Photographing Ladybugs (or Ladybirds if you prefer)

To view more of my photography please click on

There are several types of Ladybugs; all of them are beetles not true bugs. They can move fast, not as fast as ants but fast. I have only once in many shoots have them fly away but they do run and hide. When flying they look flies and their red shells are hard to see. The shell divides to allow the wings to emerge. The shell is also reflective as you can see in the photo; this means you can get reflections from sunlight and flash. If you do not use flash, a high shutter speed of at least 1/500th of a second is essential to get sharp photos. The closer you are the more depth of field you will need to capture the insect. Getting a photograph where you can see the eyes is not easy as they are almost always partially covered by the shell. That said these are interesting creatures to photograph, if only because of the contrast in color between the insects and their habitual surroundings.

A Couple of Things about Dragonflies (Three Photographs)

To view more of my photography please click on

Dragonflies often find a place they like to rest and they will sometimes come back to it, so if one flies away, wait just a bit to see if it returns. Dragonfly eyes are hard to focus on, thousands of tiny lenses, best to focus behind the eyes. The bright spots on their eyes are not created by flash, they are created by the sun, easily removed in processing as I have done here. Lastly, dragonflies when they first emerge tend to swarm, and a wide-angle lens helps capture them hanging like Christmas ornaments off the branches.

The Bee and the Honeysuckle and a Word On Macro (Three Photographs)

To view more of my photography please click on

Every year when I pick up my macro gear there is a learning curve to go through to remember the best way to hold the camera, the speed of the flash and the balance of ISO, aperture and exposure compensation. I know the flash should  be at 1/8th power or below and that I am going to use a relatively high ISO of 400 and an aperture of F11 or higher. I wrote those down so it’s just getting used to it again. In this case trying to balance the white flowers and dark insect.



My First Butterfly of the Season (Three Photographs)

To view more of my photography please click on

This Eastern Comma was probably in search of sap. Some of the trees are dripping, but the temperature is still a bit cool and that probably also slowed the butterfly down. This is my first insect of 2017, and with luck there will be many more. I was not prepared for shooting insects. I used my 200-500mm lens but it seems to have caught the detail needed. I have included a black and white photograph just for the fun of it.

Jumping Spider (Two Photographs)

To view more of my photography please click on

Four years ago I would run in the opposite direction from any spider. Today if I find one in the house I capture it and release it and I quite like taking pictures of spiders. Few are as attractive as the jumping spider family. This particular spider is exhibiting what humans think of as curiosity, and it’s a trait ascribed by many to jumping spiders. When I come across a jumping spider and it sees me it rises on its front legs and stares back. In fact it’s probably in a semi-aggressive stance trying to look bigger. These spiders are harmless and people do pick them up and have a look at them without problem. They are not above jumping onto your clothes (I have had more on my jacket than I have been able to shoot!). Given their diet of flies, mosquitoes etc. we should be grateful for their work. Very impressive creatures, it’s amazing to watch them do their high-flying act from one bush to another. These are old photographs, published for the first time.

Daddy Longlegs (Harvestmen) Three Photographs

To view more of my photography please click on

Daddy Longlegs may be common but there are many different kinds; their bodies display all sorts of patterns and color that unless looked at closely cannot easily be seen. It’s sometimes hard to tell the front from the back, their eyes are on top of their body and very small. They pose photographic challenges. It’s hard to get a detailed shot of the body and keep all the legs in the frame; it’s almost impossible to get a shot where all the legs are either in focus or not moving. All that said, these creatures can be quite interesting and they are harmless. They are also one of the oldest of insects. They are not actually spiders; they have their own family. More interesting, they don’t move great distances, they tend to find a place they like and do their hunting in a small area around it.

Dragonflies (Two Photographs) and a Note About Black and White

dragonfliesTo view more of my photography please click on

I have noticed that compositions are more impressive in black and white when there is sufficient contrast to set out the subject and where the background is or can be made less intrusive. If you look at these two photographs you will see that the first works very nicely while the second marginally meets both criteria. I like both photos or I would not post them, but the second is a challenging shot in B&W.