07.27.2020-2 Let this be a lesson to you

My one goal this morning was to find and photograph some Dogbane Beetles-Chrysochus auratus. I’ve looked in their usual hangout a few times with no luck.  That changed today as I found several.

Iridescent Metallic Marvelousness

It is on Hemp Dogbane-Apocynum cannabinum, hence the name. A relative of milkweed it is poisonous in all its parts, the first binomial meaning poisonous to dogs…and of course humans as well.

In flagrante delicto

That may or may not actually be the case.  Quite a few insects, both bugs and beetles, ride each other for some reason other than procreation…possibly recreation.

Sooooo…you are probably wondering about the lesson, right?


There are two lessons actually.  A) If you own a lens hood why leave it in your bag? We’d be looking at a mangled lens hood if it had been on the lens. B)  Make sure your tripod legs are all out evenly when walking away. I watched in terror as the whole thing went to the pavement, in that slow motion we always hear about, and made an awful crunching sound. I was all done shooting and opening the hatch to load up and go home when it tipped. The camera appears to be okay as I made a couple of images with a non-broken lens but the filter, not a cheap object, is done.  Canon says the damage can be repaired, worst case scenario $300 but possibly less. Additionally the tripod collar snapped.  But that came with the lens as standard equipment so the rep I spoke with said it very well might be replaced as part of the total cost which includes parts.  It could have been much worse.  It’s on its way to Virginia Beach at this moment but will not likely return until next week.  Thank goodness I have the 800 macro.  🙂  And a 100 too.


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 Animal Behavior, Closeup Photography, Insects, macro photography, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to 07.27.2020-2 Let this be a lesson to you

  1. Hannah Keene says:

    Ah yes. I was counseled in a class to ALWAYS leave the lens hood on. On my desk, in my bag, in my hand…… Luckily Olympus has retracting lens hoods for almost all of their lenses so 99% of the time all I have to do is extend the hood when I pick up the camera. So sorry this happened Steve.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m happy about the iridescent metallic beetle pictures, sorry about the lesson. What a relief that your new camera body seems okay.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that is a relief…it hasn’t been insured yet. I’ll do that before my next trip out with it. I’ve photographed these often over the years and these may be my two favorites.


  3. If you don’t have scratches on your camera, and dents on your lenses, then you’re really not working at photography as hard as you can to get the best images. We all have stories like this, and some of them don’t end as well as yours. It’s a small price to pay for having a hobby that gets you out into nature every day. PS. Love the Beatles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, one of my FB friends remarked on some of his mishaps including dropping a camera and lens in a river. It does seem a common occurrence but was my first serious damage. Thanks, The Dogbane Beetles are among nature’s masterpieces.


  4. Ouch. Always. Have. Lens hood. On.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ann Mackay says:

    Wonderful pictures but what a painful lesson! I’m glad the camera is OK – hope the lens won’t be too bad. (And I use a lens hood if the lens has one…an essential!)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. shoreacres says:

    Hmmm… maybe I should consider getting a lens hood. I’ve never had or used one. It’s something else to learn about. I’m glad your most current lesson wasn’t any more painful than it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, don’t be like me and damage a lens. They are quite handy when doing a landscape on a sunny day to keep the sunoff the front of your lens causing flare. And also for the safety of your glass. Wish I had used the one I already own. It appears things will work out well enough and at a minimal cost compared to a new lens. My copy of the 180 is quite sharp and my worry is that the repair will somehow alter that quality.


  7. Ohhh, Steve. I’m so sorry. Love the beetle photos, though. Iridescence always gets me, and you show it so well here. Well, that and the bokeh and composition, etc., etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jim R says:

    Those slow-motion events are terrible. Sorry it happened.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. susurrus says:

    The lesson gave me a sharp intake of breath. I’m very sorry to hear this. I can imagine your horror watching it fall.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. susurrus says:

    I meant to say you got two wonderful pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Eliza Waters says:

    Oh, ouch! A real stomach-clencher. Sorry about the mishap, but at least it seems there is a way to fix it up. Lesson learned! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  12. krikitarts says:

    I keep the lens hoods on all of my lenses, and if a new lens doesn’t come with one, I make sure that I get one in short order. I normally only use them when they will provide shade to prevent direct light from entering the front element, but I hear you loud and clear that it’s a good idea to use them whenever there’s a tricky tripod situation, and I plan to do so from now on.
    Meanwhile, back to your beetles, these remind me so much of the hot-rod cars that were around in my youth. Whenever I feel inspired to identify or comment on an American muscle car on the street or at one of the very-well-organized and -attended car shows here, and immediately pinpoint the year and model, CD always calls me “son of Detroit,” though I actually grew up in Dearborn—which, after all, is the home of the Ford Motor Company. But I have digressed. Where I’m going with all this prattle is that the natural finishes on these gorgeous beetles are, to my mind, ultimately evocative of the amazingly-artistic spray-paint treatments that were lovingly applied to those special cars. Now all they need is the attention of a competent pin-stripe artist…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve always used my lens hoods to control the sun but otherwise had not. Guess that will change.
      A friend of mine used to run a body shop and metallic paint jobs were a specialty. But they can’t touch this jewel of a beetle. I remember those hot rods also although I was not an aficionado. But I had several gas pumping jobs and would see quite a few. I am not sure about pinstripes but I just thought that maybe a Dogbane Beetle ICM would be cool. Hopefully they are still where I found them last week.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Todd Henson says:

    Absolutely gorgeous images, especially that first one. Such a photogenic beetle. But about that lens and filter… ouch! And B+W are great filters. It’s unfortunate it wasn’t quite enough to protect the lens, but that kind of drop I suppose you were fortunate it wasn’t worse. Knock on wood, I haven’t had this happen yet, but I have caught the tripod as it tried to tip over. And thankfully I almost always do have the lens hood on, except when I’m doing work with large or multiple filters such that the hood gets in the way. That’s when I’d be most vulnerable, so I appreciate you trying to impart this lesson on us. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I almost always have a circular polarizer on each lens and with the exception of my 16-35, the hoods are all too deep to adjust the ring without removing them. Being a lazy guy I tend to just leave them off rather than removing and replacing for each change in the composition. Hopefully I will change my behavior. I hope you don’t experience the same anytime.
      They are gorgeous creatures and I look forward to them every year.


  14. bluebrightly says:

    First, those beetles, wow! You really hit the sweet spot with all the shine and color. Perfection! But what a shame about the lens. Still, at least it was part of the camera that hit the dust and not part of the phtographer. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

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