Sammy, the Snail
Macro Photography Tips

It was raining and I had planned to go in the garden for an hour or so and wander around looking for unsuspecting animals or insects to offer to my camera sensor (it needs a lot of feeding you know).

So I waited indoors until the clouds had passed, and only then did I venture out. I didn't go far from the back door, not wishing to get my feet wet, but I spotted Sammy almost immediately and I think he spotted me too as he quickly adopted evasive manoeuvres.

I got a couple of shots from the back and one from the side as I rather liked the smart suit he was wearing,  he's a bit of a trend setter in snail circles. But what I really wanted were the eyes. So I crept round to the front and got down low. I was so quick, he didn't have a chance, I focussed manually on the end of one of the stalks, and my camera gave that satisfying clicking sound it makes when it has found a tasty morsel.

So if it's true that the eyes are the mirror of the soul, then we can now see straight into the soul of the snail. It's  kind of obvious when you look at the photo below...  snails really do possess a soul, and what's more, you can tell that his soul is looking directly into yours.

The Techie Part

Although the clouds had parted, it was still pretty dull out so I chose a reasonably high shutter speed of ISO 320 - fast enough to allow some leeway in my other settings but not so fast as to introduce too much digital noise.

With an F-number of 5.6, and a macro lens of focal length 100mm, I've successfully lost virtually everything in a blur except for Sammy's eyes, the most important part of the image. And a shutter speed of 1/200 second was quick enough to freeze the movement of even the fastest snail.

› Sammy, the Snail

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