the roach and a tomato

posted on 2013.12.25, under bugs, Canon 5D Mark III, Photos
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roach and tomato (1)

the roach and a tomato

ISO 100, f/18, 1/125
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 100mm Macro, 2.8

A fly landed on my leg

posted on 2013.07.02, under bugs, insects, Macro, Photos, portraits
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fly in armenia 2013 5 (1) fly in armenia 2013 1 (1) fly in armenia 2013 2 (1)

I was holding the Canon 5D Mark III, with the Canon 65mm MP-E lens and the MT 24X flash attached.

This fly landed and at f16, ISO 200-320, 1/200, he was all mine.

 

Frozen ants

posted on 2012.12.30, under bugs, Canon 5D Mark III, Photos
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ants 63

 

It had been raining for 3 days straight.  The ants had invaded the house.

I took a small dish and filled it with about 1/8 inch of water and put it in the freezer.  I then let a several hundred ants climb onto a piece paper.  Once the water was frozen, the paper was held over the ice and the ants that fell to the ice seemed to freeze almost instantly.  I did not expect such immediate results.

63 photos were assembled to get the above photo.

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 100MM MACRO 2.8
Helicon Focus Software

pincher bugs or earwigs

posted on 2012.12.25, under insects, Macro, Photos, Uncategorized
25:

It was not a happy moment.  Three earwigs were extracted from the back yard and put into a glass jar.  I tried to take their photo, but they just wouldn’t remain still, not even for a second.  I finally got this idea, to stick them in the freezer for a few minutes.  After several attempts of 5 minutes, 7 minutes and 10 minutes in the freezer, I still wanted them to move slower.  I put the earwigs in the freezer and watched an episode of “Breaking Bad” (HBO TV series).  When I pulled the earwigs out of the freezer, they were dead.

You can see moisture on the pincher bugs back.  The bugs legs folded under their body, a trait I have seen from other insects when they die.

Both of these photos were assembled using the “focus stacking” technique.  I think it was 11 photos each.

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 100mm 2.8 macro lens

The Mosquito Eater that stood still

posted on 2012.12.04, under bugs, Canon 5D Mark III, insects, Macro, Uncategorized
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It was midnight.  I was finishing up some editing and just about to call it a night, when this guy flew onto my keyboard.
I quickly set up 2 Canon Speedlites and 2 continous lights.  The talent (the mosquito eater) was placed on a roll of toilet paper and the photo shoot began.

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 100mm Macro 2.8

ISO 100, f/8, 1/160

 

Hissing Cockroach

posted on 2012.11.24, under bugs, Canon 5D Mark III, Macro, Photos
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“Ten for $10″, read the sign at the East Bay Vivarium.  So I bought 10 roaches.  The guy tried to charge me $20.  I pointed at the sign, “Roaches ten for $10″ with a smile on my face.  He then went through the involved process of voiding out the previous sale.  I wish I would have kept my mouth shut.  The staff at the vivarium is odd, hostile with a sense of humor; elitist reptile lovers.

I finally finished “Killing the Fat Man Episode 11″ tonight and rewarded myself with a roach photo shoot!

This was shot in a photo tent, using 3 flashes.

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 100mm 2.8
f/32, 1/125, ISO 200

 

 

Hummingbird Moth – Arizona

posted on 2012.09.13, under bugs, Canon 5D Mark II, insects, Lens, Macro
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It can take years to capture a quality Humming Bird Moth photograph.   Yes, they can be seen, but it requires luck or the knowledge of their habits to get a quality photo.  It is best to find these remarkable insects in the early dawn.  Whenever I see them past 8AM they seem to be en route to “another location”.  I have never seen a faster flying insect and if they are not feeding in a particular location for several minutes, getting a photo is near impossible.  This particular morning in Prescott Arizona, at about 7AM, I grabbed about 100 epic photographs of this Humming Bird Moth!  He was solo and stayed on this bush for 10 minutes!  More photos to come!

Canon 5D Mark II (2)
Canon 100mm, 2.8 Macro lens

 

 

Pentax Optio WG-II + Final Cut Pro X – Review

posted on 2012.07.04, under bugs, Gear, insects, Macro, Reviews
04:

I shot these photos on the new Pentax Optio WG II with GPS.   The he camera dazzled me and we had a great three days.  After 3 days I imported the photos and video into my Mac Book Air, via Aperture 3.

The water proof, macro, high-speed video (+ dozens of other features,) Pentax camera did a good job.   With a little bit of help from Aperture 3 and Final Cut Pro X, the images became presentable.

It is not a DSLR.  The camera is compact and affordable.  It is, what it is.  The camera really does a GREAT job with macro shooting, including several built-in LED lights for the “1CM” mode.   The high-speed mode is spectacular, offering an equivalent of 120 frames a second.  Water proof, hell yeah!  It worked perfect in the thunder-storm I was caught in yesterday.

The camera is light compared to the DSLRs I am used to carrying.  I carry a camera all the time, and with this dedication I also expect the camera to perform to pro-levels.  The Pentax is not a “pro” camera although it is a viable tool for a professional.  It is a versatile tool with a special place in my heart because of its variety of macro modes- including high-speed shooting and built-in LED lights.  This makes getting photos while 1 centimeter away from your subject easy.  Shooting insects at a distance of 1 centimeter at 120 frames a second is good stuff!  Play back on the camera’s LED is beautiful.

The video is web friendly and the photos are acceptable for basic capture.  There is no raw mode and the images are far from Canon 5D material.

I used Final Cut Pro X for the first time.  I edited, from the field, on a 2012, 2GHZ, i7, 8GB, 1600 MHZ, 13 inch Mac Book Air. I have owned more than 20 Macs since 1984.  I have been chained to a 17 inch lap top for 4 or 5 years (traveled to 70+ countries).  This 13 inch Mac Book Air, FCP X and Aperture 3 combination is AMAZING.  I have directed/produced/edited more than a thousand projects including 3 feature films and dozens of TV shows, this set up it the bee’s knees.  Don’t hesitate to make the switch to the Mac Air and FCP X.   I watched tutorials on youtube and was able to pick it up in a day.

Back to the Pentax – If you love macro photography, this camera is a must.  The slow motion feature is a treat.   If you love cameras and want a small affordable camera that does it ALL, this is the camera for you.  The video was cleaned up in FCP X.  I was not happy about the footage at first, but with minor tweaks in FCP X, I think the piece turned out nice for 680×480.

The photos below were captured with a Samsung Galaxy note.   I was shooting this grasshopper and he decided to on board the camera.

  

 

 

 

 

African thorny bug

posted on 2012.06.26, under Canon 5D Mark III, insects, Macro, Photos
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I actually saw these bugs around for a couple of days before I realized they were alive.   At first I thought they were plant matter; thorns or bristles.  Even after I realized that they were insects, I assumed I was looking at castings of an insect that had molted.

It was confirmed this was a living insect when I saw this guys eating a leaf.

This was shot in foliage, 10 meters from the Indian Ocean in Mombasa, Kenya.

Canon MP-E 65MM macro lens
Canon 100mm Macro 2.8

 

 

Lizard on Lizard in Mombasa

posted on 2012.05.29, under Canon 5D Mark III, Lens, Macro
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When you can’t sleep, this is what you may see at sun rise in Mombasa.

It took me about 15 minutes to get close enough to this prehistoric guy, to land this shot and hundreds more.  The lens hood got as close as 2 inches from this guy.  I was stealth and patient, but the biggest reason I got this shot, was because this reptile did not want to leave his kill.

I shot photos and video for about 30 minutes.  Several hundred ants showed up on the seen within minutes and began biting the predatory lizard (and me).  The lizard was smart and simply dragged his kill 2 or 3 feet away from the attacking ants.

To get most of the shots, I had to lie flat on the ground.

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 100mm  f/2.8

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