Insects

A Bee and Some Comments on Hardware

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This bee is really hard at work. These were taken handheld with the D500 and the 200-500mm lens at ISO 1600 and 1/500th of a second (at F8). I did use noise reduction software, but at its lightest setting. Just amazing lens technology and it is becoming increasingly accessible. I doubt I could do this with a heavier and more costly full frame camera, though I’ll try if someone will lend me the gear 🙂 With all the marketing hype it’s hard to shop around and get just what you want. Trust people and sources with nothing to lose or gain.


Japanese Beetles (Three Photographs)

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These beetles are pests, they eat their way through gardens. In fact their messy eating habits are one of the indicators they are present, though their fluorescent colouring also helps. Like all beetles they fly, just not very well. I thought these photos showed them off at their best, especially the almost abstract versions in B&W and Colour.


More From my Day with the Painted Ladies (Three Photographs)

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Painted ladies are amedium-sized butterflies and that makes them easier to shoot. Butterflies are well aware of their fragility and unless bred in captivity, know that just about anything can and will damage their wings. Often you can tell older butterflies by the tattered nature of their wings. The other side of the coin is butterflies like these painted ladies have little or no damage and could be relatively young.


Flies and an update (Two Photographs)

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A few weeks back I spoke about the devastating storm on September 27th that was concentrated in the reserve I frequent most. We passed by the reserve a few times  hoping it would re-open and then suddenly without notice it had. The devastation in one part of the park was truly amazing and awful. Tops blown off trees, old trees just toppled over like bowling pins. It will take some time before that part of the park heals. I am grateful the park managers cleaned it up enough so we could enjoy the end of the season. As for the photos I know outside of entomologists few people like flies, and I have varied views but I do hate it when they land in my composition and force me to re-think my photo :).


Hover Fly (Two Photographs)

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The popular names of flies are quite numerous even for the same fly. One thing is for certain, this one is a mimic of some type of bee/wasp and the yellow is a warning sign to stay away. This is the closest optically and physically I have ever gotten to a fly, and it shows in the detail. The flash seems to have worked out fine, doing the fly justice.


A Bee (Three Photographs)

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This bee impressed me for its agility and tenacity. I just managed to capture it in some windy conditions in between the gusts. It was late in the season and every animal was desperate for provisions. To crop these down I had to scale them up in Lightroom (you can find “scale” in the Transform Module), quite a useful tool. I am sure a lot of macro photographers use this or a similar technique. You need to have a sharp shot for it to work well.


Another Approach (Two Photographs)

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If you read up on macro photography, you will hear that the best way to make use of narrow depth of field is to shoot your insect side on (see second photo). Let me just suggest there are many more ways to (I was going to say skin a cat but I understand that inappropriate these days http://theanimalrightsactionsite.blogspot.ca/2014/01/animal-friendly-alternatives-for-common.html). So I will just say there are many ways to climb the tree. My point is that what is technically the best solution may not be as appealing to the eye as some other approach. Posture is a language unto its own and as photographers it’s helpful to be aware of that.