Although a true macro lens offers incredible magnification, a standard zoom can focus close enough for excellent shots of larger insects.
"For these shots, I found a species of mantis called Empusa," Pierre explains. "It's roughly 3-4cm long, which meant I was able to fill the entire picture using the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM
lens. The biggest challenge will be getting close enough to the insect to take the picture – I'd recommend waking up early, as dawn is when they are less active."
The EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM
and EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM
lenses have built-in macro ring lites, which put interesting and creative lighting effects that were previously the domain of professionals into the hands of beginners.
As an alternative method to using autofocus, Pierre achieves maximum magnification by zooming the lens to its longest focal length, switching to manual focus and turning the focusing ring until it's at minimum focus distance, then gently moving the camera backwards and forwards to bring the subject into sharp focus.
Pierre prefers shoots without a tripod but they can come in handy for shooting macro as any camera shake is accentuated. "They are way too large and get in the way. The 18-55mm lens is perfect for shooting handheld, as it's very small and the Image Stabilizer
is really useful."