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Posts Tagged ‘macrophotography’

As winter doesn’t have much insect activity, it’s the season I use to work on my equipment.  Yesterday I tried out a new arrangement to diffuse the heads on my mt-24ex twin flash when the heads are mounted on long, moveable arms. Here’s a time-lapse video showing the construction, plus a short clip of the gear in use:

Note the effect of the diffusion:

A bare, undiffused flash produces harsh shadows and glare

A diffused flash provides softer, more even lighting

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Earlier I listed my pick of the best insect photos of the year taken by other photographers. Now it’s my turn. In 2009, I snapped 8000 exposures to produce 805 processed, saleable images of live insects. Below are my favorites.

A parasitic Pseudacteon fly targets a fire ant in Argentina

(more…)

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In 2009 the world’s macrophotographers- both amateur and professional- continued to capture breathtaking images of the arthropod microscape.  I’ve been bookmarking insect photos from around the web that catch my eye, and after spending some time this week reviewing the candidates I’ve selected nine favorites. Wow. These are the images from fellow photographers that most captured my imagination over the past year.

Together, by Jan Zajc

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Crematogaster lineolata queen with a retinue of workers. (Vermillion River Observatory, Illinois)

Crematogaster lineolata queen with a retinue of workers. (Vermillion River Observatory, Illinois)

This weekend we took a trip with some entomology students to the Vermillion River Observatory.  The astronomical function of the observatory has long been abandoned, but the site remains as a lovely nature reserve and one of the closest patches of decent forest habitat to where we live in Champaign-Urbana.

The acrobat ant Crematogaster lineolata was one of many ants we encountered, and in this nest the queen was right up near the surface.  She lingered long enough for me to get a few shots before she disappeared into the labyrinth of tunnels.

photo details: Canon mp-e 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D
ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec, flash diffused through tracing paper

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longicornis16

Paratrechina longicornis
Florida

Their abdomens swollen with sugar water, two black crazy ants (Paratrechina longicornis) share a moment.  This species has traveled around the globe with human commerce and is now common in warmers regions worldwide.

photo details: Canon mp-e 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D
ISO 100, f/13, 1/200 sec, indirect strobe in a white box

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I’ve created a set of desktop wallpapers to fit the newer 1680 x 1050 widescreen monitors. To put any of the following on your desktop, click on the image. Once the large version loads to your browser, right-click and select “Set as desktop background.”

polyrhachis1

gibbifer1

dinoponera1

harpegnathos1

pseudomyrmex1

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cotesiapic
Here’s a sharper version: (more…)

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