Game Warden

Show us your worldwide arachnids and insects.

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Upload your macro and close up images here: please include scientific name if known, where and when taken and tech specs. Thanks, Matt.

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Posted (edited)

These snaps taken on the Oso Peninsula, Costa Rica last August as I was trying to get to grips with the dual frustrations of macro and flash photography for the first time. Taken using Canon 5D mkIII, canon EF 100 f/2.8 and a Canon Speedlight EXII flash with a cobbled together diffuser (disposable plastic drinks cup stuffed with tissue paper!)

 

Blue Eyed Grasshopper (how did they come up with that name?!)

 

7983389453_ea029c013d_b.jpg
2R4C5750 by Whyone, on Flickr
7983381220_0363d7488c_b.jpg
2R4C5761 by Whyone, on Flickr

 

Gray Bird Grasshopper Nymph

 

7993054731_86ef2e2b25_b.jpg
2R4C5381 by Whyone, on Flickr

7999094181_09c27e88cf_b.jpg
2R4C5031 by Whyone, on Flickr
Tailless Whip Scorpions

8412942927_c469b2fa90_b.jpg
2R4C5518 by Whyone, on Flickr

8412942635_aca9daa228_b.jpg
2R4C5167 by Whyone, on Flickr
Wandering Spiders

8414040110_d3a909f38c_b.jpg
2R4C4877 by Whyone, on Flickr

8414040658_7766501871_b.jpg
2R4C4889 by Whyone, on Flickr
Edited by Whyone?
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PS Matt...is there an appropriate place to post photos of 'amphibians and reptiles from around the world'?

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Two minutes and there will be :)Here it is...

Thank you kindly Matt. :)

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Really good work there Whyone, but the last two are enough to keep me out of the country. My worst nightmare!! Agghhhh....

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Posted (edited)

Ooo macro, one of my favourite pastimes. I'll start with some spiders.


24174.jpg
Huntsman spider, Devils Marbles reserve, NT
Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/180s, f16
I think huntsmans are our largest spider, can be 5"+ across.

22705.jpg
Spider on quartzite floor of gorge, Redbank Gorge, West MacDonnell Ranges, NT
Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/180s, f16

32922.jpg
Spider in hole, Yaouk Valley, NSW
Canon EOS-1D Mark II N, 100macro, on-camera flash, 1/90s, f16

30373.jpg
Wolf spider at night, Ningaloo, WA
Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, on- and off-camera flash, 1/180s, f16
TIP: To find spiders at night hold a torch next to your head (as close to your eye as possible), their eyes will retro-reflect and you'll easily spot them.
ANOHER TIP: Don't do this if you're an arachnophobe, they are everywhere and it will freak you out :)

28269.jpg
Camel spider detail, near Gin Gin, QLD
Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, on- and off-camera flash, 1/180s, f16

27759.jpg
Jumping spider eats an ant, Dimbulah, QLD
Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/60s, f16

26990.jpg
Golden orb spider eats prey, Glasshouse Mountains, QLD
Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/45s, f16
The name comes from the colour of their web. Big boys girls, often 2-3" across.

26396.jpg
Grey huntsman spider protects young, Elanora, Gold Coast, QLD
Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/180s, f16
See even spiders have a maternal instinct.

26382.jpg
Red house spider attends to trapped wasp, Elanora, Gold Coast, QLD
Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/180s, f16
I guess wasps don't always get the better of spiders.

26152.jpg
St Andrews Cross spider eats a bee, Elanora, Gold Coast, QLD
Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/60s, f16
I think the unfortunate victim being slobbered over is a native bee.

28323.jpg
Unidentified jumping spider, near Gin Gin, QLD
Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/60s, f16
How cute is that?

@PCNW
You may want to give Oz a miss as well :)

Edited by graynomad
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Posted (edited)

@Whyone

Most insects aren't exactly benign, but that whip scorpion is one evil-looking fella.

Edited by graynomad

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Awesome set Rob! Have you got any macros of a funnel web, or even just the funnel?

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'Fraid not. I've seen plenty of funnels but never a resident spider and never thought to take a photo without the owner being present.

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Okay, the GW is sending you on a photo assignment...

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sending you on assignment

 

Will this post destroy itself in 30 seconds?

 

I love macro work and have done a lot. One of the main attractions I think is that you can do it in your back yard, no $400pppd trips required :)

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Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the garden, I found some more spider photos

32113.jpg
Spider under leaf, near Gin Gin, QLD

Canon EOS-1D Mark II N, 100macro, on- and off-camera flash, 1/30s, f11

32101.jpg
Two-spined spider, near Gin Gin, QLD

Canon EOS-1D Mark II N, 100macro, on- and off-camera flash, 1/60s, f13

This image uses "stacking" to get more depth of field.

26271.jpg
Brown huntsman spider, Elanora, Gold Coast, QLD

Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/180s, f16

27938.jpg
Spider on leaf, near Bundaberg, QLD

Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/45s, f16

27935.jpg
Lynx spider on leaf, near Bundaberg, QLD

Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, on- and off-camera flash, 1/45s, f16

26492.jpg
Garden spider on web, Elanora, Gold Coast, QLD

Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/180s, f16

26463.jpg
Camel backed spider in the rain, Elanora, Gold Coast, QLD

Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/90s, f16

Note raindrops in the "sky".

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Posted (edited)

Eeeewww! Are all of those spots 'eyes' on that Huntsman spider, Rob?

Edited by Sangeeta

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Great photos Graynomad.

 

I also had a crack at Macro. Its not so easy, but managed to feel my way around a bit. I learned to prefocus, and move camera forward and back until focal distance is correct. Its a lot of hit and miss with the flash.

 

I am interested to see your metadata Graynomad - 1/45 of a second seems rather slow - especially as you are trying your hardest to keep the camera still in trying positions.

 

gallery_4095_50_8772.jpg

 

Here is the common spider you get in your room all the time.

Canon 1Ds mark III 100mm macro iso 500 f22 1/250s

If you have any tips to share let me know.

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@Sangeeta

Most spiders have eight eyes, however often some of them are simple "oculars" that really just detect light levels. Some spiders have very good eyesight, for example jumping spiders hunt and spring onto their prey so they have two large dominant eyes with good stereo vision for distance perception. Others are almost blind but live on a web so don't have to see that well.

 

@dikdik

Great pic of what looks much like our huntsman. I also like the up close and personal approach.

 

Some tips...well

 

Despite the fact that with macro you want the most depth of field possible, with digital cameras is doesn't pay to use too small an aperture. On my cameras f16 is optimal (maybe not any more, see below), any smaller and you get diffraction problems that ruin sharpness. On your 1Ds you may be OK with f22, it's a factor of physical pixel size and while you have full frame you also have 21Mpx so the pixels are small. It might be worth testing f11, 16 and 22 on a static subject.

 

Checking...

 

OK my old 10Ds have pixels 7.4um in size and I definitely noticed a difference when I shot at f22, the photos were "in focus" but not sharp. I opened up to f16 and everything got sharp.

 

My current wildlife cameras are 1D Mk2 Ns, they have a pixel size of 8.2um which is a lot larger than my old cameras so maybe I could go down to f22, I've been so much in the habit of using f16 that I never thought about changing. I will be following my own advice and doing some tests soon.

 

Your 1Ds has a pixel size of 6.4um, even smaller than my old 10D so I would suspect that for optimal sharpness you should be shooting at f16 or - perish the thought - f11.

 

Many smaller cameras have such small sensors and large number of pixels that they get diffraction problems even at f8 or 5.6, this is one of the things they don't tell you in the brochure, instead they prattle on about the huge number of pixels.

 

I learned to prefocus, and move camera forward and back until focal distance is correct.

 

That's the correct technique, auto focus is pretty useless for macro. I find that I may take 30 photos of a subject and only get 1 or 2 correctly in focus, in these days of digital that doesn't matter and you can use the out-takes to do focus stacking. IE combine several photos to increase the DoF.

 

1/45 of a second seems rather slow

 

As implied above I set the camera on f16 permanently and take whatever shutter speed I can get. I always use flash so the primary exposure is really something like 1/10000th and I then try to balance that with the available light. These days I use a macro flash on camera and a second flash hand-held (or sometimes on a tripod) somewhere behind the subject, however most of the above were taken with a single flash with wireless controller, the flash being hand-held wherever I thought was best at the time. For the most part the backgound is well out of focus so while there may be camera shake it's almost never noticeable, when it is it sometimes creates a strange dark shadow around the subject, an effect that often as not I find pleasing.

 

Here's a f'example

 

21875.jpg

Red Mallee flowers, Alice Springs, NT

Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/30s, f16

I haven't done much macro for a couple of years but I'm starting to get keen again after dredging up some photos and talking about the techniques.

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Two more photos - spiny leaf insect. From Australia - not too bad looking for an Australian!

gallery_4095_50_24964.jpg

gallery_4095_50_118658.jpg

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I used to use a sigma 50mm lens, and it gave hectic photos, as the minimum focal distance of almost nothing - got real close up like this, then with the 100mm lens I got later, the minimum focal length is 300mm, and then you loose magnification, as you cant get so close.

 

I have considered getting the 65mm f2.8 1-5X macro - it looks the deal. What would be your dream macro lens?

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Can we start a new topic for macro techniques and discussion and keep this topic to images only please. Rob, I think you have something lined up to get it started?

 

Matt

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Thank you :)

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Drooling over those pics, graynomad!!!

 

Heavens.

Some GREAT macro shots SO up close!! My little point and shoot macro option doesn't allow me to do anything quite that beautiful.

Great stuff. Great stuff. Bravo bravo!!

 

I think I'll have a little party now.

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@Whyone

Most insects aren't exactly benign, but that whip scorpion is one evil-looking fella.

 

He does look a little bit sinister, but, to humans at least, they are completely harmless. They are nocturnal hunters, sensing slight air movements with their hugely long antennae and grabbing whatever was responsible with their nasty-looking serrated front legs.

 

Your photo's are incredible - something to aspire too. I really struggle with dof, but your tips have given me some things to play with - thank you!

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Thanks guys, it does help to have the right gear as most cameras (well lenses really) aren't up to the job.

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Posted (edited)

No other posters so I'll put a few more up.

 

20744.jpg
Beetle on red dirt, near Yulara, NT

Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, 1/90s, f9.5

32836.jpg
Mantispa laying eggs, Yaouk Valley, NSW

Canon EOS-1D Mark II N, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/60s, f16

25538.jpg
Praying mantis looks like twig, Bargara, QLD

Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/180s, f16

28101.jpg
Stick insect portrait, near Gin Gin, QLD

Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/30s, f16

28282.jpg
Dragonfly perched on stick, near Gin Gin, QLD

Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/60s, f16

28577.jpg
Assassin bug closeup, near Gin Gin, QLD

Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/90s, f16

28629.jpg
Weevil on plant stem, near Gin Gin, QLD

Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/125s, f16

It's nice to go wider occasionally to get the insect's environment.

28751.jpg
Cup moth caterpillar chewing on a leaf, near Gin Gin. QLD

Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/200s, f16

32105.jpg
Beetle, near Gin Gin, QLD

Canon EOS-1D Mark II N, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/60s, f16

32817.jpg
Moth on white, Yaouk Valley, NSW

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, 70-200mm@70, 1/500s, f16

I found this guy in the bath tub.

26942.jpg
Common crow caterpillar prepares to cocoon, Elanora, Gold Coast, QLD

Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/30s, f16

This is the same insect as the following butterfly.

26687.jpg
Newly emerged butterfly, Elanora, Gold Coast, QLD

Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/15s, f16

26377.jpg
Lacewing, Elanora, Gold Coast, QLD

Canon EOS 10D, 100macro, off-camera flash, 1/180s, f16

Edited by graynomad
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