Insects

Dragonfly and some Ideas on Processing (Two Photographs)

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You will note in the colour shot the dark background and lighter subject. I did this by selecting the subject and adjusting the brightness, this did not include the background seen through the wings, creating an interesting effect. In the black and white processing I added a red filter, played with the white balance and added contrast.


Alien Monster (Two Photographs)

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I am not alone in saying that the inspiration for many movie monsters come from insects. It’s how you shoot them that matters. I have taken many beautiful shots of dragonflies. This is exception and the angle of view and the insect’s posture is probably closer to giving us an accurate view of the danger dragonflies pose for most other insects.

 


Skipper Butterflies (Three Photographs)

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I have read that these are the fastest butterflies, they can fly up to 60km/hr (37mph) and their reflexes are equally quick. That said photographers seldom seem to disturb them and they are one of the easiest butterflies to shoot (or maybe I just see them when they are winded).

 


Dragonfly (Two Photographs)

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Sometimes when shooting insects with my 200-500mm lens, I am simply amazed at the quality and detail that results. In this case, the far end of the tail is missing detail due to the shadow but given the lighting had I brightened it, the photo would look unnatural.


Giant Swallowtail (Two Photographs)

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I know people who have chased these swallowtails for considerable time in order to get a shot. It’s very rare that they settle down in a convenient spot. This was taken in the bush in dark surroundings and I was using highlight preserving spot metering and a high ISO. Part of its wings were damaged, a sign of aging in butterflies.

 


A Spot In The Sun (Two Photographs)

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All dragonflies and damselflies stop for periods of time to refuel in the sun and lily pads are a favourite place to stop. Both insects have great deal more detail in their wings and bodies then you can see with the naked eye. The reflection gives a sense of that.


Dragonfly (Two Photographs)

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I am a fan of shooting animals straight on. The challenge is that most insects, for example, dragonflies are not at all interested in sticking around and posing. Dragonflies and damselflies orient themselves so that their back and wings get the sun and energy. The more you understand an animal’s habits the easier it is to find shooting opportunities.