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Longhorn bees and Bombyliidae on Cichorium

 
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Yawns



Joined: 20 Dec 2015
Posts: 316
Location: Benavente, Portugal

PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:37 pm    Post subject: Longhorn bees and Bombyliidae on Cichorium Reply with quote

The usal f/3,5, differential 2...
all shot after sunset ... natural, but quite poor light.
no C02 was used Very Happy .. just patience and many failed sequences...


Sharing a meal with a small Bombyliidae (Usia aenea .. I believe)

64 Photos - 2019-06-03 - C by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

just the Bombyliidae

108 Photos - 2019-06-03 - C by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

a different bee (bees are hard to identify .. I don't take the risk)

127 Photos - 2019-06-05 - C by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

not so blue ... for variety Smile

62 Photos - 2019-06-04 - C by antonio caseiro, on Flickr
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Lou Jost



Joined: 04 Sep 2015
Posts: 3599
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow those are really nice, love the colors and textures!
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
Posts: 1801
Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very beautiful and inspirational work, thank you for sharing, Antonio.

Approximately how many failed attempts of stacking did you try, before getting good stacks? And approximately what was your "sunset" temperature?

Your kind answer would give me a rough idea about when to give up field stacking.
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aveslux



Joined: 28 May 2019
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful work, can I ask what the setup is? Apologies if you have detailed it elsewhere on the forums.
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Troels



Joined: 15 Feb 2016
Posts: 453
Location: Denmark, Engesvang

PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent pictures!
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Yawns



Joined: 20 Dec 2015
Posts: 316
Location: Benavente, Portugal

PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ Lou
@ Troels
@ aveslux

Thank you

-----------

@ zzffnn

Presently I am not shooting at dawn because the sunrise is at 6AM and I can not get up and leave at 5 o'clock. Now it is hot and even at night the temperature is around 12-14 c (around 54ºF) and there is no dew because the humidity in the air here is very low at this point.

Now I look for insects after sunset by 8-9 PM, when they are ready to spend the night, especially in flowers. It is not a question of temperature (at this time , near sunset it's like 20-25º / 70-75 F) .. it is a matter of behavior.

Stacking outside is more a matter of organization, practice and observation .. I practice / observe a lot because I have to walk the dogs ...every day they require at least an hour in the fields without leash.

It was frustrating at first and I encountered many problems .. the center of the issue is the immobilization of the insect .. and the immobilization od the support where it is. Many insects, although quiet, are in long branches, or rather high and everything swings very easily ... although it is relatively easy to use a large tripod with oscillating column, immobilizing the plants is a problem.
It is best to use a compact and close to the ground set and cut the flower / plant. Then you just have to deal with the bug.

5 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

This requires a lot of calm and good attitude, because the insects that do not fly or leave become nervous and always move something like the antenna, a paw, the mandibles. For example bees / wasps begin to pulsate the abdomen and you will have to wait a longtime before they settle again...

The muber os sequences...

I always shoot a minimum of 5-6 sequences, even if there is no movement of the insect or the support during the taking of the photos.
I do not trust anymore what I see in the place, even if the sequences look good. Small movements are only perceptible after the photos have been grouped together and what looks good on the spot can be a disaster at home on the computer and some movement errors are difficult or impossible to correct in editing ...

Many times it is frustrating .. everything runs well in the first 40-50 frames and then the insect moves something when it was only 10-15 more frames to complete. This happens a lot .. my camera takes 8 frames / second. Usually the stacks have like 60-80 frames and 8-10 seconds to take the complete sequence look like an "eternity"

In the first few sequences I'm not very picky about the composition of the photo. I shoot one or two without manipulating too much. There is always the risk that the insect will go away or become so excited that it will never stop moving parts of the body ...
It's best to have a "so-so" picture like than to have none.
If it goes well then I start to take risks, to manipulate more the clip or the branch / flower and to try to compose a beautiful photo

As I said above it is more a matter of practice, experience and observation ...

For example... "the making of" of this wasp.

72 Photos - 2019-06-07 - C by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

I saw a wasp resting here, near the sunset, but I wasn't having the equipment.

IMG_20190607_210113 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

During a full week I went back everyday at sunset in the hope the wasp could return to rest in the same place (or another wasp)

And yesterday... Bingo .. there was one in the same place. Very Happy

6 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

Fist I got the top left sequence , quick and without to much prepartion, only to have one picture ..
then I started to get closer ..
Then I tried to get a better background and get a better angle of the wasp..
The wasp got excited and made me fail a few sequences...
Then I stopped to shoot and I was just sitting there for long minutes to let the wasp settle again and get used to my presence.
Until I got that nice picture, close enough and with that nice "V" composition with he wasp in the 3rds etc...

All the shooting process took more than half an hour..and I had to "work" a week to get the wasp.

Thank you for your interest.. a pleasure to share methods etc... we learn and get ideas from each others.

António
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aveslux



Joined: 28 May 2019
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right so the key is the in camera high speed focus bracketing and insects taken in the evening when they are more sluggish, and you get that lovely soft evening light, what are your settings for each stacked frame?
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Yawns



Joined: 20 Dec 2015
Posts: 316
Location: Benavente, Portugal

PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aveslux wrote:
Right so the key is the in camera high speed focus bracketing and insects taken in the evening when they are more sluggish, and you get that lovely soft evening light, what are your settings for each stacked frame?


I have the camera set up like this: Olympus lets you record four presets .. I customizde one for bracketing, including the function buttons.
it is useful to have one configured to switch on / off the bracketing .. through the menu it is somewhat slow .. and another to switch between auto focus / manual focus .. the other two are dispensable (but useful for "normal" macrophotography)

FLK_000137 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

1 . I disable the bracketing. I switch to autofocus.
2. I focus in the insect somewhere in the body and compose the picture.
3. I switch to manual focus, and turn the lens ringto the right (getting closer ) till i see the insect / subject all blurred.
or I pull the camera back using the sliding rail.
4, Switch the Bracketing ON
5. start the shooting (a cable trigger is good but not necessary)
6. when nothing is in focus again i press the shutter button again to stop the sequence.

Untitled by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

I always have the camera set this way.
Mode (A) - Priority to exposure
f 3,5
Iso 200
Focus differential 2.
number of photos set to 250 ( I always interrupt before that number ...)

I always start the sequences many frames before and after something is in focus .. later at home I can trim the excess of photos at both ends...

with the poor light of the dawn or after sunset that gives me exposures times from 1/20 - 1/60 .. depending on the subject and the light in the background... if the exposure time is very long i rais the ISO to 320 to get double speed / half exposure time..

another trick I use is to pass my hand in front of the lens when the sequence is almost finished .. makes life at home a lot easier.. with 10-15 sequences alltogether in the root of the card and very similar pictures sometimes at home it's hard to figure when a sequence end and the next one starts...

Screenshot 2019-06-08 at 23.26.21 by antonio caseiro, on Flickr

Nikon saves every sequence in a different directory.. Olympus don't (at least my model)
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MarkSturtevant



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Posts: 537
Location: Michigan, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All beautifully done, and I am absorbing your methods best I can. I hope one day to start this journey, once the gear is all arrived.
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