"Macro Art In Nature"

Explorations in the artistic world of macro photography.

Subject Distance & Backgrounds In Photography.

© 2005 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

“Halloween Pennant” Dragonfly – (Celithemis eponina)


I really enjoy laying back and to take in my surroundings while out in nature. I also like to photograph those subjects as I see them in their world, and to do it in a way which shows their surroundings in an appealing way.
It can be quite difficult at times to show those surroundings in a subtle way because of the distance objects may have from your subject, so I usually can handle this by simply selecting a lens setting for instance in the f8 to f11 range, which tends to soften up that background yet still leave enough details to show what kind of world you are viewing. With these lens settings, you may have a difficult time in keeping your entire subject sharp, so try to get yourself and the camera lens on the same plain to your subject.

© 2005 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

“Halloween Pennant” Dragonfly – (Celithemis eponina)


Plus, another factor is your light. It really helps the overall appeal to that background if you shoot like this on a cloudy day. Having deep dark shadows or very bright highlights can be very distracting, and pull one’s eyes away from the main subject.
Soft backgrounds that holds details, yet it still lets your main subject to take center stage can really produce some images you will happily keep in your files!
The first image was shot at 1/250 sec., lens setting of f10, and the ISO at 400.
The second image was shot at 1/200 sec., lens setting of f13, and the ISO of 400.

Thanks for looking gang!


March 2, 2006 - Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, dragonfly, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hiking, horticulture, insects, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | , , , , ,


  1. Hi Michael, i just visited your site and very much enjoyed what i saw – congrats. I too am very interested in this type of photography/blog and have just built my own site:
    At present i am working on a blog which i hope to release very soon. Nice to meet someone with a similar interest. I will definitely be visiting again.
    Best wishes Neil

    Comment by neil | March 2, 2006

  2. Great shots, and I always learn something from reading your commentary. Thanks!

    Comment by Paul | March 2, 2006

  3. These are great Mike. I love the detail in the dragonfly and the background is evident, yet not distracting. I’m learning so much from your posts. Thanks!

    Comment by Joy | March 2, 2006

  4. Excellent captures of this little jewel. Beyond a doubt, certainly You are e master in this field.

    Comment by lino from Oz | March 2, 2006

  5. Thank you very much for presenting this beautiful couple of images and your additional explanation. Both images are great but my favourite is the upper one.

    Comment by KPK | March 2, 2006

  6. Just catching up around the blogs and glad to see you got some more cracking images here. I really don’t know how you manage to get these little beasties with such clarity and definition. Excellent stuff!

    Comment by BobC | March 2, 2006

  7. Photo #1 Perfect shot of the legs. So crisp and in perfect focus with great depth of field in the background.

    Photo #2: Stunning colors.

    Comment by Solaria | March 2, 2006

  8. I love the cool tone of the background on photo one. What was the background beside the grasses? Was it the cloudy skies?

    Comment by Micki | March 2, 2006

  9. Hey Neil, … thanks for stopping by.
    Went to your website, and you have some absolutely wonderful images showing there. Awesome work!
    Please let me know when you have your blog up and running. You have a bunch of guys who come in here who would like to jump right in and join you.

    Micki, the blue/gray color that you see in the background of image #1 is actually a pond. I was shooting very slightly down hill looking towards the pond, and it was a overcast day too, so the pond pretty much was a mimic of the sky above.

    Thanks again gang!

    Comment by MBrown | March 2, 2006

  10. Michael,
    This is one of the best shots of dragonfly that I have seen.. The larger versions are awesome!

    Good work!!

    Comment by samcam | March 2, 2006

  11. Mike, Beautiful photo and an unusual coloring on the dragonfly wings. One I haven’t seen before.

    Neil, there are many great photoblogs. Mike’s is exceptional. Follow the links of his comments and you’ll find more great photo blogs.

    Comment by Marc | March 2, 2006

  12. Very nice, like the top shot the most, very classic.

    Comment by John | March 2, 2006

  13. I’ve learned a lot about backgrounds from your tutorials Mike. Thanks again – and more great shots.

    Comment by Markarian | March 2, 2006

  14. oooooo….Your photo’s of bugs are so cool!

    Comment by Some Random Girl | March 2, 2006

  15. Wow, I’m in awe of your top photograph!

    Comment by Paul | March 2, 2006

  16. wow great shots! very nice. =D

    Comment by idreaminred | March 2, 2006

  17. Thanks guys! :)

    Comment by MBrown | March 3, 2006

  18. I really like the DOF and saturation in these shots. Every time I come to your site I look forward to spring that much more:)

    Comment by j e p p e | March 3, 2006

  19. Your dragonfly images are very inspiring. Nice stuff.

    Comment by david | March 3, 2006

  20. Hello,
    My name is Raphael and i live in Paris ( France).Your Blog is very interesting,i like so much.


    Comment by arpege | March 18, 2006

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