Posts Tagged ‘light’

Green mantispid (Zeugomantispa minuta) at one of BugShot 2011 black lights (Shaw Nature Reserve, Gray Summit, MO, September 2, 2011). Click/double click to enlarge.

We began the OUTSTANDING BugShot 2011 with each of the three instructors sharing their top 5 tips for outstanding macrophotography. Below I summarize one tip from each instructor that was made particularly relevant to me based on how I currently photograph.

John Abbott taught me and consistently showed me, that I need to use my tripod, tripod, tripod. Beginning this week I will do that, do that, do that. I’ve already seen a difference in some of my shots.

Thomas Shahan made clear the power of elevating the specimen I am photographing to give it a greater sense of importance and power. That’s what it’s all about. Or kinda’ all about.

Alex Wild helped me realize the importance of light manipulation and the fact that I can be much more flexible and creative than I currently am using my present equipment. I now have about two years of lighting things that I need to try and am really looking forward to experimenting.

If you didn’t go to the workshop this year and have even a little bit of interest in arthropod macrophotography you REALLY should go next year.

Equipment that can make my world a better place…

(Please note this is not all inclusive, but is a great starting point for anyone who already has some macrophotography experience.)

Panasonic Lumix cameras

Air rocket

Plamp (got one already, attaches to my tripod, tripod, tripod)

Cognysis automatic focus railing

White box (though my XotoPro kinda white boxes on its own… https://thingsbiological.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/encouraging-an-understanding-and-appreciation-of-spiders/)

IKEA Lazy Susan

2 gallon all glass aquarium

Glass partition to move specimens to the front of the aquarium for photography

Web Sites

Odonata Central Virtual Image Library

Cognisys, Inc.

Performance Database 




Software Photo Recovery

Adobe LightRoom ($43 education pricing for me and a bunch of others!)

Books to Browse

Secret Worlds: The Miracle of Flight, note that there are five hardcover copies available for less than $1 from Amazon associates.

Damselflies of Texas: A Field Guide

Matt Kowalski’s Light Room book (can’t find it so far, but if someone else can and wants to share a URL, it’ll be right here pretty quickly!)

Thanks so much to all of the BugShot 2011 instructors, participants and support folk. It was a great experience, I learned a huge amount, and met a bunch of people with whom I hope to stay connected well into the future!

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Brilliant green ambush bug on hybrid gold daylily.

I had opportunity to get out between thunderstorms to capture a few images. Many of the plant-associated insects are nice and shiny after a few successive summer showers. The humidity and the water droplets on the leaves and insects combine to make many of these plant-animal combinations appear even more stunning!

Firefly evening shot. The blade of grass in the background wasn't planned, but works pretty effectively.

Pictures taken using a small red filter headlamp, Nikon D50 SLR camera, Nikon 60mm macro lens, XotoPro three light system, and a 12mm Kenko extension tube.

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Awaiting Prey - The realities of the world experienced by pollinators...

I’m always fascinated by the way light can cause things in a photograph to differ from the “reality” of how we experience it. The image above is a slightly sharpened version of an image I took on the day I released the mantid hatchlings. It certainly isn’t how I viewed either the newly released mantid or the flower. It’s reminiscent of the Nature series about fifteen years ago (Supersense, Episode 1) in which they modified cameras to “see” the world the way we think other organisms do.

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