Luminous Landscape Forum

The Art of Photography => User Critiques => Topic started by: Riaan van Wyk on August 22, 2010, 02:03:38 PM

Title: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on August 22, 2010, 02:03:38 PM
I know that macro is not "the thing" here. Apparently there are only four likeminded ( from reading the butterfly posts) photographers here. Maybe it should change to four and a half now..

Your thoughts on the image please?
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: popnfresh on August 22, 2010, 05:27:20 PM
I think it's a face only a mother could love... if she's blind!   ;)

And I think it's an effective macro shot.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on August 22, 2010, 07:03:39 PM
I know that macro is not "the thing" here. Apparently there are only four likeminded ( from reading the butterfly posts) photographers here. Maybe it should change to four and a half now..

Your thoughts on the image please?
It's a scary monster!

I do enjoy good macro photography by people like you and Jack who have the patience and tenacity to do it right. So please keep on posting them, but don't expect any good macros from me.

Eric
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: jule on August 22, 2010, 08:24:16 PM
I really like the awkward angles created by the legs, but the dark diagonal line in the right lower corner really does not contribute to the overall effectiveness of the image and leads the eye out of the frame. How about trying to remove it using 'content aware' in CS5.

Julie
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: tokengirl on August 22, 2010, 10:31:15 PM
It creeps me out.  Which is exactly what a good insect macro should do, IMO.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on August 23, 2010, 09:22:23 AM
I know that macro is not "the thing" here. Apparently there are only four likeminded ( from reading the butterfly posts) photographers here. Maybe it should change to four and a half now..
Your thoughts on the image please?


Damn, that looks like me in the morning (http://www.johnkoerner.org/Emoticons/laugh.gif)

Very nice focus Riaan. A bit of a yellow cast though and not much to the background.

Jack




.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Dick Roadnight on August 23, 2010, 10:30:48 AM
I know that macro is not "the thing" here. Apparently there are only four likeminded ( from reading the butterfly posts) photographers here. Maybe it should change to four and a half now..

Your thoughts on the image please?
The Plane of Sharpest Focus seems to be diagonal - did you use a view camera?
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on August 23, 2010, 10:47:58 AM
Thank you all for looking. Just out of interest- this is a cranefly- Nephrotoma of the Tipulidae family.

Jule- I don't have CS5 but I could probably do something else to the shadow to make it less visible.

Dick: No- I used a manual lens ( Canon 50mm FD) on a set of the old style tubes on a digital camera. Part of my year of self induced "training" of understanding aperture and light loss with tubes. I had to jam the aperture at F22 with a matchstick in the tubes- the resultant dark viewfinder wasn't fun I must say.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Chairman Bill on August 23, 2010, 04:54:22 PM

Damn, that looks like me in the morning

If only I looked half as good. BTW, if you haven't seen Ricky Gervais' standup routine 'Animals' & the bit about crane flies, then Google & Youtube are your friends
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: wolfnowl on August 24, 2010, 01:55:26 AM
Might be a cranefly... looks like one of the Skeksis to me...  ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dark_Crystal

Mike.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on August 25, 2010, 01:06:53 PM
... looks like one of the Skeksis to me...  ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dark_Crystal

Mike.

That is indeed scary Mike..
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Dick Roadnight on August 25, 2010, 01:30:51 PM
The Plane of Sharpest Focus seems to be diagonal - did you use a view camera?

Dick: No- I used a manual lens ( Canon 50mm FD) on a set of the old style tubes on a digital camera.
How come the POSF is diagonal if you did not use movements? The bottom left corner is OOF, and the bottom right corner is sharp, and the POSF seem to go from there through the diagonal center-line... this is not supposed to possible without movements or a bent camera!
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: solardarkroom.com on August 25, 2010, 04:29:06 PM
Macro is my life pretty much so I'm always game no matter what the trends are here at LL. I for one would love to see this in B&W. The insect has little color of interest but lots of SciFi Monster details and I'm picturing H.R. Giger's artwork when I look at your image. The exposure and lighting on the compound eye looks to me to have great potential for extracting frightening detail. I would even explore cropping quite severely to turn the eye into the main subject and the legs can become more of a geometric, graphic line kind of frame. Also, because your DOF is so great (for this level of magnification) cropping would exagerate the out of focus parts and pull us more towards that super sharp eye.
My 2 cents on a very cool shot. I hope to see more!
Cheers,
David
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Vuurtoren on August 25, 2010, 05:02:07 PM
Incredibly Disgusting,

I'm put off my crunchy peanut butter sandwich now.  Hey if you like Macro I was in back home in Holland recently and I came across this Macro site in the dutch magazine, she won an award for her unique technique, you might like it, let me know what you think, I chatted with her recently and she is an elderly lady slightly disabled.  her site is:  www.miesbrocken.nl

Kind regards (ps, if you need some translating let me know)
Chris
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: solardarkroom.com on August 25, 2010, 05:57:57 PM
Amazing, inspiring images and quite unique. Unfortunately the flash website design is so tedious that I lost patience long before I was tired of her photos which is too bad.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on August 26, 2010, 10:06:33 AM
Incredibly Disgusting,
I'm put off my crunchy peanut butter sandwich now.  Hey if you like Macro I was in back home in Holland recently and I came across this Macro site in the dutch magazine, she won an award for her unique technique, you might like it, let me know what you think, I chatted with her recently and she is an elderly lady slightly disabled.  her site is:  www.miesbrocken.nl
Kind regards (ps, if you need some translating let me know)
Chris


Some truly exceptional work, very inspiring.

Unfortunately, I too was stymied by the Flash-based site. Still, what I did see of her images was more than a little impressive, especially when considering her disablity. Wow!

Thanks for sharing,

Jack
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on August 26, 2010, 12:36:26 PM
How come the POSF is diagonal if you did not use movements? The bottom left corner is OOF, and the bottom right corner is sharp, and the POSF seem to go from there through the diagonal center-line... this is not supposed to possible without movements or a bent camera!

I have not a clue why Dick. Unless my homemade adpater for the lens is skew, unlikely though.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Vuurtoren on August 26, 2010, 01:51:22 PM
I agree with the flash website being somewhat of an obstacle in the viewing experience, I had a hunch that people would comment on that so no surprises there.  Also not good for search engine optimisation unless there is an equivalent Xhtml doc attached, since as far as I am aware SEO can not read text integrated with Flash in the google ratings.  Anyway at least we can enjoy her technique.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Dick Roadnight on August 26, 2010, 03:39:14 PM
How come the POSF is diagonal if you did not use movements? The bottom left corner is OOF, and the bottom right corner is sharp, and the POSF seem to go from there through the diagonal center-line... this is not supposed to possible without movements or a bent camera!

I have not a clue why Dick. Unless my homemade adpater for the lens is skew, unlikely though.

I think it is obvious that something is "tilted" ...and it is more likely to be you home-made adapter than the lens or camera - perhaps you could create an adapter with tilt adjustment?
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on September 01, 2010, 07:39:35 PM
Hey Riaan, do you think the following images qualifies as "Insect Art?"


(http://www.johnkoerner.org/Samples/inart.jpg)


(http://www.johnkoerner.org/Samples/inart2.jpg)


After all, they're images of a Praying Mantis, the first capturing him in actual prayer and contemplation, the second like he got mad that I disturbed him (http://www.johnkoerner.org/Emoticons/laugh.gif)

Jack




.


.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on September 01, 2010, 08:05:27 PM
In the first he's reading his (invisible) bible.
In the second he's asking,"Are you here for confession, Jack?"

 ;)
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on September 02, 2010, 02:44:53 AM
I think it is obvious that something is "tilted" ...and it is more likely to be you home-made adapter than the lens or camera - perhaps you could create an adapter with tilt adjustment?

I shall give it some thought Dick.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on September 02, 2010, 08:07:43 AM
In the first he's reading his (invisible) bible.
In the second he's asking,"Are you here for confession, Jack?"
 ;)


I agree with your interpretation Eric (http://www.johnkoerner.org/Emoticons/laugh.gif)

Jack




.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on September 02, 2010, 11:08:59 AM
Hey Riaan, do you think the following images qualifies as "Insect Art?"



Jack, I wouldn't know what "insect art" is even if it slapped me in the face. I think I'm the wrong person to ask:) Your subject seems a bit overexposed to me though, especially the first one's head area. Large insects like these I find difficult to compose so usually I do closer "portraits."   
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on September 03, 2010, 06:18:25 AM
Jack, I wouldn't know what "insect art" is even if it slapped me in the face. I think I'm the wrong person to ask:) Your subject seems a bit overexposed to me though, especially the first one's head area. Large insects like these I find difficult to compose so usually I do closer "portraits."    

LOL, I was only kidding about the "insect art"---although maybe not, since I find their form fascinating (http://www.johnkoerner.org/Emoticons/laugh.gif)

I agree with you on the overexposure, especially on the head. It was a tough shot because it was a very hot and bright day out, but the insect was under a canopy of leaves, which meant part of his body was shaded while part was exposed to the direct sunlight. I tried my best to achieve a balance where the whole animal was visible, but you're right the top of his head pretty much had all of the details blown-out.

It was his "prayer" posture, with head raised to the heavens, that I found most interesting (http://www.johnkoerner.org/Emoticons/laugh.gif)

Jack


.

Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on September 03, 2010, 10:46:06 AM
Jack,

I think we are the wrong critics to decide on Insect Art. You need to find some well-educated insects and ask them.  :D

Eric
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on September 07, 2010, 10:42:50 AM
A droptail ant tending it's herd of Aphids.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: wolfnowl on September 07, 2010, 01:57:36 PM
Nice catch!  Great view of mutualism.

Mike.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on September 08, 2010, 03:52:39 AM
Nice catch!  Great view of mutualism.

Mike.

It's fascinating to watch how much care these ants ( all ants in fact) give the Aphids. They are groomed, preened, gently moved from place to place and are defended to the death if threatened. 
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on September 08, 2010, 08:59:14 AM
It's fascinating to watch how much care these ants ( all ants in fact) give the Aphids. They are groomed, preened, gently moved from place to place and are defended to the death if threatened. 

Ants are, in fact, the world's oldest farmers .... and very nice shot too.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on September 10, 2010, 08:37:23 AM
(http://www.johnkoerner.org/Samples/elg.jpg)
Eastern Lubber Grasshopper




.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on September 20, 2010, 12:51:12 PM
Ants are, in fact, the world's oldest farmers .... and very nice shot too.

Thanks Jack. Very busy subjects to shoot though, a severe test of patience..
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on September 20, 2010, 01:12:04 PM
(http://www.johnkoerner.org/Samples/elg.jpg)
Eastern Lubber Grasshopper




.

So what happened to the DOF in this image Jack?  :) :)

Title: Re: Insects
Post by: sailronin on September 20, 2010, 08:51:02 PM
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4147/5009706223_683e44059c_z.jpg)

Southeastern Lubber Grasshopper on Swamp Lilly

Title: Re: Insects
Post by: sailronin on September 20, 2010, 08:53:29 PM
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4153/5009706271_416e91fcc1_z.jpg)

Gold Winged Skimmer
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on September 21, 2010, 11:10:00 AM
Tyloptropidius.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on September 21, 2010, 11:13:04 AM
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4147/5009706223_683e44059c_z.jpg)

Southeastern Lubber Grasshopper on Swamp Lilly



I love the lighting!
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: sailronin on September 21, 2010, 01:16:37 PM
Thank you Riaan,
Your grasshoppers are spectacular, great "portraits".

Dave
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: sailronin on September 21, 2010, 01:27:27 PM
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4148/5010310508_048c1418b9_z.jpg)

Halloween Pennant cooling off.
Nikon D700 with Sigma 150-500 and Sigma 1.4 teleconverter. Shot handheld at 1/160 sec at 500mm...that optical stabilization stuff is magic.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on September 22, 2010, 08:49:37 AM
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4148/5010310508_048c1418b9_z.jpg)

Halloween Pennant cooling off.
Nikon D700 with Sigma 150-500 and Sigma 1.4 teleconverter. Shot handheld at 1/160 sec at 500mm...that optical stabilization stuff is magic.

I like..you have steady hands Sir.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: wolfnowl on September 22, 2010, 12:08:07 PM
Okay, spiders are arachnids, not insects, but since we don't have a general 'arthropods' category I thought I'd stick these in here.

Been seeing a lot of cross orbweavers lately (also called diadem spiders or European garden spiders).  The first two images show a little lady that's a little over 2" (5 cm) with legs.

One of the interesting things about cross orbweavers is that they have a tendency to run and hide when their webs are disturbed.  The third image shows one doing just that, hiding on a rosebush.  And no, I wouldn't have seen her if I hadn't seen her move.  The last one is a panel showing her unwinding herself after deciding the coast was clear.

Mike.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: wolfnowl on September 22, 2010, 12:24:06 PM
Okay, the forum software keeps uploading the last one as an empty file, so here it is on Flickr:

(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4110/5015211452_5f447e7ae2_o.jpg)
To view the file larger, click here: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4110/5015211452_5f447e7ae2_o.jpg

Mike.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on September 24, 2010, 12:12:05 AM
Huge spiders these Mike. Even birds fall prey to them.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on September 24, 2010, 01:10:51 AM
Not too sure what larvea this is- I suspect it might possibly be from the Tiger moth ( Arctiidae) family.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: sailronin on September 25, 2010, 11:39:31 AM
Beautiful critter, what ever he grows up to be!
Very nice shot, great detail and color.
Dave
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on September 27, 2010, 02:34:03 PM
I have a Poinsettia tree in the garden. The amount and variety of insects that visit the flowers in winter when they bloom is fascinating, all and sundry visit. It seems that the nectar is some kind of drug as even wasps and hornets fight over the flowers.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: sailronin on September 27, 2010, 07:09:03 PM
WOW, super detail and great color.  Great shot.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on September 28, 2010, 12:34:30 PM
Thanks Dave.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on September 28, 2010, 02:56:47 PM
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4147/5009706223_683e44059c_z.jpg)
Southeastern Lubber Grasshopper on Swamp Lilly


Nice shot!
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on September 28, 2010, 03:12:19 PM
Hey Mike, since you dragged spiders into this ... here are a couple Crab Spiders ...


(http://www.johnkoerner.org/Samples/crab.jpg)
Goldenrod Crab Spider


(http://www.johnkoerner.org/Samples/wbc2.jpg)
White-Banded Crab Spider


Jack


.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on September 28, 2010, 03:19:23 PM
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4148/5010310508_048c1418b9_z.jpg)
Halloween Pennant cooling off.
Nikon D700 with Sigma 150-500 and Sigma 1.4 teleconverter. Shot handheld at 1/160 sec at 500mm...that optical stabilization stuff is magic.



Superb shot!

Funny thing is, I got an almost identical shot (of the same species of dragonfly no less) a couple of weeks ago ...


(http://www.johnkoerner.org/Samples/x.jpg)
Dragon Acrobatics


(http://www.johnkoerner.org/Samples/x2.jpg)
Another Angle ...


Jack



.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: sailronin on September 29, 2010, 12:30:56 PM
Beautiful shots Jack,
What macro setup are you using?

Dave
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: sailronin on September 29, 2010, 01:33:34 PM
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4153/5010310730_ffc59ec1a6_z.jpg)

Nikon D700 with Sigma 150-500 and Sigma 1.4 teleconverter total focal length 700mm 1/160second
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on September 29, 2010, 03:05:33 PM
You guys with your trained dragonfly models are too much! Please keep 'em coming.

Eric
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: sailronin on September 29, 2010, 03:24:27 PM
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4103/5027022653_cf1187ede7_o.jpg)

A Golden Winged Skimmer
Leica M8 with 90mm Summicron pre asph
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: sailronin on September 29, 2010, 03:33:34 PM
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4091/5036553691_98d91d1937_b.jpg)

Dragon flies don't live too long, appears that the wings go first.

D700 with Sigma 150-500 and Sigma 1.4 teleconverter=700mm
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: wolfnowl on September 29, 2010, 05:56:19 PM
Some great shots, folks.  BTW, Jack, did you know that crab spiders get their colouring from the foods they eat?

Mike.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on September 29, 2010, 09:06:24 PM
So what happened to the DOF in this image Jack?  :) :)


(http://www.johnkoerner.org/Emoticons/laugh.gif)




.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on September 29, 2010, 09:08:10 PM
Beautiful shots Jack,
What macro setup are you using?
Dave


Thank you.

I am using a Canon 7D and the Canon 100mm f/2.8L macro.

Nice additional shots also :)

Jack




.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on September 29, 2010, 09:09:28 PM
You guys with your trained dragonfly models are too much! Please keep 'em coming.
Eric


(http://www.johnkoerner.org/Emoticons/laugh.gif)



.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on September 29, 2010, 09:15:53 PM
Some great shots, folks.  BTW, Jack, did you know that crab spiders get their colouring from the foods they eat?
Mike.


Okay now, Mike, I am going to have to take issue with you on that one :)

I know that the foods venomous snakes eat can drastically increase/decrease their venom toxicity ... and I know that the same holds true with poison dart frogs ... and I also know that animals (who are genetically-capable) can alter their coloration to match their surroundings ... BUT! >>> this is the first I have heard of food affecting the color of spiders ??? ???

I think that White-Banded Crab Spiders are "white with bands" ... and Goldenrod Crab Spiders are "Golden" ... regardless of what they eat (http://www.johnkoerner.org/Emoticons/laugh.gif)

Can you show me some reference material on that, Mike?

I'd be glad to learn something new, but methinks you might be mistaken on this one Good Sir ...

Jack




.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: pegelli on September 30, 2010, 09:06:33 AM
I've commented and discussed so much in "user critiques" that it's time for another picture which seems to fit this general theme well. It's a portrait of a moth (undetermined) sitting on the stones around our front door.

(http://pegelli.smugmug.com/Other/201002/PEGA7000987220100220/792553152_4wZ9u-O.jpg) (http://pegelli.smugmug.com/Other/201002/11167719_75vZR#792553152_4wZ9u-A-LB)
Sony A700 + 100/2.8 macro + diffused Metz flash

I like it myself, but obviously lacking objectivity on my own shots I'd be interested in your comments
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on September 30, 2010, 10:23:33 AM
Pieter,
Are you sure its not a woodchuck?
I like it. From my normal viewing distance I don't expect a moth to be so furry.

Eric
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: pegelli on September 30, 2010, 11:28:55 AM
Don't know Eric, the woodchucks I find in Wikipedia look different  ::)

Here's the same one from ~90 degree different angle:

(http://pegelli.smugmug.com/Other/201002/PEGA7000987420100220/792802156_JTHym-L.jpg) (http://pegelli.smugmug.com/Other/201002/11167719_75vZR#792802156_JTHym-A-LB)

Probably a better registration, but I like the first better as a picture.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: jeremypayne on September 30, 2010, 11:36:44 AM
DIET-INDUCED AND MORPHOLOGICAL COLOR CHANGES IN JUVENILE CRAB SPIDERS (ARANEAE, THOMISIDAE)
ABSTRACT. The effect of dietary pigments on abdominal color of juvenile spiders was examined in
the laboratory using the flower-dwelling crab spiders Misumenops asperatus (Hentz 1847), Misumenoides
formosipes (Walckenaer 1837), and Misumena vatia (Clerck 1757) (Thomisidae). Because these species
lack hypodermal chromes, ingested prey pigments may show through the epidermis and affect opisthosomal
coloration. Diet-induced color changes were restricted to the opisthosoma, and all three spider
species responded similarly to dietary pigments.


http://www.americanarachnology.org/JoA_free/JoA_v28_n1/arac_28_01_0056.pdf
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on September 30, 2010, 03:11:55 PM
(http://www.johnkoerner.org/Samples/x.jpg)
Dragon Acrobatics


(http://www.johnkoerner.org/Samples/x2.jpg)
Another Angle ...


Jack






.
[/quote]

Stunning compositions Jack.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on October 01, 2010, 12:02:52 AM
DIET-INDUCED AND MORPHOLOGICAL COLOR CHANGES IN JUVENILE CRAB SPIDERS (ARANEAE, THOMISIDAE)
ABSTRACT. The effect of dietary pigments on abdominal color of juvenile spiders was examined in
the laboratory using the flower-dwelling crab spiders Misumenops asperatus (Hentz 1847), Misumenoides
formosipes (Walckenaer 1837), and Misumena vatia (Clerck 1757) (Thomisidae). Because these species
lack hypodermal chromes, ingested prey pigments may show through the epidermis and affect opisthosomal
coloration. Diet-induced color changes were restricted to the opisthosoma, and all three spider
species responded similarly to dietary pigments.

http://www.americanarachnology.org/JoA_free/JoA_v28_n1/arac_28_01_0056.pdf


Well, there you go. Ya learn something new every day.

Hats off to Mike for presenting yet another interesting factoid (http://www.johnkoerner.org/Emoticons/laugh.gif)




.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on October 01, 2010, 12:03:46 AM
Stunning compositions Jack.


Thank you very much!



.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on October 01, 2010, 12:16:10 AM
I've commented and discussed so much in "user critiques" that it's time for another picture which seems to fit this general theme well. It's a portrait of a moth (undetermined) sitting on the stones around our front door.
(http://pegelli.smugmug.com/Other/201002/PEGA7000987220100220/792553152_4wZ9u-O.jpg) (http://pegelli.smugmug.com/Other/201002/11167719_75vZR#792553152_4wZ9u-A-LB)


Hello Pegelli;

My own opinion is that if that moth would have been on top of a flower or a leaf ... or in some other natural setting ... then it would have had more impact than a photo of a moth on your wall.

Nothing wrong with the focus/subject, etc.; it's the setting which was kinda drab.

Jack

PS: To add an interesting factoid of my own, in the US there are over 765 species of butterfly ... but nearly 11,000 different species of moths. And yet there are hundreds of different books on butterflies, but only two authoritative guides have ever been written on moths (the first in 1903 and the second in 1985).
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on October 01, 2010, 05:33:29 AM
Just hatched and busy drying it's wings for take off.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on October 01, 2010, 05:37:28 AM
And another woodchuck uhm I mean moth. A Cabbage Tree Emperor
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: pegelli on October 01, 2010, 06:04:34 AM

Hello Pegelli;

My own opinion is that if that moth would have been on top of a flower or a leaf ... or in some other natural setting ... then it would have had more impact than a photo of a moth on your wall.

Nothing wrong with the focus/subject, etc.; it's the setting which was kinda drab.

Jack

PS: To add an interesting factoid of my own, in the US there are over 765 species of butterfly ... but nearly 11,000 different species of moths. And yet there are hundreds of different books on butterflies, but only two authoritative guides have ever been written on moths (the first in 1903 and the second in 1985).

Hi Jack,
Thanks for the feedback and the extra facto´d, always interesting to learn here.
Agree with you on the background, makes it drab for a true nature lover, but I don't mind too much, but I'm probably more attached to my front door vs the average member here :)

Also with these following shots I've been unlucky with the background as you can see.
These were taken on a bicycle ride where photography was not the main objective, so I only had one lens with me, an old Tamron 28-200 superzoom. With a bit of cropping I'm still not unhappy with the results:

(http://pegelli.smugmug.com/Other/201008/PEGA8500101820100809/964949857_zqHcz-O.jpg) (http://pegelli.smugmug.com/Other/201008/13184812_5Yx4G#964949857_zqHcz-A-LB)

(http://pegelli.smugmug.com/Other/201008/PEGA8500101920100809/964949874_aavUz-O.jpg) (http://pegelli.smugmug.com/Other/201008/13184812_5Yx4G#964949874_aavUz-A-LB)

(http://pegelli.smugmug.com/Other/201008/PEGA8500102320100809/964949897_2sMS7-O.jpg) (http://pegelli.smugmug.com/Other/201008/13184812_5Yx4G#964949897_2sMS7-A-LB)

Comments (background and other) most welcome. Always trying to learn.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Dick Roadnight on October 01, 2010, 06:47:14 AM
Comments (background and other) most welcome. Always trying to learn.

It is almost impossible to get a sharp image of a live insect ( OK, you can cheat and photograph a 4 inch butterfly).

If you use a small enough aperture to get enough DOF, you get diffraction... but that can mean that, as no part of the image is sharp, then it all looks "acceptably sharp"

Sometimes you might be able to get a moth co-planer and use a T/S lens..

Using MF gives you more DOF problems, "macro lenses" that focus to infinity are are not ideal for 1:1.

The Schneider Apo-Digitar Macro 120 is a great lens (are they going to make a T/S DSLR version?), perhaps it would be possible to set it up where wasps walk into the nest?

In a silly moment I wondered if it would be possible to put the Apo-Digitar Macro 120 with a Schneider eShutter on the front of a (lightweight) Sinar F3 on the front of an H4D-60... Use a double e-release with a delay circuit to sync camera and shutter?

The Hasselblad macro lens is not officially compatible with the HTS, but I think it works if you use an extension tube with it. 
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on October 01, 2010, 08:18:03 AM
Just hatched and busy drying it's wings for take off.


This is an excellent shot Riaan, compositionally.

The only thing holding it back from being a fantastic overall shot is the brownish background drowns-out the dragonfly's own brown-colored markings, rather than helping them stand out.

Jack




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Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on October 01, 2010, 08:19:30 AM
And another woodchuck uhm I mean moth. A Cabbage Tree Emperor


Beautiful.

The black background lets every detail stand out.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on October 01, 2010, 08:36:00 AM
Hi Jack,
Thanks for the feedback and the extra facto´d, always interesting to learn here.

My pleasure. I just bought "the" definitive guide to southeastern moths here in the U.S. (by Dr. Covell) and learned this fact myself.

Moth species outnumber butterfly species by more than 14-to-1 and yet there is hardly any written material on them.




Agree with you on the background, makes it drab for a true nature lover, but I don't mind too much, but I'm probably more attached to my front door vs the average member here :)

Well, as you said in another post (on another thread), part of photography is pleasing the eye of the viewer ... and most people who enjoy photos of natural subjects want to see them in their natural surroundings :)




Also with these following shots I've been unlucky with the background as you can see.
These were taken on a bicycle ride where photography was not the main objective, so I only had one lens with me, an old Tamron 28-200 superzoom. With a bit of cropping I'm still not unhappy with the results:
Comments (background and other) most welcome. Always trying to learn.

What I have found, when confronting interesting subjects in harsh lighting, is simply to use a flash.

If there is "empty space" behind the subject, 9x out of 10 that space will come out black when you use a flash which removes the bizarre color harsh light can give the background and in turn makes your subject really stand-out.

If there are branches and such behind your subject, the use of the right amount of flash again removes the harshness of bad mid-day lighting, and lets those branches look more normal-colored.

Without the use of flash in the harsh, mid-day sun ... the background usually becomes a sickly green (rather than a cool, pleasant green) and the true coloration of your subject is really hard to get, even with hours of post-processing.

So, the next time you find a dragonfly (or other interesting subject) in the harsh mid-day light, try taking some photos naturally ... and then take some with the flash ... and compare your results ... and I think the photos with flash will prove to be your keepers.

Other than that, outdoor macro shots using natural light are best taken in the morning, IMO, before the sunlight gets too harsh.

That is my $0.02 :)

Jack



.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on October 01, 2010, 08:54:44 AM
It is almost impossible to get a sharp image of a live insect ( OK, you can cheat and photograph a 4 inch butterfly).
If you use a small enough aperture to get enough DOF, you get diffraction... but that can mean that, as no part of the image is sharp, then it all looks "acceptably sharp"
Sometimes you might be able to get a moth co-planer and use a T/S lens..
Using MF gives you more DOF problems, "macro lenses" that focus to infinity are are not ideal for 1:1.
The Schneider Apo-Digitar Macro 120 is a great lens (are they going to make a T/S DSLR version?), perhaps it would be possible to set it up where wasps walk into the nest?
In a silly moment I wondered if it would be possible to put the Apo-Digitar Macro 120 with a Schneider eShutter on the front of a (lightweight) Sinar F3 on the front of an H4D-60... Use a double e-release with a delay circuit to sync camera and shutter?
The Hasselblad macro lens is not officially compatible with the HTS, but I think it works if you use an extension tube with it.  


Interesting observations.

I personally rather enjoy the blurred-bokeh effect in many macro shots. Other than that, the use of flash and small aperture (f/22 - f/32) can bring a majority of the subject into focus.

I have seen some people use a tilt-shift lens, and the stitching of 2-4 images, to create "total-focus" macro shots which can be very compelling.

As far as stunning ultra-close-up detail goes, IMO nothing beats the Canon MPE-65 lens, which ranges from 1:1 all the way to 5:1 (5x lifesize). I don't have this lens yet, but will have it in my bag for the next season. The photos I have seen people post of their ultra-close-ups are simply unmatched by conventional lenses, with or without adapters.

Jack



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Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Dick Roadnight on October 01, 2010, 10:26:14 AM

Interesting observations.

As far as stunning ultra-close-up detail goes, IMO nothing beats the Canon MPE-65 lens, which ranges from 1:1 all the way to 5:1 (5x lifesize). I don't have this lens yet, but will have it in my bag for the next season. The photos I have seen people post of their ultra-close-ups are simply unmatched by conventional lenses, with or without adapters.

Jack
The Schneider Apo-Digitar Marco does 1:3 to 3:1, which is pretty useful on 645... I also have a set of Zeiss Luminars for 1:1 to 40:1, and I intend to get an eShutter for them.

If I ever get a D3X, I could try my Micro-Nikkor 200 ┐Anyone use this lens for digital?

There is a butterfly farm just up the road,,, so I would be able to get specimens to photograph.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on October 01, 2010, 10:31:37 AM
The Schneider Apo-Digitar Marco does 1:3 to 3:1, which is pretty useful on 645... I also have a set of Zeiss Luminars for 1:1 to 40:1, and I intend to get an eShutter for them.
If I ever get a D3X, I could try my Micro-Nikkor 200 ┐Anyone use this lens for digital?
There is a butterfly farm just up the road,,, so I would be able to get specimens to photograph.


I am sure you will get exceptional results from this. Further, most butterfly shots don't need even 1:1, let alone 5:1 or 3:1 magnification. Interesting composition and rich coloration are ultimately more effective means to display a butterfly than ultra-close magnification.

Regarding the farm, I have a butterfly farm up the road from me as well, but they forbid the sale of any photographic images taken therein, so I would check the legalities of the farm in your area before investing a lot of time/effort in creating a body of work from it. Still, these places can provide rich personal enjoyment and a great place to hone your skills at composition and lighting :)

Jack




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Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Dick Roadnight on October 01, 2010, 10:41:07 AM

Regarding the farm, I have a butterfly farm up the road from me as well, but they forbid the sale of any photographic images taken therein, so I would check the legalities of the farm in your area before investing a lot of time/effort in creating a body of work from it. Still, these places can provide rich personal enjoyment and a great place to hone your skills at composition and lighting :)

Jack
They may have a photographer, or it might be possible to become their photographer, or take some pics that they might use... but my local butterfly farm sells specimens for photography.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on October 01, 2010, 11:05:16 AM
Luck you!

And if you get that macro gear, you may well become their photographer.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Dick Roadnight on October 01, 2010, 11:13:06 AM
Luck you!

And if you get that macro gear, you may well become their photographer.

Good luck.
This is one of my current problems... I feel I should not try to look for work until I am fully equipped and fully up-to-speed to do top-quality work... I need to look for work I can do, or stick to speculative pictorial.

Before I got the MFD, my wife asked me why I didn't try to sell work I could do with what I had, but if potential customers had seen amateur rubbish taken with amateur rubbish, they would not want to talk to be again.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: sailronin on October 01, 2010, 01:40:10 PM
John, Riaan, Pegelli,
Beautiful work, great bugs!

Dave
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: pegelli on October 01, 2010, 02:10:13 PM

Well, as you said in another post (on another thread), part of photography is pleasing the eye of the viewer ... and most people who enjoy photos of natural subjects want to see them in their natural surroundings :)


Thanks for taking the time to commenting again and I agree with all you say, also the other parts of your response not copied here.
Flash (when properly diffused) can indeed be a good solution and I've used it as well.

However when I shot the last 3 dragonflies  I also didn't have the flash with me, so it was really me, my old hyperzoom and the midday sun against a stone slab background.
Even though the results ar far from the quality I've seen in this thread (including yours) part of the fun is still to try and do the best you can do within the limits, and when that works (I think at least the results are above average) it also gives me great satisfaction. You won't get any prizes or make a magazine with it, I still think it's great fun.

Here's a hoverfly (or should we say hooverfly, the way they clean off the pollen) in our garden, a better background and with use of a diffused flash, but still not the nice greens you really want to see in shots like this:

(http://pegelli.smugmug.com/Other/201007/PEGA7001186420100721/942422645_RRJkn-O.jpg) (http://pegelli.smugmug.com/Other/201007/12785638_NiW38#942422645_RRJkn-A-LB)
(for people who want to see the shot data, the exif is completely intact in the posted picture)
  

@ sailronin, thanks for the compliment!
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on October 01, 2010, 06:36:53 PM
Thanks for taking the time to commenting again and I agree with all you say, also the other parts of your response not copied here.
Flash (when properly diffused) can indeed be a good solution and I've used it as well.

My pleasure, and agreed.




However when I shot the last 3 dragonflies  I also didn't have the flash with me, so it was really me, my old hyperzoom and the midday sun against a stone slab background.
Even though the results ar far from the quality I've seen in this thread (including yours) part of the fun is still to try and do the best you can do within the limits, and when that works (I think at least the results are above average) it also gives me great satisfaction.

Oh, I understand that those shots were just fun shots, as I have seen some exceptional photos of yours in the past.

I too love being out there getting what I can. I just got back from a road cruise and took about 200 photos of Florida wildflowers and a few butterflies ... of which maybe 6 are keepers ... and where many of the discards had that "sickly yellow/green" cast to them also because I too tried the natural light (which at the time was likewise very harsh).




You won't get any prizes or make a magazine with it, I still think it's great fun.

Well, I am hoping mine eventually do make it to the magazines ... and I have seen many pictorial "coffee table" naturalist books with some incredible macrophotography in them.

My goal is to hold myself to these high standards, and to follow this kind of scrutiny in my evaluation, in the hope that when I get there with my own skills I can try my hand at it too. I am working on a Florida Wildflower book right not (and a few other projects), so time will tell :)




Here's a hoverfly (or should we say hooverfly, the way they clean off the pollen) in our garden, a better background and with use of a diffused flash, but still not the nice greens you really want to see in shots like this:
(http://pegelli.smugmug.com/Other/201007/PEGA7001186420100721/942422645_RRJkn-O.jpg) (http://pegelli.smugmug.com/Other/201007/12785638_NiW38#942422645_RRJkn-A-LB)
(for people who want to see the shot data, the exif is completely intact in the posted picture)
@ sailronin, thanks for the compliment!

I really like this image Pegelli :)

The colors are much more natural, and the composition and the background all work in harmony together.

Well done,

Jack





.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on October 03, 2010, 03:21:48 PM

Here's a hoverfly (or should we say hooverfly, the way they clean off the pollen) in our garden, a better background and with use of a diffused flash, but still not the nice greens you really want to see in shots like this:


Your flash technique seems to work well sir. Some folks can't stand the black background from shooting with flash at the higher shutter speeds and others prefer it that way as it makes the subject stand out. Background compliments the subject but doesn't make the image I think. Trying to say that this doesn't need "nice greens" for it to be well executed macro work.       
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: pegelli on October 04, 2010, 07:02:22 AM
Thanks Riaan and Jack, appreciate your comments.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: JohnKoerner on October 04, 2010, 10:08:56 AM
Some folks can't stand the black background from shooting with flash at the higher shutter speeds and others prefer it that way as it makes the subject stand out. Background compliments the subject but doesn't make the image I think. Trying to say that this doesn't need "nice greens" for it to be well executed macro work.      


I agree. I don't think the background has to be green at all. However, I do think the background should complement (or at least not detract from) the image.

In Pegelli's image above, the background neither makes the shot nor breaks the shot---it simply "goes" with the shot. The background is easy on the eyes and it fully-allows his subject to stand out and be admired.

In studying the work of some really great macrophotographers, and in reading many of their thoughts on the subject, the consensus is pretty much that the background is as important to "get right" as is the shot itself for an overall effect. If the background is too noisy, too cluttered, and/or competes or clashes with the subject in any way, then the image is considered flawed. If the background blends with the subject, this is considered good ... and if the background actually enhances the subject, then so much the better.

We've all heard Ansel Adams' famous quote, "There is nothing worse than a brilliant image of a fuzzy concept," and (when applied to macrophotography) I suppose this quote could be re-formulated to say, "There is nothing worse than an ultra-sharp subject surrounded by an overall unsavory background," because in essence the overall "concept" is likewise lost or ruined. For example, I have hundreds of moth images, taken with razor-sharp focus, that are next-to-useless because they were taken on the screen of my back door. The sole function these images serve is for species identification, but as something pleasing to look at artistically, these images just don't cut it. The background of "my screen door" is just not what anyone wants to see, myself included.

However, had I taken the same-quality image, of the same species of moth, but where the background was a moss-covered log with perfect lighting ... then the whole presentation becomes a home run :)

Same subject, same-quality focusing and lighting, just a vastly-different quality in the background. Therefore, we as macrophotographers have to look at the background as being just as vital to the overall success of our images as is the subject itself.

Jack




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Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on October 10, 2010, 01:19:35 PM
Cotton-stainer assassin.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: bdosserman on October 11, 2012, 01:23:04 AM
...2 years later...

A few interesting insects (well, the first isn't terribly interesting, but I like the shot) I saw in Kyoto this summer. Comments welcome!

Brian
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on October 11, 2012, 03:04:52 AM
Nicely done Brian.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on October 11, 2012, 07:07:29 PM
Nicely done Brian.
+9.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: bdosserman on October 30, 2012, 11:16:28 PM
Here's another one, from my backyard last summer.

Brian
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: kikashi on November 01, 2012, 04:15:12 PM
...2 years later...

A few interesting insects (well, the first isn't terribly interesting, but I like the shot) I saw in Kyoto this summer. Comments welcome!

Brian

Nicely done! What the hell is that second one?

Jeremy
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: bdosserman on November 01, 2012, 04:40:17 PM
Nicely done! What the hell is that second one?

Thanks! I have no clue what it is, but I love how it looks like it's wearing shades.

Brian
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on November 02, 2012, 01:48:15 PM
It's from the Asildae family, a "robber fly." They are predators of other insects, usually catching them in flight.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: wolfnowl on November 03, 2012, 12:02:06 AM
Riaan got there first.  It's definitely a robber fly, hiding from the prey by wearing sunglasses.   ;)

Mike.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: bdosserman on November 03, 2012, 10:44:41 AM
Thanks Mike and Riaan -- now I know!

Brian
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: bdosserman on November 07, 2012, 10:03:33 AM
Here are a couple more from the other day (yes, I know the second isn't technically an insect). What do you think?

Brian
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on November 08, 2012, 12:43:49 PM
Brian, depth of field, focus and composition is spot on in the first picture, well done. I wish that the shadow was softer though.

Title: Re: Insects
Post by: bdosserman on November 08, 2012, 09:16:24 PM
Brian, depth of field, focus and composition is spot on in the first picture, well done. I wish that the shadow was softer though.

Riaan, thanks for the comments. Good point about the shadow. This is basically out of camera from the D800, so there should be plenty of room to bring the shadow up. I'm planning to buy LR soon, so I'll take a crack at it as soon as I do.

Brian
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: bdosserman on May 28, 2013, 12:49:43 AM
Wow -- just saw a few of these in my yard today. What on earth are they? Never seen such a deep green before.

Brian
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: wolfnowl on May 28, 2013, 01:15:36 AM
I'm not familiar with the species, but they're wasps - technically hymenoptera and not insects...  ;)  If you want to know more specifically, I'd suggest filling out an ID request at http://bugguide.net/

Mike.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: kikashi on May 28, 2013, 03:27:16 AM
I'm not familiar with the species, but they're wasps - technically hymenoptera and not insects...  ;)  If you want to know more specifically, I'd suggest filling out an ID request at http://bugguide.net/

Mike.

At the risk of quibbling with someone who has admittedly far greater knowledge of wildlife than I, Mike, hymenoptera are an order of the class of insects.

Jeremy
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Rob C on May 28, 2013, 04:09:21 AM
At the risk of quibbling with someone who has admittedly far greater knowledge of wildlife than I, Mike, hymenoptera are an order of the class of insects.

Jeremy


Hymenoptera?

That sounds dangerous! A greater disincentive than VD!

Rob C
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: bdosserman on May 28, 2013, 10:08:10 AM
I'm not familiar with the species, but they're wasps - technically hymenoptera and not insects...  ;)  If you want to know more specifically, I'd suggest filling out an ID request at http://bugguide.net/

Thanks for the tip -- googling "green wasp" and browsing (which ended up back on bugguide.net) leads me to think these are cuckoo wasps, probably parnopes edwardsii. Not that I have any experience with insect IDs, but it sure looks alike.

Brian
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Randy Carone on May 29, 2013, 08:51:59 AM
Rather pedestrian but it still makes me smile. This was taken with my first digital camera, a 2.0MP Nikon 775.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: wolfnowl on June 02, 2013, 01:57:37 AM
At the risk of quibbling with someone who has admittedly far greater knowledge of wildlife than I, Mike, hymenoptera are an order of the class of insects.

Jeremy

You are certainly correct, Jeremy!  Just goes to show that I shouldn't respond to messages late at night when my brain has obviously disengaged!!  Thanks for pointing out the error.  ;D

Mike.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Riaan van Wyk on December 08, 2013, 05:03:19 AM
Dusted of the macro stuff yesterday and got lucky with this from the garden.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Tony Jay on December 08, 2013, 05:15:33 AM
That is a fascinating shot.
Well seen and well captured Riaan!

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: armand on December 08, 2013, 08:21:02 AM
That is a fascinating shot.
Well seen and well captured Riaan!

Tony Jay

+1
The white spider in contrast with the dark fly really makes the shot.
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: bdosserman on December 08, 2013, 11:12:21 AM
Dusted of the macro stuff yesterday and got lucky with this from the garden.

Very nice! (And happy to see the thread brought back) I caught a mantis eating butterflies a couple of times last summer, but sadly didn't lead to any shots worth posting.

Brian
Title: Re: Insects
Post by: Christoph C. Feldhaim on December 09, 2013, 01:04:15 PM
Dusted of the macro stuff yesterday and got lucky with this from the garden.

What should I say?
A killer shot !