Termites?

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Ken Ramos
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Termites?

Post by Ken Ramos »

When it is cold out you have to really hunt for things. Turning over old logs and stuff out in the woods can bring to you a lot of things, such as: multiple yellow jacket stings, fat black hairy mean looking spiders :shock: , maybe even a bright yellow plasmodium or maybe two if it happens to get warm enough. :D However and luckily, all I found were these termites, I guess they are termites... :-k

Image
Termites :?:
EOS 20D
Manual mode/hand held
1/200 sec. @ f/10 ISO 100
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
Canon 430EX Speedlite ETTL +0

Image
(Image data, same as above)

Maybe I should have diffused the flash. Their translucent little bodies sure seemed to have scattered a lot of photons around. :-k

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Yep, termites.

They're shiny, and you can tell that because they have well defined specular reflections from a small light source.

In exchange for blowing out those tiny reflections, that small light source has cast shadows that are fairly sharp, and clearly show how these critters stand up off their substrate.

That seems to me like a fine tradeoff. I think these pics work great. :D

--Rik

tpe
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Post by tpe »

Good hunting there,

As rik says they are shiny, and the highlights are a lot smaller than they could be, so that is good, also the shadow helps, it would be really interesting to hear sugestions about good ways to shoot small shiny things though, i have never been able to get it right in the field, even with diffusers on flashes and ring flashes, as pointed out it is either nice shadows and bright highlights or no shadows at all, and sometimes still nasty highlights. I would like to try a twin flash with a different angle polorization on each flash but that will have to wait for better equipment.

Anyway ken thanks for posting these, they are on the increase in europe too i hear, in mid france they have been having problems and apparently they are the fastest migrating pest in france over the past couple of years. I am not sure if it is the same species though, or how they got there, but it is good to know what to expect :).

tim

Planapo
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Post by Planapo »

Nice find there, Ken! :D Termites in the wild are a rare sight for me, have to go to Southern Europe to see native termites, to Italy or Spain e. g., as there are no native species in the wild up here.

Maybe interesting for you to hear: A termite species native to the US, Reticulitermes flavipes, has been introduced presumably with timber imports to the city of Hamburg in the 1930ies. And they are still chewing their ways through the beams of houses there, of which in the past several had do be knocked down due to the damage caused by these American intruders.
Despite all efforts to get rid of them, it´s reported that they are still chewing their ways through the beams, now recorded from an area of about 30 ha of the city. It´s assumed that one reason for their survival during the winters is the system of warm pipes of the city´s district heating where they can retreat to.

Cheers,
Betty

Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

All of this is interesting to know, thank you all. :D Here in NC we now have a species that somehow got introduced, though I do not recall now how that happened but they are more destructive than those already here. My home was just treated for these pests and they not only chew up wood but dry wall, sheet rock, and plaster as well, just to name a few known sustances of their desire. :shock:

cactuspic
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Post by cactuspic »

Interesting subjects Ken. It is my understanding that termites desiccate when exposed to air. Did these guys survive?

Irwin

Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

They seemed to be alright there Irwin. I revisited the site where I found them a few times over and they were still moving around, quite active really, though most of them had made their way back inside the wood they were on and in.

Thanks Irwin :D

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

tpe wrote:it would be really interesting to hear sugestions about good ways to shoot small shiny things though, i have never been able to get it right in the field, even with diffusers on flashes and ring flashes, as pointed out it is either nice shadows and bright highlights or no shadows at all, and sometimes still nasty highlights. I would like to try a twin flash with a different angle polorization on each flash but that will have to wait for better equipment.
Tim, you might want to play with partially crossed polarizers on the illumination and the camera. See this topic and most especially the short post with other links, which I just placed at the end of it.

--Rik

beetleman
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Post by beetleman »

A very nice find for the winter time. All my logs are frozen to the ground :D . I don`t think the shine is too bad. They are a pretty soft and wet insect.
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda

Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

The shine bothers me somewhat but not much you can do about that or a least with my skills anyway. :lol: However what concerned me the most was, what looks like compression artifacts, though they are quite small. :-k Well anyway it was fun to come across them, quite unexpected considering there is not much in the way of insects to photograph this time of year. Think I will go out and turn over a few more things, see what I may find. :roll:

Thanks Doug :D

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Ken Ramos wrote:what looks like compression artifacts, though they are quite small. :-k
You're talking about the checkerboarding around some of the small highlights, like at center of image #1?

I completely missed those until you pointed them out.

I notice that these images are compressed to about half the allowed size, only 100K bytes instead of 200K.

Could well be that taking advantage of the full limit would help a lot in this case.

--Rik

Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

Rik commented:
I notice that these images are compressed to about half the allowed size, only 100K bytes instead of 200K.

Could well be that taking advantage of the full limit would help a lot in this case.
You're probably right there Rik. I have a habit of keeping my file sizes down to at least below 150kb. Probably a habitual vestige from the old forum days when our max size was 150kb :D

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