This post is about tripod for macro photography.
I was out looking for bugs again when I found this newly emerged cicada perching on its own exuvium, pumping fluids to its wings, waiting for its body to harden before taking its first flight! I spent the next one hour photography this cicada.
I believe I missed the emergence process by about 10 to 15 minutes. Better luck next time! The newly emerged cicada was about 5 inches from the ground, on the root of a tree. So i lowered my tripod. My cheap tripod, which cost me RM200 ( about 65 USD), could go quite low, if it wasn't for the centre column which gets in the way.
But I really wanted to get low enough so I could shoot from an angle which maximizes my DOF. A light bulb lit up in my head and I found myself a blunt, dry tree branch on the forest floor and started digging! Ah..i forgot to include dry tree branch i used for digging in this pic. :D.
A closer look. Tripod brand name removed. I probably should start carrying a spade in my backpack. I wonder if there is a foldable spade:D. Although I managed to get quite low, it still wasn't as low as I would have liked. The next time you see holes and earth all dug up, it may not be the work of the wild boars.
And then Derrick suggested an idea - fold up the tripod and put it on the ground, like this:
Excellent. Now we could get really really low!
I can't show you the actual shot from this session yet but I have a somewhat similar shot I took back in November 26, 2007 - my first sighting of an newly emerged cicada. Same type of cicada, same park. Same "a few minutes too late" :(
You don't have to go through all this trouble though if you are willing to spend some money on the right tripod. I have seen one where the center column can be removed. Beanbag is also another idea, if you don't mind an additional 400 gram or so in your backpack.