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Centipede question

 
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davholla



Joined: 26 Apr 2016
Posts: 149

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:39 am    Post subject: Centipede question Reply with quote

Whenever I dig in the garden I find centipedes and sadly I am not fast enough to photograph them in situ (I am not sure if many people are, they are fast and also I like my camera a small distance from my spade).
So I put them in something and take a photo, however whatever I use doesn't look quite right.
Any ideas? What do other people do? I think the clear see through one looks best. I was thinking of using something with soil

Centipede by davholla2002, on Flickr

IMG_4226Centipde60mm by davholla2002, on Flickr


CentipedeEF7A9546 by davholla2002, on Flickr
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Troels



Joined: 15 Feb 2016
Posts: 243
Location: Denmark, Engesvang

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have a complete solution to this problem. Only some ideas based on the animal's behaviour and preferences.

It is neseccary to limit their range, keeping them in some sort of mini terrarium with one wall of quality glass to shoot through. The challenge is to make them calm down and settle instead of running desperately in search for an escape.

Smal running animals hate smooth surfaces. They will search for something to grab with their claws or feet. That tells us, that we have to place some natural material in our container, a piece of a branch, some leaves or a piece of bark. And place it where we want the picture taken.

Secondly they often hate light. In bright light they will try to hide on the underside of leaves, branches or what we offer. That means that dim light and shooting with flash might be the best option leaving us with the problem of proper focusing.

Look time ago I took pictures of freshwater insects in an aquarium. The secret was to place something they liked to sit on very close to the glass where it was possible get them sharp.

If you know where your animal prefer to hide or rest, you can adjust your focus (or focus stack limits) in light, turn off the light and wait.

Instead of a terrarium it should be possible to arrange the mini habitat in a dish of water, isolating the animal on a small island (if it has no wings and don't like to swim).

An other idea mentioned before is to cool the habitat down to a level where the animal almost stops moving or perhaps just cool the nearest surroundings in hope of preventing it from walking on a very cold surface. Cooling could be done with freezing elements/blocks (used for picnic boxes) or peltier elements for the technical inclined.

Just some ideas based on many years observing of small animals.

Troels
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Troels Holm, biologist (retired), environmentalist, amateur photographer.
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davholla



Joined: 26 Apr 2016
Posts: 149

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice about something to sit on. Part of my question - perhaps not clear - was asthetic, I would like something that adds rather than subtracts from the photograph.
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Deanimator



Joined: 23 Oct 2012
Posts: 270
Location: Rocky River, Ohio, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that the "island" idea is probably a good one, as I believe that lacking a cuticle, centipedes drown easily and avoid deep water.
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MarkSturtevant



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Posts: 245

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently posted a picture about the first centipede, which is an eyeless burrowing centipede. Its shown here:
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=33091

With that one I put it into a small clear plastic cup, and inverted it into a white plate so that it was trapped it in a curled position in the cup but on the plate surface. I composed my camera above it, then I removed the cup and quickly took the picture before the critter extended out beyond the field of view. At most I could get off one picture. The centipede was retrieved, and I repeated the process until I felt I had enough to pick out the best ones.
I expect you could do the same for the other centipedes, though some are faster. One thing I had done with speedy arthropods is let them sit under a cup for a period to calm down before I uncovered them for pictures. For exceptionally fast species I did my photography in my bathtub so they could not get away. Plug the drain hole, btw (I did not do that once. That was exciting).

One could do all this in a staged shoot upon a natural substrate. I suppose one could also try the cup method in a fully natural setting, but there is a greater chance that the subject will get away.
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davholla



Joined: 26 Apr 2016
Posts: 149

PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MarkSturtevant wrote:
I recently posted a picture about the first centipede, which is an eyeless burrowing centipede. Its shown here:
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=33091

With that one I put it into a small clear plastic cup, and inverted it into a white plate so that it was trapped it in a curled position in the cup but on the plate surface. I composed my camera above it, then I removed the cup and quickly took the picture before the critter extended out beyond the field of view. At most I could get off one picture. The centipede was retrieved, and I repeated the process until I felt I had enough to pick out the best ones.
I expect you could do the same for the other centipedes, though some are faster. One thing I had done with speedy arthropods is let them sit under a cup for a period to calm down before I uncovered them for pictures. For exceptionally fast species I did my photography in my bathtub so they could not get away. Plug the drain hole, btw (I did not do that once. That was exciting).

One could do all this in a staged shoot upon a natural substrate. I suppose one could also try the cup method in a fully natural setting, but there is a greater chance that the subject will get away.

Thanks for that. I wasn't really looking for a natural substrate rather anything (natural or not) which adds to the photo rather than substracts, which I think is the case now. I think a small piece of wood might look.
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