08.01.2020 Well, I went and Katydid it

What I went and did was acquire a twin flash unit which is semi-permanently attached to my 40D and 100 macro.  At 1/250 sec I can actually hold still long enough to capture a sharp image.  Shooting in the yard is about the only time I use the 40D. That pairing will remain even after the 180 comes home. I’ll admit, when I went out driving this morning I definitely felt something was missing. But this combo seems to give me the opportunity to handhold and chase insects in the yard and possibly elsewhere should I go that route. I had used the old 550EZ but that was mounted atop the camera and often shadowed the subject if it was lower than the camera.

I found two insects of interest this morning.  One was the Fork-tailed Bush Katydid- Scudderia furcata.

I cropped square to get the entire katydid in the frame and have it large enough to appreciate the detail yet include the long antenna (the other one is tucked behind) and the outstretched rear leg. It is on Eastern Hay-scented Fern-Dennstaedtia punctilobula which we have in abundance in our small woods.

While in the middle of crawling around to get the better angle a sweet little Hoverfly- Toxomerus geminatus landed above and I managed to grab a couple of shots of him too.

I cropped to take advantage of the nice curl in the frond.  All in all a couple of nice minutes spent with a couple of our yard critters. They haven’t been as abundant as in the past but maybe more will come along as the summer wears on.

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

31 Responses to 08.01.2020 Well, I went and Katydid it

  1. These are both magnificent portraits of some handsome critters.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Todd Henson says:

    Both are beautiful shots. That katydid really does a good job blending into the ferns. And the fly is gorgeous. I’ve not yet invested in flash units of any kind. That’s something I’ve always had on the list to one day purchase and learn to use. I doubt if I’d use it often, which is maybe why I haven’t purchased one yet, but in the right situations, like what you’ve shown, they can be very useful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Todd.
      I only use flash around the yard. It does come in handy for chasing small insects around and with my shaky hands the 1/250 second flash exposure manages some sharpness I could not get otherwise. For the most part though I am an ambient light photographer.


  3. Two nice little critters. We have some Toxomerus species here, too, and they’re always fun to photograph. Happy new rig.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fly swatters should never be used against hover flies.Generally I’ll just wave common flies away from my food at work where we keep the doors open for fresh air.
      So far I am quite happy with the new setup. And just as happy to be finding critters in my yard again.


  4. Beautiful images Steve! Love the detail!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ann Mackay says:

    Fabulous detail – your new flash unit is obviously coming in very useful. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ms. Liz says:

    Awesome photos Steve!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Eliza Waters says:

    Sharp images, Steve. Love the curled frond with the hoverfly. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The twin flash unit certainly done the trick here, Steve! Nice, detailed photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mike Powell says:

    Great shots, Steve. I haven’t used flash much and still haven’t explored its capabilities.I initially thought you had gotten the Canon twin flash, which made for a somewhat odd pairing with a 40D, but I followed the link and saw you purchased the much more affordable Yongnuo rig.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Mike.
      I actually had a Canon Twin Flash many years ago with my old F1n setup but sold it when I wasn’t using it for a very long time. I might have purchased a new one until I looked at the B&H price. :O The 40D has always performed well for me so I never felt the need to upgrade. It provided me with one of my favorite frog shots, my first blog post actually…thanks to its 6.5/sec frame rate. Not terribly fast now but pretty good then and it caught the action.


      • Mike Powell says:

        I think you can tell that I don’t believe that I need to be on the cutting edge of technology to take pretty good shots, considering that I shoot mostly with a Canon 50D. In my experience, what’s most important is to understand well the capabilities and limitations of the gear that you have. I love that first frog shot fro 10 years ago.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree Mike. I will admit that I am thrilled so far with the files I am getting from the Mark IV. But I didn’t have complaints about those from the Mark II either.


  10. shoreacres says:

    I often see katydid nymphs, but spotting an adult isn’t so common. In fact, I remember only two encounters, which makes your image even more enjoyable. We sure do have hoverflies, though, and in abundance. It’s always fun to see a new species. Their variety is amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. krikitarts says:

    The double flash sees to work really well for you, especially regarding the typical shadows that a single one produces; well done. I bought an external flash (SB-700) to go with my Nikon D-7000 and used it only occasionally, but with some very good results. Some time after I upgraded to my D-7500, I realized that that flash was not compatible with the new body, and passed it on to Squiddy. I’ve only missed it a few times, and I’m generally very pleased with the capabilities of the onboard flash.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is no onboard flash with any of the camera bodies I have. My digicam, the Olympus TG-6 does have one as does the Canon Powershot SX60. ut for the most part I am an ambient light guy so the flash is only for the few times I chase bugs in the yard. I doubt that it will go on my shoots. If I use the flash in low light conditions I still get a shadow but as you note, it’s not as bad.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Great shots of both insects! I recently (within the last two weeks) started hearing the katydids at night.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. bluebrightly says:

    I hope your yard insect life isn’t suffering because of some climate-change-induced issues. The idea that there are fewer and fewer insects worldwide, is really scary. BTW, for me, one pleasure of your blog is being reminded of many eastern North American plants, animals, insects, etc. that I don’t see anymore. In this case, not only the Katydid, but Hay-scented fern – I remember that one! It’s not something you see mentioned every day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am sure that it is related to an extent to climate change as the entire world is experiencing an insect apocalypse it seems. My neighbor’s law ministrations aren’t helping.
      Hay-scented fern covers large swaths especially in the Quabbin but we also have some healthy patches here in the yard. I haven’t found it to have much odor, hay or otherwise, but I think ,y smeller isn’t all that sensitive. I am glad that my posts rekindle some memories of your time in the east, Lynn.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bluebrightly says:

        I seem to recall a meadow/hay fragrance associated with it but I could be conflating that with other experiences. It IS nice to relive my northeast outdoor experiences here, through such fine images. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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