August Bugs . . .

. . . also from 2014. In fact, from the same day as the previous gallery of flowers.

Following up on the previous post, here’s the rest of the photos shot on August 15, 2014. These are all macros of bugs. And by bugs I mean bees and flies.

People often ask me about my shooting habits. I then have to ask them if they mean with guns or with a camera. They invariably mean with the camera. Specifically, they ask about my macros; do I use a tripod, how do I get the clarity, and so on.  

Here are the quick answers. If I shoot indoors, I usually use a tripod. If I shoot outdoors, I hand-hold. Outdoors, I have a few rules I follow. 

  1. get close (the first rule of macro shooting)
  2. shoot at a speed at least twice (in hundreds of seconds), and sometimes three times, the zoom. That means that if I am using my 105mm macro, I’m looking at shutter speeds ranging from 200th to 300th of a second. I usually accomplish this by bumping up the ISO.
  3. if shooting bugs, move slow. 
  4. I usually shoot a middle aperture (f-stop between 5.6 and 11) depending on the light available. If I shoot in program mode I bump the ISO and let check that the camera picks at least f/5.6. As some know, I’m not a huge fan of shallow depth of field. Unfortunately, it’s unavoidable when shooting macros, but I try to minimize it. 

If interested, go to the SmugMug gallery and hit the “i” for every photo and it gives you the shooting data. With rare exceptions, it conforms to the above. 

Oh, again don’t worry . . . no opinions or commentary with this piece. 

So . . . bees. Regular readers have already seen this shot:

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

That shot is actually part of a sequence. I’ll only show a few of the shots, but the rest are in the SmugMug Gallery.

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

If you, gentle reader, click on any of the photos, they should open larger in a new window or tab. Once opened, if still small, you can zoom in by clicking on them.

If you do that, you might notice the pollen sacks (one in each hind leg) and notice they are purple. They are purple because these Russian Sage flowers have purple pollen. You can see both of them in this photo.

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

I used to have a difficult time photographing insects on the wing . . . I got better. 

Here is a sequence ending with the bee landing on a flower. 

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

Notice the pollen sack

Notice the pollen sack

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

I’m fairly happy with these shots. 

This next bee engaged in acrobatic maneuvers as it explored the flowers of one of my Bluebeard Shrubs. There are a lot of shots, but I think them worthwhile to show here as most people will not go to SmugMug.

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

I know; a lot of photos, but I like the way this guy (gal?) was grabbing at everything it could as it explored the flowers.

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

. . . for instance, reaching over to grab the stem even as she’s almost upside down

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

Here too, you can clearly see the pollen sack (smaller than the ones on the other bee — perhaps this gal is more particular). 

There are a lot of flies about. Sometimes they sit still long enough for me to capture their digital image.

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

When I can get close enough I delight on the detail of the wings. 

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

I should urge readers to click on at least one of those to see the details, but I know I’m likely wasting my breath; there be them that do without being asked, and them who don’t no matter how often I mention it. 

Here’s a different and more familiar (traditional) fly. 

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

Sometimes I catch other bugs . . . 

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

. . . but there are a lot of flies around . . .

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

So, nothing spectacular so far . . . 

. . . and then . . . 

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

These are a pair of Progressive Bee Flies. One fly sat on the rock and the other fly buzzed it with some insistence, getting almost on top of it and then backing off. 

On the first shot, you can see the blur of the one that’s flying. On the second photo, the flyer is more in focus. Here are a couple of the approaches (more in the SmugMug Gallery).

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

Understand, I was pretty close, but they basically ignored me. At one point, the fly that was hovering got between me and the fly on the rock. 

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

I keep the camera on auto/constant focus and the focus shifted to the hovering fly when it crossed in front of the lens.

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

I don’t think I could have shot this if I tried; just dumb luck.

And then they took off, flying in formation. These are flies, you understand, and it would be foolish to try and follow them in flight . . . 

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

2014 Hummingbirds, flowers, spiders,

As usual, one can click on the individual photos for a larger version, OR . . . you can go to the SmugMug Gallery HERE to see the photos up to full resolution. Really, at the very least, pick one photo you like most and click on it for the larger version in a new tab or window.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Engineer

Engineer

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

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Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Bee, flies, Flowers, Photography, Photography Stuff, Spiders and Insects, Stuff. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to August Bugs . . .

  1. oneowner says:

    Your technique is obviously working very well for you. I should try program mode more.I usually shoot AP mode with Auto ISO turned on and min shutter speed set to 1/125th. This is the safest hand hold speed and even then it’s not adequate all the time. Nice work.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      I don’t remember where I read it, but someone tied minimum shutter speed for sharp photos to the zoom of the lens.

      I found the multiple of zoom shutter speed to be more applicable to longer zooms (100mm and up). So, for a zoom of 200mm, I try to get the shutter speed over 1/400 sec.

      Like

      • oneowner says:

        I remember that “rule” too. That was for ASA (remember ASA?) 100. If your were shooting Tri-X at ASA 400, you could divide your shutter speed by 2. It’s been a long time since I shot without a preview screen and an even longer time since I shot without an in-camera meter. Technology is making me stupider.

        Like

      • disperser says:

        I remember as reading it as a general rule for zooms irrespective of other settings and/or film/digital. Then again, I remember other stuff that is no more, so I don’t know how applicable it is today.

        The rule was shutter speed = 1/focal length for 35mm film. With the Dx format multiplier it becomes shutter speed = 1.5x(1/focal length). That’s for hand-held.

        VR can drop that down a bit, but my experience is that any less it’s a crap shoot as far as getting sharp photos. I also know that when using 50mm lens or below I can drop down quite a bit, probably due to the fact small motions from heartbeat or breathing or old age shaking are not as perceptible at wide angles.

        Like

  2. Oh, wowza! Great action shots, Emilio! Great title! Beautiful busy bees and bugs!
    Love the wings! And the silver butt is very attractive!
    HUGS with no bugs!!! :-)

    Like

  3. badfish says:

    I fell in love with the first few/dozen shots of bees with wing movement. What shutter speed were those shot at? Then…who would think you could love a photo of a fly?

    Like

  4. Disperser … Thank you again for your great advice. I’m back home, but will soon be out again. I’ll be joining my hubby on a long walk across a bridge in Titusville. Then I’ll return and work on trying to edit my photos. I know my next step is to sign up for some sort of photo course.

    Your photos are just gorgeous. I love lavender and purple flowers, and the bee is just so darn cute. I did enlarge some of the photos to see the pollen sacks. I also checked out some of your photos on your SmugMug Gallery. They’re just stunning, but I’m so glad you posted them here on WordPress. ;-)

    Like

  5. AnnMarie says:

    That “dumb luck” photo is simply spectacular! And ‘badfish’ is right, I never thought I’d admire and appreciate a photo of a fly so much. But I do!

    BTW, is that a doodle selfie?

    Like

  6. I love the shots of the bees with the blue pollen sacs. I’m fascinated by all the different colours of pollen. I think the flower is a sort of Echium but I’m not sure. Amelia

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Thank you and I’m not sure which flower you are referencing. The first set of blue flowers are those of Russian Sage and the second set are from the Bluebeard Bush. I suppose they might have different names (most plants do), but I did not bother looking it up.

      If you are referring to the pink flower, that is also from a flowering bush, but that name also escapes me at the moment.

      I used to spend a lot of time looking up names of plants and bugs, but few people cared and it takes a fair amount of my time, so I don’t anymore.

      Like

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