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Macro Magic With a Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Lens

Photography and arts and crafts are my passions. I spend as much time as I can sharing and honing these skills.

Ladybird on a sunflower

Ladybird on a sunflower

The Macro Lens Reveals All

Interested in insect photography? You need to know about macro lenses. A macro lens reveals so much to us and is one of the best educational tools we have.

  • It helps teach us to respect and want to learn more about nature and all the little creatures.
  • It teaches us that if we are patient and quiet, we will get our reward!
  • It teaches us to look for every small detail.

We will learn the habitat of our insects, and the macro lens helps reveal which plants are host to which species. Soon, we will know where to find them in their habitat. We will watch them procreate and we will witness them having their young! We may even be there to watch them die. We will witness each drama unfold as it happens. We will witness their struggle for survival.

Once, whilst photographing the delicate petals and stamens of a Mayflower, I quite unexpectedly, found myself looking straight into the eyes of a May beetle. I had never seen one before! Then it moved. It was as if our eyes actually meet. I was stunned, How awesome! Had I not owned the lens I may not have seen or encountered this amazing beetle.

In the fading light of day, I found a very large dragonfly resting low down on some branches, much too low for me to get a reasonable shot! Instinctively, I put my finger out in front of him, as if to steer him gently upwards and towards the light at the top of the shrub. Imagine my surprise when he climbed trustingly up onto my finger!

These lasting memories never fade. These are the moments that inspire me to take better images. There are times when I get so excited, I feel as if I will burst.

Taming a dragonfly

Taming a dragonfly

Demoiselle, dragonfly, female

Demoiselle, dragonfly, female

Deer fly

Deer fly

Ladybird walks in from the shadows

Ladybird walks in from the shadows

Damselfly looking at me

Damselfly looking at me

My Camera and Lens

  • Camera: I currently use the Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens attached to a Nikon D300s Camera. The lens is superb as is the camera.
  • Lens: This Sigma doubles as a great portrait lens, The results speak for themselves! Both my Nikon D300s camera and my Sigma 105mm are my most prized possessions.
Ladybird searching for aphids

Ladybird searching for aphids

Getting acquainted with a dragonfly

Getting acquainted with a dragonfly

© 2012 Sally Gulbrandsen


Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on December 16, 2014:


Thank you very much, I love my critters and am always pleased to share them with others.


poetryman6969 on December 16, 2014:

stunning photos!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on January 16, 2014:

Thank you kidscrafts Macro Photography is to me, just like getting front row tickets to all the insects in nature. I love everything about it. I especially love to watching the little creatures watching my every movement - once hooked on Macro Photography, I am afraid the Bug never lets go of you!

I very much appreciate your lovely comments and I do hope I get to see some of your own images very soon.

You enjoy your day too.


kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on January 16, 2014:

Wonderful pictures, SallyBea! I love macro photography; it's so nice to be able to see all those little details of those insects and other little creatures that we can't see with the naked eye. Butterflies fascinate me so when I go into butterfly farms, I am clicking away and taking videos :-)

Thank you for sharing your wonderful pictures and talent!

Enjoy your day!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on September 08, 2013:

oceansnsunsets - I am glad you enjoyed them. Thank you for stopping by.


Paula from The Midwest, USA on September 08, 2013:

How great to see some of your macro images! I truly love these! Thanks so much for sharing them.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on August 13, 2013:

Sounds like a good idea, I am looking forward to seeing the results too.

Thanks Gina143

Gina145 from South Africa on August 13, 2013:

Maybe they will give you material for another Hub. I'd love to see the results.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on August 12, 2013:

You are absolutely right Gina 145. I have thus far avoided this, mainly because of the additional processing they might take and the amount of space the files will take up on my computer. I might take them out with me today and see how I get on. Thanks, you have inspired me to go back and re-visit those Kenko extension tubes.

Gina145 from South Africa on August 12, 2013:

If you shoot in RAW then minor exposure errors are quite easy to correct. It's certainly worth trying to master your extension tubes as the effect of combining them with a macro lens must be really amazing.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on August 11, 2013:

I do have some Kenko extension tubes which I have used attached to my macro lens to bring me in a lot closer. I was not altogether happy with the result since I found that the images were a bit overexposed but you remind me that I should re-visit them, as I think I am at a stage where I feel I understand my camera a lot better now than I did. I feel I might be able to improve on my technique. There is always something new one would like to buy but for me the macro lens is still my favorite item. I use it for so much of my work and it really is a great portrait lens too. I appreciate your visit Gina145

Gina145 from South Africa on August 11, 2013:

I love macro photography but don't have a macro lens yet. So far I'm using extension tubes with the lenses I've got, but your lens allows you to get much closer. I'm sure I'll get one eventually but there are far too many photographic items I'd like to buy.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on August 06, 2013:

You are very welcome MsDora. I hope that you can too. Mine was a good second hand one. e-Bay can be a good place to start if you don't mind a good used one! Macro photography takes time, patience, practice and even a bit of luck. I love a challenge, so it suits my personality. I can't wait to see your first images!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on August 06, 2013:

Sallybea, I hope one day I can afford to buy two Sigma 105mm Macro Lenses--one as the gift you suggested and I'd like to have one too. Your pictures are really captivating. I know part of the credit belongs to you; the lens does not operate itself. So thoughtful of you to share. Thank you!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on June 14, 2013:

Thank you! You are very welcome, I am glad you could stop by PDXBuys

PDXBuys from Oregon on June 14, 2013:

Beautiful work! Thank you for posting these.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on February 01, 2013:

Don't let it stay just be a dream Sheri. the little critters will welcome you! Thank you so much for your lovely comment.

Sheri Dusseault from Chemainus. BC, Canada on January 31, 2013:

Beautiful photography. One of my dreams is to do macro. Congrats!

Rodney Fagan from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City on January 30, 2013:

Will try it tommorrow or next day depending on time, am the househusband,! Have you tried some reflections in a cup of coffee?

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on January 30, 2013:

Have a go sometime at photographing bubbles sometime and let me see how you get on ! It is such a lot of fun! Thank you again for your very kind comments.

Rodney Fagan from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City on January 30, 2013:

Very very briliant photos, I have done quite bit of macro shots, mainly flowers, raindrops on rose that srt of thing, a gekko on the blade of our venition blind.

My wifes avatar is her eye in profile, love reflections.

Happy photo hunting.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on January 30, 2013:

Very different indeed! I am sure you will make great progress with it. I look forward very much to seeing some of your images. Thank you for stopping by.

Kymberly Fergusson from Germany on January 30, 2013:

Looks like a great macro lens! I recently bought Canon's 100mm IS L macro lens, and adore it, although it is taking a while to get used to. Instead of getting really close to things as I did with my Powershot S3IS super-macro mode, I now need to be at least 30cm away -- very different!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on December 08, 2012:

So pleased if I can encourage just one person to take up this fascinating hobby. It takes time to perfect your technique, it takes patience to learn to predict just the right moment. Little critters are just like little people, if you watch them carefully you can predict what they may get up to. The challenge is to just get the moment right. Enjoy, I look forward to seeing your images.

Nicola Thompson from Bellingham, WA on December 08, 2012:

Wow! I love that you can see the clouds in the reflection of the lady bug's shell. I'm intrigued. I might look into one of thems :)

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on December 08, 2012:

Thank you Jennifer, lovely to hear your comments. Yes, it is all around us, ithat is, f we just take a little time to notice it all!!! Have a lovely day


Jennifer Stone from the Riverbank, England on December 08, 2012:

Wow, I love those photo's! I love to look at good insect photography, and I really hope to see some more from you! I also love your attitude to nature and the wonder you see all around you, voted up and all sorts, and sharing because I can see you're new here and I would like my followers to meet you! :-)

All the best, Jen