Stacking tutorials –

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