Posts tagged “Insects

My First Butterfly of the Season (Three Photographs)

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This Eastern Comma was probably in search of sap. Some of the trees are dripping, but the temperature is still a bit cool and that probably also slowed the butterfly down. This is my first insect of 2017, and with luck there will be many more. I was not prepared for shooting insects. I used my 200-500mm lens but it seems to have caught the detail needed. I have included a black and white photograph just for the fun of it.

Jumping Spider (Two Photographs)

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Four years ago I would run in the opposite direction from any spider. Today if I find one in the house I capture it and release it and I quite like taking pictures of spiders. Few are as attractive as the jumping spider family. This particular spider is exhibiting what humans think of as curiosity, and it’s a trait ascribed by many to jumping spiders. When I come across a jumping spider and it sees me it rises on its front legs and stares back. In fact it’s probably in a semi-aggressive stance trying to look bigger. These spiders are harmless and people do pick them up and have a look at them without problem. They are not above jumping onto your clothes (I have had more on my jacket than I have been able to shoot!). Given their diet of flies, mosquitoes etc. we should be grateful for their work. Very impressive creatures, it’s amazing to watch them do their high-flying act from one bush to another. These are old photographs, published for the first time.

Daddy Longlegs (Harvestmen) Three Photographs

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Daddy Longlegs may be common but there are many different kinds; their bodies display all sorts of patterns and color that unless looked at closely cannot easily be seen. It’s sometimes hard to tell the front from the back, their eyes are on top of their body and very small. They pose photographic challenges. It’s hard to get a detailed shot of the body and keep all the legs in the frame; it’s almost impossible to get a shot where all the legs are either in focus or not moving. All that said, these creatures can be quite interesting and they are harmless. They are also one of the oldest of insects. They are not actually spiders; they have their own family. More interesting, they don’t move great distances, they tend to find a place they like and do their hunting in a small area around it.

Dragonflies (Two Photographs) and a Note About Black and White

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I have noticed that compositions are more impressive in black and white when there is sufficient contrast to set out the subject and where the background is or can be made less intrusive. If you look at these two photographs you will see that the first works very nicely while the second marginally meets both criteria. I like both photos or I would not post them, but the second is a challenging shot in B&W.


Dragonflies (Three Photographs)

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As I never manage to get going really early or stay out late, most of my photos are taken in the middle of the day. This runs against most photography books prime contention that the golden hour or blue hour for that matter is best for photography (which I am not disputing). It’s just that interesting light and nature doing its thing happens all day and bright sunlight keeps my shutter speed where I like it. Working with daylight runs the risk of backlit subjects more highlights and shadows. However I cope and it works for me, especially with animals.



Grasshoppers (Three Photographs)

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It’s fair game that farmers and gardeners have some issues with grasshoppers. I have found them in meadows, in nature reserves and they are fun to shoot. A grasshopper defense is to jump and freeze in motion after that first jump. The trick is to watch where they jump and land. Assuming you move slowly, they catch your eye and move to take a closer look at you while hanging on to their refuge. That’s when I start shooting. From experience I know that they will stay put for some time and you are likely to get bored before they do. If you see a grasshopper there are usually many more around. They like the edges of paths and so you can stay on the path and still get shots like this.




The Last of My Bees (Three Photographs)

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These are the last of my 2016 Bees and I will have to wait until the new hives are active in the summer. The first bee looks like it was taken in a studio but I can assure that the last thing I would want in a studio is a bee. In the field they really don’t seem much of a problem. I may overreact when they buzz by me and I may stand back from the larger more menacing ones, but I have yet to have a problem with a bee. Those I see are hard workers.