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Shield Bug Nymph on a Flower Puff -

The fields abound with these in various shapes, colors and stages of development. Whenever I see one I try to get a decent photograph as a well executed macro often yields a subject rich in details, textures and in the case of this specimen brilliant colors. With good diffusion, most true bugs display flash photography well. The better the illumination the better the one captures the fascinating textures and details. Quite fortunate to find this one feeding on a flower puff that contrasts and compliments the subject.

Image specs: Canon EOS-M3, 60mm EF-S macro lens w/Raynox DCR-250 Diopter @ ~2:1, f/14, 1/40sec, ISO200, Nissin i40 flash with DIY diffuser.

#hqspmacro +HQSP Macro curated by +Stefanie Schächtel +Peter Marbaise +Evi Verstraeten +Robert Kubacki +Andi Fritzsch and +Leanne Cole 

#BTPMacroPro+BTP Macro Pro . owned by +Nancy Dempsey ,curated by +Kenny Jones
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Little Brown Hopper Nymph

I have a dickens of a time shooting these at high magnification with diffused flash. Not sure if it's my diffusion, the angle of the heads, etc. but I can never seem to pick up any detail. I have tried field stacking these critters on several occasions but haven't had much luck. I decided to try again this past weekend. It is my best effort to date. Surprisingly the stack came together quite nicely minus the antenna. There was a slight breeze that day and the appendage, finer than a human hair, was whipping around in the wisps like a wind sock in a gale. I had to do quite a bit of clean up in Zerene and Photoshop. I ended up lopping off the end as there wasn't enough contiguous pieces to reconstruct it frame-by-frame. These critter are very shy and quick to scuttle to the other side of the stem if they sense you. This prevented me from using a diffuser to control highlights on the fine white hairs/bristles. Instead, I used my hand to shade the subject and plant.

Image Specs - Olympus OMD-EM1, 60mm Zuiko w/32mm tubes @ 2:1, f/3.2, SS 1/20, ISO 200, available light field stack.


#hqspmacro +HQSP Macro curated by +Stefanie Schächtel +Peter Marbaise +Evi Verstraeten +Robert Kubacki +Andi Fritzsch and +Leanne Cole 

#BTPMacroPro+BTP Macro Pro . owned by +Nancy Dempsey ,curated by +Kenny Jones
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Bugs of Bygone:

Photographed this past weekend at my favorite retention pond. When I first started macro photography I ran into these true bug nymphs. At the time I didn't realize what a special treat it was to photograph them. I had many "keeper images" from that encounter. I didn't take long to start noticing flaws in my images and I looked forward to photographing the bugs again. I didn't see them again for several years. Late last year I finally ran across one but it was a single specimen and I wasn't able to display the herd characteristics I observed years ago. Luckily I stumbled across this bunch. For the most part they stayed in a tight grouping on the leaf as pictured. Not following each other up and down plant stems and leaves like I had seen before but it's a start. Now that I'm getting better at spotting them in the field, hopefully I be able to photo document the whimsical herding I witnessed before but so poorly captured. Time and the nymphs will tell.

Image Specs - Olympus OMD-EM1, 60mm Zuiko w/32mm tubes @ 2:1, f/8, SS 1/100, ISO 200, Mcoplus mc0320 Flash w/ DIY Concave Diffuser

#macroaddict (+MacroAddict)  +Stephen Thackeray

#hqspmacro +HQSP Macro curated by +Stefanie Schächtel +Peter Marbaise +Evi Verstraeten +Robert Kubacki +Andi Fritzsch and +Leanne Cole 

#BTPMacroPro+BTP Macro Pro . owned by +Nancy Dempsey ,curated by +Kenny Jones
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I Spy with my Field Binoculars a Hopper:

Last year I went on a BioBlitz and all the cool kids had field binoculars for spotting and observing insects. It never occurred to me to use binoculars to spot and observe insects. I was fortunate to befriend a gentleman who had a very nice pair of Zeiss binoculars. He let me try them out and I immediately saw the benefit of using binoculars for spotting insects. When I got home I started to do some research and realized I wanted a pair with close focus and decent magnification. I decided on a pair of Pentax Papilio 6.5x21 binoculars. Boy am I glad I did. These are affordable, close focusing (.5meter), bright and crystal clear. I can literally see scales on butterfly wings that are close by. They are very lightweight and have a small footprint, easily fitting in my vest pocket. Benefit for the macro photographer is to see subjects we normally wouldn't see, deep in the grass or a bit too small and a bit too far away for our eyes to pick up. Once the subject is spotted the macro photographer can survey the area around the subject and plan out the best framing angles and plan out one's approach to the subject. The binoculars have already helped me see several subjects I would have missed otherwise. This hopper is a good example. It was deep in the weeds. I seriously doubt I would have seen it with my naked eye as it was 2 meters away from my observation spot. For the price I can highly recommend these binoculars for those who like to sit and observe the surroundings and better plan out their macro approach/shots. Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Pentax-Papilio-II-6-5x21-Binoculars/dp/B00SKO4A8Q

Image Specs: Tripod Rig, Olympus EM1, Zuiko 60mm Macro w/32mm tubes, f/3.5, 1/30, ISO 200, available light, 54 frame stack processed in Zerene.

#macroaddict (+MacroAddict) curated by  +William Banik,  &  +Stephen Thackeray

#hqspmacro +HQSP Macro curated by +Stefanie Schächtel +Peter Marbaise +Evi Verstraeten +Robert Kubacki +Andi Fritzsch and +Leanne Cole 

#BTPMacroPro+BTP Macro Pro . owned by +Nancy Dempsey ,curated by +Kenny Jones
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Shield Bug - Good to the Last Drop:

Last two days I have posted images of true bug nymphs I believed to be immature shield bugs. I believe the adult in this image is of the same ilk as the nymphs, but who knows? The longer I observe them in the field the more I learn. For the longest time I thought shield bugs were herbivorous as I had only seen them feeding off plants. Turns out the brown ones like caterpillar juice too. I found this feeding adult in close proximity to the two nymphs I posted earlier in the week.

Image specs: Sony A7 w Fotodiox Pro Fusion Adapter, 60mm EF-S w/72mm tubes @ ~3:1, f/11, SS 1/200, ISO 320, Nissin i40 with DIY Diffuser.

#macroaddict  +MacroAddict 

#buggylunch  +Buggy Lunch +Kim Sinclair +Jitte Groothuis 

#hqspmacro +HQSP Macro curated by +Stefanie Schächtel +Igor Schevchenko +Peter Marbaise +Evi Verstraeten  +Robert Kubacki and +Andi Fritzsch

#BTPMacroPro+BTP Macro Pro . owned by +Nancy Dempsey ,curated by +Kenny Jones
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True Bug Nymph (Shield Bug?)

Another shot from Saturday just a plant or two away from the nymph I posted yesterday. I think this is also a shield bug instar just further along in the development chain. This one is taking on more familiar characteristics. Head shape and eye placement, and the pitting of the exoskeleton. I actually find this nymph more attractive than adult shield bugs which are handsome as well.

Image specs: Sony A7 w Fotodiox Pro Fusion Adapter, 60mm EF-S w/72mm tubes @ ~3:1, f/11, SS 1/160, ISO 200, Nissin i40 with DIY Diffuser.


#macroaddict   +MacroAddict 

#hqspmacro +HQSP Macro curated by +Stefanie Schächtel +Igor Schevchenko +Peter Marbaise +Evi Verstraeten  +Robert Kubacki and +Andi Fritzsch

#BTPMacroPro+BTP Macro Pro owned by +Nancy Dempsey, curated by +Kenny Jones
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True Bug Nymph

When I first started shooting macro, I stumbled across a batch of true bug nymphs. At the time I had no idea what they were. I thought for sure it was a beetle as I had never seen one before. Researching the insect I discovered it was in fact a true bug nymph, not a beetle. No one seemed to know what true bug it was. I was told the way to find out for sure was to raise the bug to adulthood. Well I can barely take care of myself let alone a brood of bugs so the my question remained unanswered. I ran across a nymph again this past Saturday. It had been a few years since I last saw one. As I looked in the viewfinder I noticed the pits in the exoskeleton, a detail I had forgotten. The shape of the head looked familiar too. The more I observed the bug and subsequently this photo, the more I'm convinced this is a shield bug nymph.

Image specs: Sony A7 w Fotodiox Pro Fusion Adapter, 60mm EF-S w/72mm tubes @ ~3:1, f/11, SS 1/160, ISO 200, Nissin i40 with DIY Diffuser.

#macroaddict  +MacroAddict 

#hqspmacro +HQSP Macro curated by +Stefanie Schächtel +Igor Schevchenko +Peter Marbaise +Evi Verstraeten  +Robert Kubacki and +Andi Fritzsch

#BTPMacroPro+BTP Macro Pro . owned by +Nancy Dempsey curated by +Kenny Jones
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Life in the Weeds with the M3 Pt IV

Lots of true bugs in the weeds. From adults to nymphs they walk the weeds taking long drinks out of the plants. I'm glad there are so many as it affords me the opportunity to work with subjects for an extended time, typically 15 to 20 shots. It's helping me refine techniques with the M3. The focus peaking has almost become second nature. It's a real benefit on a camera like this, basically a Rebel without a mirror and pentamirror housing. When I first started shooting macro I used a T2i and my biggest issue with the camera was the pentamirror. It's much darker than a camera with a pentaprism. With a high quality EVF/Rear LCD and focus peaking this issue is eliminated. While I still prefer the OVF on the 5D-III, with a little practice the EVF/focus peaking combo is more than adequate. No if I could just figure out how to set FEC on a custom button......

Image specs: Canon M3, Canon EF-S 60mm Macro with 36mm tube @ ~2:1, f/10, SS 1/60, ISO 100, MT24-EX flash with DIY diffusers @ 1/8 power, slight crop in post.

+MacroAddict +Sandrine Berjonneau +Adelphe BACHELET +Ruth Benjamin 

+HQSP Macro +Stefanie Schächtel +Igor Schevchenko +Peter Marbaise +Evi Verstraeten +Robert Kubacki +Andi Fritzsch  #hqspmacro  

#btpmacropro  +Nancy Dempsey +Kenny Jones 

#photomaniausa  +David Pilasky +Marjolein Schat +Kris Rowlands +Dorma Wiggin 
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5-Legged Manx:

I believe this is a Leaf Footed true bug nymph. I don’t see these (nymphs) that often so it’s a treat to photograph them when I get the chance. I noticed immediately that it was missing a leg. Normally, I don’t photograph insects with missing appendages as they just look odd to me. The symmetry is out of whack and no matter how technically good the photograph is I’m never really satisfied with the final result. When I drew my lens on this bug there was something different. The contrasting colors of the insect on the green leaf caught my eye and the symmetry of the insect looked good in the viewfinder. It reminded me of something but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. As I was walking home it hit me, the 3 Legged Manx symbol on the flag of the Isle of Man. Three legs on a pivot equidistance apart that give the illusion the legs are moving in a circle. While the true bug has 5 legs they are quasi equidistant and for the most part the direction of the legs gives the appearance they are rotating in a circle like a pinwheel. I don’t think the image would have the same effect on me if the insect had 6 legs. I like the effect so much that the absence of the leg is easy overlooked (by me) and my eyes hone in on the rotating effect.

Image specs: 5-D3, Sigma 105 @ ~ 2:1 f/11, SS 1/60, ISO 200, MT-24 EX with DIY concave diffusers. Slight crop applied in post.

#macroaddict  +MacroAddict +Sandrine Berjonneau +Adelphe BACHELET +Stephen Thackeray +Ruth Benjamin 

+HQSP Macro curated by +Stefanie Schächtel +Igor Schevchenko +Peter Marbaise +Evi Verstraeten +Robert Kubacki and +Andi Fritzsch #hqspmacro

#BTPMacroPro+BTP Macro Pro . founded by +Rinus Bakker , owned by +Nancy Dempsey ,curated by +Kenny Jones

#PhotoManiaUSA curated by +David Pilasky, +Marjolein Schat, +Kris Rowlands & +Dorma Wiggin
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Brown and Yellow True Bug (Calocoris barber) - in the past I’ve had problems photographing these bugs. I tossed many a photos in the bin due to a lack of detail on the shell. I’m not sure if it’s strictly the glossiness of the exoskeleton, a single source illumination or a combination of both. I do know that employing twin flashed (like on this photo) is producing the best details I have managed to capture to date. Looking at the bug it appears it uses it’s proboscis to pierce the the flower and water/sucrose from the injured portion of the plant beads to the surface.

Image specs: 5-D3, Sigma 105 @ ~ 2:1 f/11, SS 1/40, ISO 200, MT-24 EX with DIY concave diffusers. Compostional crop applied in post.

#macroaddict  +MacroAddict +Sandrine Berjonneau +Adelphe BACHELET +Ruth Benjamin +Stephen Thackeray 

+HQSP Macro curated by +Stefanie Schächtel +Igor Schevchenko +Peter Marbaise +Evi Verstraeten +Robert Kubacki and +Andi Fritzsch #hqspmacro

#BTPMacroPro+BTP Macro Pro . founded by +Rinus Bakker , owned by +Nancy Dempsey ,curated by +Kenny Jones

#PhotoManiaUSA curated by +David Pilasky, +Marjolein Schat, +Kris Rowlands & +Dorma Wiggin
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