Saving the small things that run the planet

Membership costs just £3 per month


Taking Bug Photos

Here are some top tips for taking great bug photos.

Bugs are a great subject for you to photograph. The best time to see them in the UK is between April and October. Flowers in Spring and Summer are a good place to find bugs to photograph.  But remember bugs are everywhere – under stones and logs, in your pond and even in your bath!

Taking photos (c) Buglife

Taking photos (c) Buglife

  1. Use a ‘Bridge Camera’

Bridge cameras are the sort of cameras that have bigger lenses than compact cameras, giving a much bigger focal range. They have a single fixed lens that you cannot detach and swap like you can with an SLR.

  1. Use ‘Macro Modes’

The critical thing to check with a bridge camera is that the macro allows focussing as close as 1cm. You may not always need to photograph things this close, but a camera that only focusses to 5cm will really restrict you.

  1. Use ‘Auto Focus’

Leave your bridge camera on automatic mode and use the auto-focus (most bridge cameras do not allow easy manual focussing). By taking several images of a bug from slightly different angles, and carefully watching the focus point on your viewfinder, you should be able to produce a 1-2 nicely focussed image from a bigger series (modern memory cards can store several hundred high resolution images at a time so you can be trigger happy) .

  1. Watch the Weather

Sunlight can produce a nice shot and keeps shutter speed high, but it can also bleach out colours and detail. Some of the best bug photos have been taken on cloudy days- but make sure you don’t throw a shadow over your subject with your camera lens.

  1. Watch the Background

If you take a photo of a bug on a bright yellow flower like a buttercup, or a bright white flower like Hogweed, the bug will come out very dark because the camera tries to expose for the flower not the insect. You can try to adjust for this using the camera, or fix things back home on the computer.

Related links