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Posts Tagged ‘bug’

I probably should have come up with a more creative title for this posting than the name of the featured insect. I mean, really, how many readers will be enticed to read a posting about a Dusky Stink Bug (Euschistus tristigmus)?  I word “stink” is enough to turn off some people.

Stink bugs are pretty much all shaped the same, but they come in different colors and patterns, many of which are similar, so identification is not always easy. In this case, for example, I had to determine if the shoulders were rounded or pointed to distinguish between two brown stink bugs—they look pointed to me.

The stink bug was hanging upside down, feeding on a plant that I can’t identify, when I encountered him. He seemed to be feeding, although I never did get a look at his face in order to verify my assumption. The upside down perspective is a little odd and I thought about rotating the image, but ultimately decided to leave it with its original orientation.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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When I first saw this insect, my initial thought was to wonder about its identification—I still don’t have an answer to that quandary. My second thought was that it would be cool to try to take a photo looking into the flower from just over the edge of one row of  petals, which were standing almost straight up. I’m still a relative neophyte with my macro lens, and depth of field and critical focus are sometimes real problems.

I am pretty happy with the results I achieved in capturing images consistent with my mental picture.  The first photo is the closest to what I had in mind, but I also like the position of the insect in the second photo.

 

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I was getting ready to wrap up my brief photo shoot at a local garden this afternoon when I happened to spot this interesting looking insect. Fortunately I had my macro lens on my camera and I had my tripod as well. I maneuvered as well as I could to frame the first shot and this is how I composed the image in the camera. I did a few tweaks in Photoshop Elements but did not crop at all. I cropped the second image slightly as I tried to move in a little closer. The eyes are in better focus, but I lost the sharper focus on the body.

I hope to figure out eventually what kind of insect he is, but for the moment I like the way the photos turned out.

UPDATE: Thanks to Jeremy Sell’s identification skills, I am pretty confident this is a Western Leaf-Footed Bug (Leptoglossus clypealis). Check out his blog at thelifeofyourtime.wordpress.com.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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This evening after work I returned to the site of yesterday’s adventures with the creature that I think is a bagworm caterpillar. Despite some heavy rain last night his sticks-and-silk abode was intact. I stood and waited, wondering if he would reappear.

After just a few minutes of waiting I watched as the bag started to shake and the caterpillar began to emerge from the bag. Unlike last night when he seemed a little coy, tonight he seemed to have shed all inhibitions (or was really hungry).

He rather quickly extended himself more than halfway out of the bag and began to chew on the lavender blossoms. That answered one of my questions from my last posting about whether lavender was a suitable host plant for a bag worm.

I managed to shoot him from a number of different angles to show some details of the caterpillar and the opening in the bag. I think that a couple of my shots captured the texture of the bag. My shooting time was really limited because after his brief snack the caterpillar returned to the comfortable confines of his sleeping bag.

I am sure that I will move on to other subjects eventually, but for the moment I remain utterly fascinated with my creature on the lavender plant. We are developing a relationship but I have not given him a pet name, at least not yet.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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What do you want to emphasize in a photograph that you display to others? It is a creative choice that each of us faces every time we take a photo or manipulate an image.

I enjoy shooting subjects with friends and comparing our results. Earlier in the week I was with Cindy Dyer, my photography mentor, and spotted an interesting looking little beetle on a plant in her garden. I did not have my macro lens on my camera and suggested that she photograph the little striped beetle, a type she had never previously encountered. She later identified the beetle as a Striped Cucumber beetle (Acalymma vittata).

Cindy took a wonderful photo of the beetle staring over the edge of a leaf and entitled her posting “The Abyss.” Her photo is graphic and colorful and full of a sense of mystery and contemplation. I took some photos this evening of what is possibly the same beetle. I tried to convey the same impression that Cindy did in my second photo below, but that was not really what I wanted to stress. This first photo shows my “take” on the subject.

I decided that I wanted to contrast the beauty of the beetle with its destructiveness and chose to include the damaged leaf in the initial photo that is most prominently featured on the blog. The rest of the photos are variations of the themes of beauty and destruction, sometimes depicting only one of the two themes or juxtaposing them both in a single frame.

Our choices influence how our viewers are likely to react to our photos.  It is liberating to have that kind of creative freedom. It is who we are and what we do.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Let me begin with a disclaimer—no actual stabbing of bugs took place in the making of this posting. Believe it or not, this bug really is called the Twice-stabbed Stink Bug (Cosmopepla lintneriana). Why? The namer of bugs (whoever that is) decided the two red spots on the bug’s back look like stab wounds.

Yesterday I spotted this little bug while photographing with my friend and photo mentor Cindy Dyer. Cindy has a wonderful posting with a sharper photo of this specific bug and some fun information about him, including the fact that he is also known as the Wee Harlequin Bug. For additional information on the bug, check out his page at Bugguide.

I like the overall effect of this photo, acknowledging that it is far from perfect technically. I’m looking forward to improving my skills as I practice and learn new techniques.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Focus on the eyes! That’s one of the first tips that I was given to improve my shots and I tried to follow that advice when photographing this red milkweed beetle. (One of my earlier blogs chronicled my obsession with these little creatures.)

I like the way the antennae turned out in this photo. They remind me of a Texas longhorn steer’s horns which, according to Wikipedia, can extend to 7 feet (2.1 meters) tip to tip.

Can you imagine a red milkweed beetle with an equivalent antenna span?

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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