Insects

Jumping Spider (Three Photographs)

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They say you’re never very far from a spider. That does not mean they are easy to find or conveniently located. This one’s on the wall behind our bed. My wife called me to grab my gear and get a shot, the best of the best are here. For the record I captured him alive and released him on our balcony. Hopefully he’ll be back.


On a Broom Stick

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This is my favoured pose for a dragonfly, they look like they just might be flying a stick.


Swallowtail

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With butterflies it is sometimes hard to tell if they are in flight or not. Their wings say one thing and their proboscis another.


Sunflower Visit

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You could never call this a photo of a sunflower, though that was what I was after. The Japanese beetle photobombed my composition.

 


A Muscular Bee

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This bee struck me as fairly beefy as bees go. As usual it ignored me completely, but I still got a nice portrait eyes and all.


Cabbage White

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Every nature photography article I have ever read talks about the importance of eyes. When it comes to butterflies, frogs and other nature subjects, the eyes are amazing in color.


Excitement on the Trail

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All kinds of wonderful things happen in the forest, most unpredictable. But when a mating pair of dragonflies landed on my wife’s hat when she was taking a photo it was hard not to laugh!


Butterfly

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Overcast skies make for great soft light. But just like soft light in studio you lose a bit of brightness and detail. In addition, nature photographers have to deal with trees and shrubs blocking light. Challenging but fun.


Ad Astra

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What does the butterfly see when it stares at the sky. As insects go they have keen eyes, a sense of direction and ability to manoeuvre so it’s not an idle question.


Posed

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Dragonflies don’t pose, they stop like damselflies to soak up the sun which gives them energy for their next foray of hunting other insects. Usually their backs are to the sun. These two facts can help in photographing them. If your approach makes them fly away you were never going to get the shot, but if by moving forward slowly they remain still, you have a winner.


Bee

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This bee spent some time skimming along the edge of this group of flowers. Delicate, fast and energetically going about its business. I take bee shots with most of my lenses most recently with a 200-500 mm lens. The results are similar to using a 105mm with an extension tube, but the distance from the bee is more comfortable for both of us.


Colourful But Back-lit (Two Photographs)

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There are many ways to be creative in photography. As cameras advance in technological sophistication we get new possibilities. One of which is the ability to ignore ISO and pull more out of shadows with little noticeable grain. It worked in these shots of a sweat bee.


Butterflies (Two Photographs)n

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When I am shooting in nature I try to get some context, contrast, or framing. Not always possible but I find focusing on just the subject is bit too clinical and not necessarily creative photography. An added bonus is it makes shooting some subjects just a touch more challenging.


Hummingbird Moth (Two Photographs)

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The second photograph could be my ode to Halloween. Hummingbird moths look better just a bit further away. Their flight pattern is more like helicopter than a plane which makes some shots a little easier.


Monarch in the Light (Two Photographs)

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If you read my last couple of posts on colour and shadows you will notice in these photos taken a few seconds apart, the change in colour due to shadow and positioning. It’s not a question of which is right or closer to reality, but that colour and shadow are variables. As a result there are choices to be made when taking the photos and some latitude when it comes to processing. In this sense (and others) photographers interpret reality.


Painted Lady Butterfly (Two Photographs)

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By far the most compliant insect I have seen. They pose! It takes a bit more movement to frighten them off, and they usually have great eyes. Whenever I find one there are dozens and its great fun for photography.


Contrast (Two Photographs)

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In photographing insects its always great to have colour contrast. Many insects blend in with camouflage so colour contrast is nice to have rather than a must have. Besides beautiful flowers add to any subject.


Awkward Angles (Two Photographs)

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Since I started writing about photography, I have made a point of suggesting that photos taken from different angles or perspectives make it more likely you get a unique photo. And it is true that some angles result in awkward looking shots but sometimes those angles may be all you have to work with. In my case that means taking more shots however I can when the subject is interesting, in the hope of a successful shot.


The Agility Of Bees (Two Photographs)

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In the many photos I have taken of bees there has always been the element of activity, but in my most recent shots I am beginning to appreciate the coordination and agility of bees as they move from flower to flower and it’s not just a matter of flight. They have considerable energy for their size.

 


Wonder (Two Photographs)

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In the past I was wary of any insects and scared of spiders. As I spent more time on nature photography, I learned a lot more about insects and spiders, bought some books did some studying and I was amazed. The feeling quickly translated into my photography. The butterfly you see here, I believe is a common white admiral, but its colouring, its eyes its pose, its patient work, are a wonder of nature.


The Bee’s Knees (Two Photographs)

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The bee’s knees is an expression of unknown origin but indicates something of excellence or high quality. Given the importance of bees to the environment, our food chain and our well being, the title seems appropriate.


Painted Lady (Two Photographs)

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I could spend all day shooting painted ladies. Unlike most insects they are tolerant of close up photography, preferring to eat than fly away. A remarkable butterfly to watch at work. In addition, they seem to love to land against good backgrounds!

 


That Bee (Two Photographs)

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Another sweat bee, doing its thing and taking off. Because of their colour and antics they are the most popular type of bee in our local woods. They are best found in late summer when they are looking for their final meals of the season.


Love and Hate, Macro (Three Photographs)

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What I like about close-up photography is that I get to see things I otherwise would never see. On the other hand narrow depth of field, difficulties with light and capturing detail lead to some effort in achieving a good result.