Archive for the ‘insect’ Category
When you’re in a country where the rainy season has just started, chances are good you’ll find yourself sitting on the open patio (or if you’re in luck, somewhere outside without any cover ) watching the rain come down.
Over here it’s like the sound of static noise on the radio. But during and after you could get some nice pictures…
And of course, it may happen so, that in this kind of weather (or any kind of weather, for that matter) other *little* critters may come out to have a look as well…
Come spring all the little bugs and critters come out again.
This year is no different.
Ants are a great example of with showing (over)active, ADHD-like behavior.
If it weren’t so uncomfortable, I would just sit down next to a hill and shoot pictures the whole day.
And… call me masochist, but I find it extremely fascinating to watch a (red) ant trying to chew on my hand, especially while looking at it through a macro lens
Happy Spring, everyone. It’s finally here!
Last week I spent a few days in my other home country. I had planned to go out at least one day, even just for an hour, just me and my camera, to shoot some pictures. A little bit of me-time. There was that one day, and I took camera and tripod and took off into the fields. I was mainly looking to dive into some more (and other than bumblebees this time) bugs, and maybe some nice flowers. I think it was too warm with 28°C, because there wasn’t much activity.
Save for all of a sudden a dog that came running at me and jumping against and around me. Its owner came walking towards me with a second dog, apologizing for the first dog’s behavior (“It usually never does that!”), but I didn’t mind at all.
I guess in the end I’m more Dutch than I am Finnish. This wouldn’t usually happen in Finland, where people are typically so private towards strangers that they wouldn’t even greet you when you bump into them. We kind of fell in chit-chat mode and I walked up with the lady, who -coincidentally- appeared to be an amateur photographer and member of the local camera club. We spoke about photography in general, about the places she had been, where I had been, what I’d done (“actually just published an article in a Dutch magazine about HDR and cross-processing”, “oh, really? Are you here still next week? Our camera club has a meeting and sometimes we have guest speakers. This would be a subject a lot of our members would be interested in!”), and so on and so forth. We walked and talked together for probably 45 minutes, when I noticed I had to take a different turn, back to where I came from. Time had passed in the blink of an eye, and I kind of had forgotten how much more open people really are, especially in the part of the country that I’m originally from.
I didn’t get to shoot too much pictures, and I didn’t get too much me-time, but I really enjoyed my walk and talk with this lady. I hope (going back into Finnish mode now) she wasn’t offended by me accompanying her on her walk with her dogs. I hope she enjoyed our talk as much as I did…
This was a bit of a surprise, I must say.
I seem to have been slightly lucky with flies in the past, and this time there was another one that was very willing to model.
Typically this wouldn’t be a fly I would warmly welcome. In Dutch it has the very unflattering name “strontvlieg”, literally translated “shit fly”. The golden dung fly (a slightly more becoming name), named after – exactly – the location where it can commonly be found.
Only I didn’t find it on a pile of dung. Where I did find it, was on one of the late blooming colorful flowers in the garden. The combination of colorful flowers and equally colorful fly made for – I think – a few fantastic images.
And oh my… Do I love my D800. Check out the 100% crops. Is that great or what? Not only the hairs on the fly, but also my reflection on its back. Wow!
I’ve missed them before. Used to see them way earlier in the year, at least the Admirals. But now there were a lot of them (and thus I shot a lot of them, to make up for the lack of pictures in early summer ). They were a little skittish at first, but after I introduced myself and we got more acquainted…
Going out of the city means going into the wilderness meaning you get more bugs bugging you.
I shot a good number of bees in the past months, and they get boring at some point (yeah, they do). But I still shot a few more, just because they were s o o o o o s l o w. They were just sitting there. And they were still sitting there in exactly the same spot the next day. And no, they weren’t dead.
But now that we’re a bit further into the summer… Or actually, now that summer’s pretty much on its end and we’re going into fall, some other bugs have come out that I -for some reason- haven’t seen around so much during summer.
And this weird creature:
Interesting stuff going on!
I love it. Just to go out there, be surrounded by wildlife (read: mosquitoes, and occasionally the persistent horse- or moosefly), take pictures without being disturbed (except by mosquitoes, and occasionally the persistent horse- or moosefly)…
But I’m persistent, too. And that leads to some interesting pictures every now and again. This’ll go into a few posts, since I can’t really stuff all those images into one post.
So here goes. It all started after a good rain shower…
Of course us human beings (with cameras) are the only ones nagging about a bit of water (while it’s coming down, it’s all fine and dandy when it’s done and dry outside… ). These critters don’t really give a toss.
You don’t find rainbows on and under the leaves. Other colorful and not so colorful stuff you do.
This little bug(ger) was very patient and let me do my thing for about 10 minutes, before taking of. I guess it thought that after turning left, right and face front I must’ve got all there was to shoot of it. And I did.
And then this weird thing… We were heading out of the woods and I happened to spot it crawling around on a leaf. Funky stuff going on in those tentacles/antennas (whatever you call them). I thought it was some sort of thing to lure or keep away other animals. It really looked like there was a maggot inside of them moving up and down. When I was keywording for stock and searched for the snail with maggot like antennas I came across the Wikipedia page where it was explained that this snail was infected with a parasite. It’s originally in bird poop, where the snail eats from and ingests the parasite. The parasite then starts to consume the snail slowly and it nestles in the tentacles, basically switching off the snails ability to determine whether it’s light or dark, so it doesn’t know whether to hide or not, thus being a nice little prey for birds, who then consume the snail including parasite, which returns to the digestive system of the bird and ends up in the bird poop, where another snail east from and ingests the parasite. Etc. etc. etc. Amazing how nature does its thing, isn’t it?
Another parasite, or pest, plague, if you like, is this one.
The caterpillar makes some sort of web around the entire tree and eats it completely empty. The web is funny stuff. It feels like plastic, the kind of plastic they vacuum-wrap food and other products in, and it’s super strong. It doesn’t feel at all sticky like a spider’s web. This image doesn’t really do it justice, but the light was beautiful, especially reflecting off of the webs. Destructive as it is, it does look really pretty.
And then there was still this little fellow, who at first I thought was dead, but then regained consciousness and took off. I did get my pictures, though
The bee photo is a focus stack of 10 images. I wanted the whole flower and the bee in focus and since the little guy played dead for awhile, it gave me all the time to get enough images to do the focus stacking.
My friend was kind enough to lend me his new Nikkor 105mm macro with VR. I have a Tamron 90mm (it’s about 8 years old, I think, and my only non-Nikkor lens) and I’ve been considering for awhile already to switch. I never got to try it out, though, even if a couple of my photographer-buddies have offered to lend it to me. This day I did give it a go, and I must honestly admit that, with the images that I shot, there’s not much difference in quality and sharpness. One clear difference is that the Nikkor focuses at least twice as fast. The Tamron really needs a clear contrast in the image for the autofocus to properly lock on. If there isn’t enough contrast, the lens keeps on searching and you get the annoying buzz of the lens zooming in and out to try to find something to focus on (and your object/subject/target will probably have left by the time you decide to switch to manual). So in terms of quality I would stick with my Tamron. The massive price of the Nikkor doesn’t justify the switch for me. I know when to autofocus and when to manually focus, so that’s no issue for me. However… If someone would have a (good as new) Nikkor for a good price up for sale, I would probably still get rid of the Tamron and buy the Nikkor.