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Stonefly exuvia on rocks in the Lochsa river

 
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17426
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 5:59 pm    Post subject: Stonefly exuvia on rocks in the Lochsa river Reply with quote

First, a wide-angle macro shot.



Here's a closer view, made from a crop of the first image.



This is a field-shot stack with considerable post-processing.

The original stack was shot with a Canon A710 IS compact camera, hand-held against one rock while crouching on two more, tweaking the focus button with an otherwise unoccupied thumb.

What's shown here is the result of four frames -- one for the slightly OOF background and three more for the subject.

I stacked all four frames in Helicon Focus, using the background image as the master for auto-alignment. HF did a good job putting together the subject but (as expected) completely scrambled the background by merging it with other frames that were even worse OOF. Then in Photoshop I added a copy of the original background image and manually painted a mask to merge it in, covering the scrambled portion. This was easier to do in Photoshop than in Helicon Focus because the mask allows nondestructive editing. I also selectively lightened the foreground, using a levels adjustment and a gradient mask, because otherwise it was way too dark compared to the sky.

The second image has had some additional levels adjustment, and I reduced the saturation because, well, I thought it looked better that way.

In the end, they're not great images, but I'm fairly satisfied given the circumstances. I hope some of you enjoy them also. Smile

One point of interest that you might otherwise overlook... See those long skinny tendrils sticking out front, the ones that look like antennae? Most of them are actually the linings of tracheae -- breathing tubes attached to the spiracles. The linings are shed along with the outer skin, as part of the normal molting process.

--Rik

Edit: to fix typo.


Last edited by rjlittlefield on Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ken Ramos



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 6909
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love coming across these things myself. Very Happy They look like some unworldly visitor from another planet or something, even though there is nothing in them. I really like that wide angle macro. Interesting to note however the fact about the linings of the tracheae, I have never noticed that and if I had, I would probably have dismissed the whole thing. I have a Stonefly nymph in a bottle of alcohol around here somewhere. I will have to pull out the bottle to see if I can see anything. Of course it has been there for a while I suppose and the alcohol may have deteriorated some of the features. Come to think of it, I have a lot of poor hapless creatures in alcohol baths, lying around the house. Good thing I live by myself...yes! Laughing
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P_T



Joined: 19 Jul 2008
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Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nicely done Rik! I thought it was a giant bug or something. Very Happy
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

P_T wrote:
...giant bug or something.

As best I recall, body length around 25 mm. A good sized flying critter, definitely not a giant. But through the miracle of selective focus... Laughing

--Rik
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ken Ramos wrote:
Love coming across these things myself.

Me too. I don't live near fast-running water, so I don't get much chance to see stonefly adults. But of course these skins last quite a long time on rocks and things. You can see a bunch more of them stuck on other rocks in the background.

--Rik
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lauriek
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Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice shots but boy that's an ugly bugger isn't it!! Smile
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P_T



Joined: 19 Jul 2008
Posts: 461
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rjlittlefield wrote:
But through the miracle of selective focus... Laughing

--Rik

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weta

You wouldn't need it with one of these. Very Happy
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albert



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
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Location: new york city

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:13 pm    Post subject: heheh Reply with quote

Looks huuuge! Like a two foot cricket... wow, im glad we don;t have those around here.. looks like it could chew on my leg
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albert



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
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Location: new york city

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You never mention the approximate actual size? wow... something not right about that
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

albert wrote:
You never mention the approximate actual size? wow... something not right about that

rjlittlefield wrote:
As best I recall, body length around 25 mm.

It's generally best to read the thread to see if questions have been answered. But yes, 'twas an oversight to not specify that initially.

--Rik
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Graham Stabler



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The second shot almost has a look of CGI, most dramatic!

Graham
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Cyclops



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Rik they may not be clasic macros but I really like them, especially the first one! I dont know how small these things are but I reckon they must be pretty small which means altho it appears to be breaking your own rules youre actually really close to it.
Nice shots!
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cyclops wrote:
I dont know how small these things are but I reckon they must be pretty small which means altho it appears to be breaking your own rules youre actually really close to it.

These images don't even stretch the rules, let alone come close to breaking them. Very Happy

The key is that part about "field width of the in-focus subject".

The in-focus subject here is the stonefly exuvium, which (as noted in answer to a question) has a body length of about 25 mm. Scaling that up (I'll spare everybody the calculations Wink ) indicates a field size of only about 61 mm x 78 mm, almost 2X smaller than the 6" = 152 mm that I've listed as the guideline.

In other words, yep, I'm "actually really close to it".

Aside from their small size and weight, compact digis have the interesting feature that they naturally come with short-focus lenses that produce this sort of "wide-angle macro" view, showing both an enlarged main subject and a broad slice of the environment around it. In theory, one could also produce this picture using a DSLR, but in practice, it would be pretty difficult to find and fit the required lens. With the compact, it just comes as part of the package.

--Rik
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the compliments, everybody. Very Happy

I really like these wideangle shots that show the environment as well as the main subject. I got turned on to them when member MacroLuv was new to the forum. All he had was a compact camera, and he was great at using it to best advantage. Later on, MacroLuv got a DSLR system with a 100 mm macro lens and started posting mostly traditional (though gorgeous) narrow-angle shots. That left me with an unsatisfied craving. But now that I have a good compact to complement my DSLR, I'm occasionally able to at least take the edge off the craving with my own shots.

--Rik
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Cyclops



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rjlittlefield wrote:
a field size of only about 61 mm x 78 mm, almost 2X smaller than the 6" = 152 mm that I've listed as the guideline.



Aside from their small size and weight, compact digis have the interesting feature that they naturally come with short-focus lenses that produce this sort of "wide-angle macro" view, showing both an enlarged main subject and a broad slice of the environment around it. In theory, one could also produce this picture using a DSLR, but in practice, it would be pretty difficult to find and fit the required lens. With the compact, it just comes as part of the package.

--Rik

Now when you say field size you mean the size of the subject in the field of view right. So in this case a 25mm subject that fills most of the horizontal frame,or field. So yea its pretty close up.
And i'm with you as regards compact digis, my panasonic is like that. Macro only works with the lens at its widest(36mm equivalent on 35mm film) so you get a wide angle but close view and it looks like you get tons of DOF compared to conventional macro. Of course thats an illusion as was explained by your good self some time ago. That shot of the cactus pad of mine-if i tried that with the panasonic I'd have my hand holding the phone light in shot too!
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