Backyard wandering

This was more of an exercise in practicing handholding and working with higher ISO than capturing exquisite insects photos.
My goal was to get sharp usable images varying the ISO and f/stop while letting the SS be where it needed to be to balance the photo.

For the fly, I manual selected an ISO of 1250, f/14, 1/800sec. For the caterpillar image I selected auto ISO, the result based on the overcast day, was an ISO of 3200. F/13 with 1/1600sec. Both images were at 105mm and handheld. Winds were gusting at approx. 8mph.

Since I do not have any type of noise reduction software, at least not for the foreseeable future, in ACR post processing I used noise reduction on the background and sharpening on both insects.
My question is; is the quality at these settings, with this amount of post processing, at an acceptable level. Ok, so I realize “acceptable” is quite objective, but I would be interested in any thoughts, comments and suggestions.

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Linda, they look fine to me. It might be my old eyes, but they both look fine. I like that fly, and the high key type lighting. Very well done. Experimenting is how we can learn more, that is for sure.

Thanks, @Shirley_Freeman. I am just trying to figure out how far I can push my settings in the quest for greater detail while photographing moving objects with the equipment I currently have.
I appreciate your kind thoughts.

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Hi Linda, my favorite is the caterpillar with fine sharpness and a lovely setting. I think that one turned out great. The fly looks a little soft to me but that is doing some pixel peeping on the large image. Both fine images.

Thanks, @Allen_Sparks. I agree about the softness of the fly, I think I may have been a little to close while shooting.

Seems to be caterpillar season! This one is quite a fright, which I guess is how they survive! Lovely captures with the detail and noise looking very good. The fly looks fine to me – sort of a gossamer look, which fits it.

Thanks, Diane. Yes, this little (about an inch or so) was quite spikey. I can’t find it identified in any of my references, even asked iNaturalist and they are researching it. I appreciate your thoughts and comments.

I really like the fly, Linda! I also like how you’re experimenting with your equipment. I do that a lot and it’s neat to get some other ideas!

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I agree with Allen about the 2. You got very good sharpness with no noise for the caterpillar - you seem to be at ease with the macro lens already, Linda. The fly looks to me just a wee bit out of focus, so put out some more butter! I love the colour contrasts though.

Thanks, @Mike_Friel. I should have mentioned, the butter is actually a piece of an orange slice I had put out to attract the Scotts Orioles that have been around for the past few weeks. I had read the Orioles liked fruit/oranges, but these guys were having nothing to do with it.

The caterpillar is a lot better than the fly. The fly’s integument has small sensory pores and hairs which are lost in the image. The caterpillar is nice and sharp and there’s a few noise reduction artifacts present. The image quality is quite good on the caterpillar photo…Jim

Thanks, Jim. Good to know for future photos and my editing processes.

Nice images Linda, The caterpillar came out very nice, the fly is a little bright. I some times I tend to take out a camera to just experiment. I do not see any noise really so this seem to work. I tried to sharpen the fly with ACR. There is a trick in the detail section of Lightroom and I wanted to see if the ACR had it.

Expand the Detail section. Sharpening can be done (2 top sliders) paying attention to what is being sharpen only. Then hold the Alt (Option on Mac) down and slide the masking bar to the right. Keep going until everything you do not want affected by the sharpening is black. Then let go of the Alt. You may have known this already but I wanted to say something just in case.

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Thanks, Dean. I have just recently been experimenting in ACR with the Optic and Geometry tools and realized they would expand. It neve occurred to me to try the sharpening tool also . . duh! The answer to your statement is, no I didn’t know that I could also do this with the sharpening tool. Thank you for pointing out the incredibly obvious. Appreciate you taking the time to explain this to me.