It’s Not Always About Birds – July 29, 2011

Usually unless a very rare bird shows up, July and August are a time to relax play golf, giving the birds a chance to take care of their young.  This meant that I had to hang up the camera, which for me was as hard as trying to lose weight (but I am trying).

It’s during that time of the year, I bought a macro lens, a Nikkor f2.8 AF-S VR lens and began to experiment with close-up photography.  I had seen setups with tripods and special flashes, which I tried to avoid by doing all my macro work, handheld.  It took a while, lots of experimenting but finally I started seeing results.

Keep in mind that this little spider, a Bronze Jumper,  is just a hair over 1/4 of an inch long.  I think he needs a shave….

BronzeJumperblog

One of the problems I had was, how was I going to ID all these little critters.  I asked people for help with ID’ing but soon I had to buy a guide. I asked Jeff Skevington,  a friend, what book should I buy, as a  source for information.   He suggested Insects:  Their Natural History and Diversity by Stephen A. Marshall, a whopping 732 page book (not a pocket guide by any means), filled with images and text of Eastern North American Insects.   Don’t let anyone fool you, even with this book, it takes a while to find the names.   Another source is  BugGuide.net, an online site with thousands of images, these images are submitted by people like You and I looking, for answers .  Even with all these sources, given the number of insects out there, its very easy to get it wrong.  

TriColoredBumblebeeblog

One day I saw my first Tiger Beetle image online, right away, I threw down the gauntlet.  I just had to get an image of one.   Luckily here in Ottawa we have a few types, 6-Spotted and Beach Dune that I’ve photographed.  When taking this image, I can just imagine what people watching were thinking, a fully dressed man crawling on a beach with a camera, surrounded by gulls.  Some came over and asked, then politely left shaking their heads but I did get the photo.   What a beauty!

I used my D70 with the 105 macro lens, settings were  ISO- 250, f9, 1/200, AF-S Dynamic, Spot-metering.

  BeachDuneTigerBeetleBlog

Here’s a close-up look….Thank God their only 1/2 inch long.

 BeachDuneTigerBeetleBlog2

I must admit, insects are colorful, come in many varieties, and offer serious challenges when trying to photograph them.   Ciao for now…

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2 Responses to It’s Not Always About Birds – July 29, 2011

  1. Marshall’s is on sale on-line, others re Kaufman’s Filed Guide to Insects of N.AM. and Evans Filed Guide to Insects and Spiders of N.AM from the national wildlife foundation.

  2. Marshall’s is on sale on-line, others re Kaufman’s Field Guide to Insects of N.AM. and Evans Field Guide to Insects and Spiders of N.AM from the national wildlife foundation.

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