Posts tagged “Insect photography

Bee Fight (Two Photographs)

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I was very surprised to learn that bees fight. This bout took about 4 seconds, and in the last round the bee on the right chose to fly off, leaving leftie to carry on pillaging the flowers. Nature Photographers are always on the look out for the unusual. This time it just happened while I was trying to shoot a metallic bee.


Hairstreak Butterfly (Two Photographs)

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I have posted photos of the Hairstreak before, so this time I wanted to try a black and white treatment. Black and white brings out elements that colour hides and also brings out a bit of drama (almost always a good thing in photography).

 


A Bee on Echinacea (Two Photographs)

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The echinacea flower is a favourite of bees and makes for a classic bee shot. The trick is to take many photographs while moving closer and filling the frame. My preference is to have the bee less centred on the flower, but I get what I get.


A Hornet (Two Photographs)

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Hornets are not my favourite subjects and fortunately I don’t see many. This one took me by surprise. I saw an insect but it was not until I got close up that I realized what it was. Thankfully it was otherwise occupied and ignored me.


A Slight Obstruction (Two Photographs)

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Insects often try to hide behind things, as do rabbits etc. I was once asked what I do about that. I explained that sometimes it doesn’t matter, sometimes it tells a story and sometimes it’s annoying. Two out of three are not bad odds for a good shot.


Perspective (Two Photographs)

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When shooting butterflies my rules include being able to see the eyes, and capturing as much detail of the wings and body as I can. I rarely go for the top down shot and these photographs are the exceptions. But they do make it easier to identify the beast.


A Canadian Tiger Swallowtail

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When I took these photographs I had never seen these butterflies before. The camera overexposed the photos, but not so much that I could not fix it later. Like most butterflies the visit was short but sweet.


Little Guy (Three Photographs)

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I was tempted to enlarge this photo because of the detail in the bee. However, I thought the surroundings complimented and framed the bee in an interesting way. You can often format a photo in different ways making for very different photographs, I prefer consistent series when I can manage them.


Solo Monarch (Two Photographs)

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Monarchs are marvellous butterflies and having posted a pair mating earlier this week, I thought I would try a solo monarch in black and white. I have published the colour version for comparison.


Mating Monarchs (Two Photographs)

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I may have posted these before; but they were one of the highlights from last summer. I doubt I will be seeing anything quite so good this year. In fact I am seeing little opportunity for photography without risk these days. I took a quick look at a favourite nature reserve and it was packed with people.


White Admiral Butterfly (Three Photographs)

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This was one very nice butterfly, and I took over sixty shots (more to come). It was late in the season and as you can tell from the last photo its wings had been damaged, a sure sign of age in a butterfly.


Flying Bees (Two Photographs)

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I have mentioned bees in flight before and the problems of capturing shots of them. These were taken at a relatively low speed for anything in flight 1/800th of a second. These shots were enlarged and I would prefer to be closer to the bee for more detail. I am beginning to think that taking shots of bees in flight is not a skill but luck.


LadyBug (Two Photographs)

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These two photographs were all about how these colours and textures would work in black and white. I like lady bugs. Their amazing acrobatics make for great photos, but sometimes the photo is part of how you learn.


Painted Lady (Two Photographs)

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Butterflies are beautiful in flight and on flowers. On the latter they are sometimes like ballerinas. I try to shoot butterflies in a way that I can see as much of the body, eyes and wings as possible, and against as good a background I can get.


A World Without Bees (Two Photographs)

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I could not imagine a world without bees; they do so much for us as they are prodigious pollinators. As for photography, they make great subjects. It is sometimes hard to get great detail in the body shadows, or see the eyes. For me that depends on the sun, as I chose not to do too much work in processing.


Painted Lady (Two Photographs)

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Painted Ladies have been my favourite butterflies for the past several years. They are not easily spooked or distracted from their task and therefore could be said to pose. This gives you much more time to get your thoughts in order than with most butterflies that need to be shot on the fly.


Painted Lady and the Light (Two Photographs)

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I took thirty-two photographs of this butterfly. The first one here was the first one I took. After that the clouds moved, the butterfly moved and my natural soft lighting fell apart. In photography shoot first ask questions afterwards, you may never get a better chance.


Cabbage White (Three Photographs)

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The cabbage white is a common butterfly around my area. Here I wanted to show how It goes about its routine. That proboscis is long (relative to the size of the butterfly). Like many animals the time to shoot is when they are occupied.


Grasshopper (Two Photographs)

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Assuming you want your insect to look more like a space alien I suggest using monochrome. Grasshoppers’ defensive movements are predictable. This makes it easier to shoot them when they finally stop jumping.


A Note about Ladybugs (Two Photographs)

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Many photographs of ladybugs have bright burnt out spots on the shells where the sun is reflected. If you compensate for that in camera you get a dark shot with a lot of noise. You can paint the spots away, which I have done in one shot here, but the spots are natural and arise from the bright sun. So if possible shoot on a cloudy day or not under direct sunlight. Whether they are mating or not has nothing to do with the spots.


A Caveat about Bees (Two Photographs)

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I take many photos of bees working away at flowers. I have discovered that bees in flight are another matter altogether. Unlike birds in flight, bees have many moving parts, and to my surprise a less predictable flight path. A much much higher shutter speed, 1/800th would help. The second photograph is the best I have managed and the challenge is on for the coming summer.


Too Busy (Two Photographs)

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The bees I see are far too busy to notice me sneaking about. In fact nothing bothers them (including flash). They are on a mission though their music lacks that R&B sound. Seriously, scientists say they make a short whoop when they bounce into each other.


Uninvited (Two Photographs)

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I am sure that at some point in the life of every photographer, something unexpected showed up in the frame. This is particularly true in nature, where the concept of intrusion, trespass, and photobombing is unknown to insects and other beasts. In this case it was welcome, often it’s not.


Dusky Wing and approach to Butterflies (Two Photographs)

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My criteria for butterflies making good subjects is beautiful eyes, they’re doing something special (e.g. mating) or some detail distinguishing the butterfly that is interesting. In this case the interest is in the proboscis.