08.14.2014 Back to the buggies

Here are a few shots of Bugs and Friends from the backyard.

Cocklebur Weevil (Rhodobaenus quinquepunctatus) on a Boneset leafCocklebur WeevilBuffalo Treehopper (Ceresa taurina) on a grass stalkBuffalo-Treehopper-900WebAn Assassin Bug nymph on BonesetAssassin-Bug-nymph-081312-800FBAnd what has been suggested is a Ornate Snipe Fly (Chrysopilus ornatus) on a DaisyFly-on-Daisy-060314-800WebAnd the aforementioned Bugs and Friends  🙂   🙂jamesk_folks_06539Have a nice day/evening everyone.

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About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Closeup Photography, Insects, Nature Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to 08.14.2014 Back to the buggies

  1. Just Rod says:

    You bug me. So many great photographs they make me very dissatisfied with my own efforts 😟
    But I love seeing the amazing shots you get 😃

    Like

  2. Bugs A Lot. That’s your new title. Just joking. The images are so good. Have no words to describe the incredible photography. I like the dragon fly best or what I think is a dragon fly. I know very little about insects other than the butters that have visited my butterfly patch.

    Like

    • Thanks very much, Yvonne. I am glad you like the images. It’s hard to keep all the insects straight for sure. There are hundreds of thousands of species. There are over 25,000 different beetle species alone in the US. Ain’t evolution something else? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Treehopper is best to my eye (the assassin a close second). So crisp. I assume you’re using Canon’s tele-maco … but, what else can you tell me? I forget now, did you say you use an extension tube? Or is there lots of crop? Can’t be … they’re too sharp. These have to be at least 3 or 4X life size as presented here. Very high f stop … and flash perhaps (even a ring flash … or double)? Really nice. Keep ’em coming. D

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    • For the treehopper, f/22. Yes to extension tubes (I have two…12mm and 25mm which I use separately and stacked) no to flash. I rarely use flash, although the recent monarch caterpillar was flashed. The lens is the Canon 180 and, of course, tripod mounted. The grass stalk, which was in the middle of our blueberry patch, was held in place with the plamp…..I was shocked that this little guy stayed put while the plamp was attached.
      Although I did not use it for this image, quite often with the smaller insects I employ a focusing rail for fine adjustment.
      Thanks, I like to mix it up, but there will be more bugs……hopefully none that cause you crop nightmares.

      Like

  4. Andrew says:

    The Buffalo Springfield Treehopper is my favourite. I must get some bonesetter plants. I wonder if the bugs come free.

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  5. Jim in IA says:

    Very cool characters. The cocklebur weevil is down on one knee. Check the middle right leg. I had a leaf hopper, not a tree hopper, crawling up my leg yesterday. The nymph is a wild looker. And the fly seems to be missing a leg.

    Great pictures.

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    • Yes, the weevil is on bent knee. Tough topography on that leaf. I neglected to mention the missing leg. I’ve had leafhoppers on the boneset also, which is an outstanding insect attractor.

      Like

  6. shoreacres says:

    I’m a fan of the Treehopper, too, although that Ornate Snipe Fly is a sophisticated little thing. It really looks nice on that white flower. But…. is it my imagination, or is the poor thing missing a rear leg? Life’s hard in the insect world, and it looks like this one took a hit.

    The assassin bug looks like a French mime. Not only that, its name drove me to the dictionary, just to double check the spelling of “assassin.” Look for more about that in a coming post – all will be made clear. 😉

    Like

    • Thanks, Linda. Yes, I mentioned the missing leg on Facebook, but forgot to here. He seems pretty healthy despite that.
      Marcel Pselliopus, I believe. A friend just ID’d the genus for me. One of the folks on BugGuide.Net calls them Ass Ass bugs. 🙂

      I am, as always, looking forward to your next post. Don’t keep us in suspense too long. 🙂

      Like

  7. Amazing, I absolutely love the detail you capture in your photos. They are fun and interesting, so absolutely well done…There is just no picking a favorite.

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  8. Lottie Nevin says:

    I love the buffalo bug best, there’s something really sweet about his chunkiness! but the Snipe fly on the daisy is just incredible, what an unbelievable shot – gosh, I really do envy you your photography skills – muchos talento that’s for sure 😀

    Like

  9. You’ve got some excellent macros here, with your accustomed sharpness.

    Like

  10. brunosellmer says:

    Very nice, buggs are so colorfull!

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  11. Ah, I can’t decide between the assassin nymph and the snipe fly. You are ALMOST making me rethink my habit of handholding my camera. And I’m quite sure that you’re not shooting jpg files….

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    • Almost? I rarely shoot without a tripod, Cynthia. Although I have posted an occasional shot that was handheld but at least 95% are tripod mounted. You are correct about shooting raw files.
      OTOH, it depends on your intended use of the images you make.
      I love the snipe fly but wish it hadn’t lost a leg. The wing pattern is graphically beautiful,

      Like

  12. I use my camera to document the animals and plants that I find, generally here at home. Some of the images I use during public presentations on gardening with wildlife, pollinators, etc., but most are used to identify and record what I’m seeing here on our property or to be able to illustrate my blog. I have been resistant to using a tripod, feeling that I would lose the ability to quickly capture images of the animals that I see before they moved away…but I am quite aware that I am a technophobe and may simply be fooling myself about the tradeoff.

    How often do you find that the animal you are hoping to photograph moves on before you are able to set up the tripod, adjusting for appropriate height, camera angle, etc.? I would seriously appreciate your feedback on this issue.

    The other issue I have is which file format to shoot in. I utilize jpg because it allows me to take and store many images and I’m not aiming for large prints, just images that are “good enough” to do the job I want them to do. However, I understand that I am sacrificing quality of image in doing so. Until I started posting insect images on BugGuide (and comparing my images to others’ images there) for help in identification, I wasn’t dissatisfied with the images I was capturing. Now I look at your images and at Steve Schwartzman’s images and I’m questioning my decision-making processes.

    I would really appreciate your thoughts (and Steve S.’s thoughts, too, if he’s reading this comment).

    Like

    • I do sometimes lose a shot while or just as I finish setting up. For your purposes, I’d stick with handheld most of the time, but maybe work on developing a steady holding technique. What equipment are you using? Most of the folks who do mothing at night, for instance, handhold and many do get decently sharp images although using a flash as they do does freeze time and motion.. Another strategy is to shoot a short burst. Often the one in the middle is sharp. Also, pulling your arms in against your body often helps steady things. Time of day makes a difference too as midday light contrasts often make sharp images look a bit softer.
      The thing to realize in what Steve, if I can speak for him, and I do is not quantity based but quality. Often I go into a field and come away with just a couple of species where I know that if I were hand-holding and shooting more quickly I would end up with quite a few more.
      If you are using a dslr, you could also bump up the ISO to get faster exposure times. Anything below 1/125 seconds will challenge your steadiness.
      I hope that was helpful. If I missed a point or raised other questions feel free to ask.

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      • That’s very helpful, Steve. Thank you. I’m using a Nikon D80 right now, with a 105 mm macro lens for most of my insect shots.

        I’ll work on bringing my arms close to my sides to see if that increases my steadiness. (I can’t honestly tell you, off the top of my head, HOW I hold my arms as I shoot right now.) I have switched how I hold the camera to cradling the lens in my left hand – it took a while to feel comfortable with that pose, but it was also recommended to me to increase the stability of my shots. I do think it helps, particularly with this lens, which is heavier than the zoom I used to use primarily. It’s not unusual for me to be bent over at some peculiar angle or to be leaning sideways while standing on tiptoe or striking some other less-than-graceful pose while holding my breath as I try to get the shot. It’s probably a good thing that I’m usually taking photos at home where no one can see me!

        As far as exposures go, I normally use the light meter in the camera itself…but don’t pay much attention to whether I’m getting my metering through fstop or aperture.

        Perhaps my biggest issue is generally relying on the camera to focus, rather than manually focusing. I will switch to manual if the camera can’t/won’t pick up the detail I want to see as I look through the lens. The reason I don’t manually focus more often, though, is that I don’t trust my eyes to get the sharpest detail through the lens. (The joy of older eyes and glasses.)

        Quality vs. quantity? Normally I’m the sort that goes with quality every time, but for my purposes in taking insect photos, I’m still at the quantity stage. As I get more familiar with the species in the yard – and which features I need to focus on for identification – I will probably start shifting over to the side of quality. Right now I want to get several images of any new insect, from multiple angles, because I don’t know if the important anatomical detail will be the wing venation pattern, the mouthparts or the number of spurs on the tibia. Slowly but surely I’m learning, though, which should help improve my judgement and skills immeasurably.

        Thanks so much for your kindness in taking the time to discuss these sorts of things with me. I discuss them with myself in my head, but I usually don’t get too far along in my processing that way!

        Like

      • Yeah, allowing the camera to autofocus can at times be a problem…especially if you shoot insects within plant structure as it might pick a leaf or stem rather than a beetle.

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      • Usually I’m able to notice if the camera is focusing on a stem or a leaf – that’s often when I switch to manual focus. I try to be aware of which part of the insect I’m focusing on. My issue with ambush bugs is, I think, that neither my eyes nor the camera’s autofocus are good at picking distinctive lines for focusing crisply.

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      • That’s where, if your camera has it, the use of LiveView comes in real handy. The ability to preview at 5x or 10x is a big help….of course it would have to be tripod mounted.. And you should definitely be able to use a tripod with an ambush bug. I have never had a problem with them going anywhere. 🙂

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      • Good point on the ambush bugs! No, they’re not much for flying away at the drop of a hat! LOL!

        I know my camera has the ability to zoom in on the image in some way, but I’ll have to read up on that. I’ve never used the feature. I’m thinking that I may try a tripod setup on some local sunflowers and/or brown-eyed Susans over the weekend, just to see what I can capture. I’ll let you know what I accomplish.

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      • I’ll be looking forward to what you capture, Cynthia. First thing with a new camera is reading the manual. It’s kind of hard to postpone the excitement though.

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