Posts tagged “Insects

Grasshopper (Two Photographs)

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In general grasshoppers will jump away from you and then try to “hide”. There is seldom a third jump unless you startle them again. I put hide in quotes because they are often still in plain sight like this one lying in his leafy hammock. Grasshoppers do not permit much opportunity for changing perspective once you have found them, as long as you remain still it will as well. I use a softened flash, and that has never bothered a grasshopper, what it does is create hot spots on all the dust on the grasshopper and the dust takes on the colors of the rainbow. I fix some but not all of that when I edit. Contrast and good color management ensure that color casts are not an issue. In my view what makes a good grasshopper shoot is the stare when you get them even partially face on.


Here be Dragons (Two Photographs)

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You seldom catch a beetle in flight or taking off so I was very pleased with the first shot. Looking at the two shots I noticed a slight resemblance to some of the illustrations I have seen of dragons and other mythical beings. They are remarkable looking creatures, regardless of the comparison.


A Cabbage White (Two Photographs)

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I met up with this cabbage white mid morning in a field. Given the temperature and time of day I would have expected it to fly away immediately. While I did finally see it fly that proved it was either tired or had a source of food or salt it wanted to eat and not abandon. The top down view of butterflies is not my favorite but if it means getting the eyes, I will go for it. Photos like these show that macro lenses etc. are not always necessary for insect photography, sometimes your distance from the subject gives more opportunity to get a compliant subject. Taken with a 200-500 mm lens at 500 mm on a camera with a twenty megapixel cropped sensor at 200 ISO, 1/500th of a second at F8. Significantly cropped to show the detail.


A Fly (Two Photographs)

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Few people would call flies cute, and even fewer enjoy having them around. It’s said there are no flies in Antarctica, but I can think of better reasons to go to Antarctica. Over the years I photographed many flies of which a majority did not react to my presence and allowed me several shots. The ubiquity of flies makes them a great macro subject, especially the more colorful varieties. They vary in size from the fruit fly, mosquito, midge up to the Robbers and Craneflies, (and beyond in tropical areas). Interesting animals, but they are not always the most photogenic.


A Bee and Some Comments on Shooting Them (Three Photographs)

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Bees make great insect subjects, especially for hand-held close-up photography. I crop my close-up shots quite a bit, and given the 24 megapixels in Nikon D7200, I have a lot of leeway. More importantly a couple of things I look for with bees, their eyes are hard to distinguish, so I want some light defining the eye, and I want some or all of the wings showing. Pollen on the legs is a bonus, other insects in the frame a double bonus. A bit of patience is required for the kind of things you see in the first shot while the other two shots show how the bee moves totally absorbed in its work, anticipating where it’s headed. Getting into position is where the patience comes into play for shots like the one above.

 


An Ant and Some Macro Issues (Two Photographs)

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This photograph helps to illustrate a few issues with close-ups of insects. You often read in photography articles that you should shoot insects side on due to the narrow depth of field. However one needs to be careful of the foreground, which will also de-focus (not in my view a serious issue here). Secondly, we want to get detail in the highlights as well as the shadows. With an ant on a white flower, something has to suffer and it should not be the subject. It’s also important to note that when using flash you should keep the power as low as possible (manual flash is best) as the lightening fast flash is more likely to freeze action. The more power, the more time the flash takes to finish its work. Ants move fast, the flash was essential here.


Red Milkweed Bug (Two Photographs)

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This is the larger of the Milkweed bugs and generally a good friend to a garden, their diet tends to be only milkweed. I found this one in a small garden on a fairly busy street not the environment in which I would expect to see something like this. I have taken my macro gear onto city streets a couple of times now, enduring the stares of the curious (a small price to pay). As insects are more easily found on the edges of paths and gardens I don’t need to trespass on people’s property, I can stay on the sidewalk and get usable photos. I might even come across some new bug!