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Ant Portrait Stack - New picture added
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acerola



Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 251
Location: Hungary

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Then it's a nice compliment. Thanks.
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lauriek
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Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 2404
Location: South East UK

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a really nice shot! Well the first is really nice, the second is spectacular! I suspect some don't go for the plain white background but I like it and sometimes shoot for this effect also!

I tried an ant in my early stacking experiments and found it a tricky subject.. You don't mention what you are using for lighting - but it's nice and diffuse, care to elaborate? Wink
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acerola



Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 251
Location: Hungary

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lauriek: I don't have fix optical pad, I working on the kitchen table.
My setup is similar I posted on earlier. Here
All I changed is the floppy drive. Smile I use a small linear positioning stage. And I put a piece of kitchen towel above the subject when I photograph.
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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
Posts: 5787
Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a film user, I was only vaguely aware of stacking before I joined this forum. The answer to my question may be common knowledge among practitioners, being standard technique.

How was the ant immobilised during the 58 exposures?

Harold
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18237
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Acerola's ant is a posthumous portrait, if I read correctly. See these postings earlier in the thread. Acerola writes "in the fridge", but I assume he means the freezer section. Freezing is a standard method of killing insects that leaves them pliable and easily mounted.

One standard non-lethal trick is to anaesthetize with CO2 (carbon dioxide), see for example Charlie Krebs' horsefly and my hobo spider. CO2 works well with some beasts, not so well with others.

Some beasts are agreeable enough to just sit still while a deep stack is shot. Examples include this moth and this orb-weaving spider (2nd image).

Some people prefer to shoot on a non-interference basis. That often gives shallow stacks that require hand work to assemble, but the results can be stunning -- see LordV's globular springtail.

--Rik
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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
Posts: 5787
Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rik,

Thanks. I suspected as much. Although the various springtails were clearly alive.

I used CO2 or refrigeration in the 1980s when I was photographing the bee commensal fly Braula caeca on the back of a worker honeybee*. OK, I used a succession of bees and flies but eventually got a good series of shots, including down to a head and front thorax, or thereabouts, of just the parasite in situ. They were all recovered, but subdued, at the time each shot was taken.

Using manual flash and Kodachrome, it took me a couple of afternoons. (I had to fetch the bees from the hive too).

Another reason for asking is that about that time there was a move, in the UK anyway, to discourage the use of such methods to immobilise, but keep alive, arthropods, although I thought there was too much fuss. (However, with queen bees CO2 can induce egg laying. And its effects are accumulative, at least on any honeybee). I have really only returned to macro over the last four years or so, if you don't count flowers.

Thanks for taking me by the hand and guiding me to the various postings, and their links. I have tried working through, towards the older ones but there is so much, and so many interesting diversions.

* Apis mellifera About 50/50 referred to as honeybee and honey bee in the literature.

Harold
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Last edited by Harold Gough on Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:12 am; edited 2 times in total
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18237
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harold,

Harold Gough wrote:
I used CO2 or refrigeration in the 1980s when I was photographing the bee commensal fly Braula caeca on the back of a worker honeybee. OK, I used a succession of bees and flies but eventually got a good series of shots, including down to a head and front thorax, or therabouts, of just the parasite in situ. They were all recovered, but subdued, at the time each shot was taken.

Interesting! Wingless parasitic fly. I assume this is the beast also known as Braula coeca. Google suggested the alternative spelling, and gives about five times as many hits under that name.

Quote:
Another reason for asking is that about that time there was a move, in the UK anyway, to discourage the use of such methods to immobilise, but keep alive, arthropods, although I thought there was too much fuss. (However, with queen bees CO2 can induce egg laying. And its effects are accumulative, at least on any honeybee).

My personal thoughts are laid out in this post in this topic. Any sort of interference is a touchy subject.

Quote:
Thanks for taking me by the hand and guiding me to the various postings, and their links. I have tried working through, towards the older ones but there is so much, and so many interesting diversions.

You're very welcome. There is a lot of great info & images in the forum archives. It's all searchable, but there's no organized way to browse it and (speaking as editor) I don't know how to create such a way. If you have seen a good example of that, be sure to let me know. In the meantime, if you have a rough idea what you're interested in, then post a query, and somebody who remembers at least some relevant search terms can chime in with that info.

--Rik
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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
Posts: 5787
Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rjlittlefield wrote:
Harold,

Harold Gough wrote:
I used CO2 or refrigeration in the 1980s when I was photographing the bee commensal fly Braula caeca on the back of a worker honeybee. OK, I used a succession of bees and flies but eventually got a good series of shots, including down to a head and front thorax, or therabouts, of just the parasite in situ. They were all recovered, but subdued, at the time each shot was taken.

Interesting! Wingless parasitic fly. I assume this is the beast also known as Braula coeca. Google suggested the alternative spelling, and gives about five times as many hits under that name.

Quote:
Another reason for asking is that about that time there was a move, in the UK anyway, to discourage the use of such methods to immobilise, but keep alive, arthropods, although I thought there was too much fuss. (However, with queen bees CO2 can induce egg laying. And its effects are accumulative, at least on any honeybee).

My personal thoughts are laid out in this post in this topic. Any sort of interference is a touchy subject.

--Rik


Thanks Rik.

Yes, coeca is an alternative. I'm not sure which currently has taxonomic precidence. It means blind, as in caecum, our appendix.

As a taxonomist (semi-retired), I have mixed feelings about the fate of individual insects. If specimens of organisms had not been collected, preserved and studied over the last 2-3 centuries, we would be unable to define species, Darwin would almost certainly have not written Origin of Species and we would have no idea of the ecology and conservation needs of those we (the general public) value. (I could not have described the one new species which is one of my particular contributions to science.)

This is not to say that the long series of preserved specimens collected by the Victorians, showing the minutest variations in a species, were justified but even they give insights into genetics. I started, before even my teens, by collecting butterflies and moths. Now I would only photograph them. However, I would have no problem with preserving a specimen of another, more numerous group of insects, after photographing it alive, if identification were useful. Perhaps my individual position, as a taxonomist, ecologist and photographer makes such decisions easier for me.

Some (literal) food for thought: This morning I feed some mealworms Tenibrio molitor to Robins in my garden. They had been bred and sold by the pet shop for such a purpose. In frosty weather I supply the robins with brandling worms Eisenia foetida from my compost heap, where I have cultured them from an original lab source (for pesticide safet testing). Life is sacrificed for 'good' purposes. The limits of 'good' or 'justified' are debatable and may shift in time and place.

Sublethal methods of restraining, say, insects, for photographic purposes, which do not cause recognisable distress, if unavoidable and used sparingly, probably help to make a contribution to our appreciation of the beauty and diversity of lesser-know species and to our commitment to preserve ecosystems.

Harold.
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acerola



Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 251
Location: Hungary

PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh it's quite interesting discussion you made here. Rik I just want to say I received the parcel. It is fit perfectly well. Thanks.
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Danny
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Joined: 02 Feb 2007
Posts: 725
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh man, that cover looks FANTASTIC !!!!!!!!. It is one of the finest ant shots I have ever seen...............wait...............it is the best ant shot I have ever seen Wink Its just superb.

All the best and thanks for the cover. Its awesome Laughing

Danny.
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