There's lots of types of photography, and my bag, obviously, is natural history subjects. Even within that sphere, there is quite a range of topics: birds, bugs, plants, landscapes, etc. To cover the gamut requires multiple lenses, if you are using a DSLR. Of all the possible subjects to found in the natural world, my favorite to shoot are the little things. Macro photography is quite rewarding, at least to me, and good shots can bring to life up close and personal the wee flora and fauna that our eyes largely skip over.
Anyway, macro photography (shooting small subjects) is often challenging and requires a good combination of gear. The rig above is the best combo I've hit on so far. The camera body is Canon's stellar 5D Mark III, and bolted to it is their superb 100 mm macro lens. That pairing is tough to beat. But one issue that oft arises when engaging in macro work is the need for flash. I've tried several rigs, and finally got the strange contraption that is wired to the camera, above. It is the Canon MT-24 EX Twin Lite flash unit, and so far I love it. The outrigger lamps at the end of the camera barrel can be rotated in any direction, or quickly unsnapped and held anywhere within the range of the power cables. This provides excellent lighting versatility in a fairly portable package.
The animal above is a male Calico Pennant, Celithemis elisa, teed up on the tattered and aging receptacle of one of our rarest plants, the Lakeside Daisy, Tetraneuris herbacea. Following are a few more shots of small stuff, taken with my new rig.
Dragonfly/Damselfly Photo Tip: Furtively and discreetly stalk your photographic prey until it catches a victim. Once settled in with a meal, damsels and dragons are less apt to flush, and often allow closer and easier approaches.
The hypnotic mass of Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea, disk flowers seems to move and rotate if you stare straight at it. A good macro setup opens up worlds that would otherwise go largely unnoticed.