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Posts Tagged ‘eyes’

Liz from New Zealand loves to explore a lot more than just color in her blog Exploring Colour. She has a wonderful ongoing series on different aspects of beauty by guest writers and has started a new series on eyes. I am honored to be the first featured photographer and together we selected some of my photos that showed the eyes if such diverse subjects as a birds, a turtle, a fish, a dragonfly, and a fox. Be sure to check out her blog for beauty and inspiration in many forms and to see the five images of eyes (this turtle eye is a sneak preview).

Exploring Colour

Everywhere, eyes are watching! Wildlife and animal photography often provide a wonderful view into animals’ eyes and gives us a small insight into their world and their behaviour.

Eye detail, colour, shape and pattern are interesting in themselves. Focused eyes of predator, wary eyes of prey, even just a curious glance – all can make a strong impression.

Mike Powell (Virginia, USA) kindly assisted me in finding five photos from his collection that relate to ‘eyes’.

Let me know if you enjoy this post as I’m considering doing a ‘Five Eyes’ series, featuring a different photographer each time 🙂


Mike Powell blogs at:      Mike Powell  |  My journey through photography

As well as enjoying Mike’s photos, I enjoy the information and discussion that he writes for each post. Under each photo below is a link to his original post where you can read the story that goes…

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This is the last image in my mini-series on insect eyes from this past Friday—a close-up of a beautiful little damselfly at Huntley Meadows Park, the local marshland where I take many of my nature photographs. 

Photographing damselflies is particularly challenging for me, because they are so long and skinny (not to mention the fact that they are really small in size). About the only way to get their bodies completely in focus is to be absolutely perpendicular to them. When I took this image, I couldn’t get into the optimal position, thanks to a sharp, thorny bush, so the lower half of the body was out of focus. That is one of the reasons why I chose to crop this image as I did, though the main reason was to focus viewers’ attention on the eyes.

This image shows the wide separation of the damselfly’s eyes, which is one of the ways to tell them apart from dragonflies, the other members of the Odonata family. Dragonflies have eyes that are very close together or even touching each other.

If you missed the earlier postings on insect eyes, check out the images of a fly’s eyes and a dragonfly’s eyes. In all three cases, click on the images, if you want to get a higher resolution view of the insects’ beautiful eyes.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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As I was looking in my neighbors’ garden for flowers to photograph, I came across this cool-looking little spider, which I have not yet been able to identify.

The spider was really small, maybe a half-inch (a little over 1 cm) in size and didn’t sit still too much, so it was quite a challenge to photograph him. I really like his eyes and his hairy legs, which look almost like they are transparent.

One of the things that I especially like about spring is that insects reappear and give me photo opportunities like this one.

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Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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A few minutes ago I was vacuuming when I suddenly noticed that there was an insect on the screen of my sliding glass patio door.  Of course, I immediately stopped working and grabbed my camera (with macro lens) and tripod.

I decided to try some face-to-face shots, which was a little tricky for the insect (which I think is a katydid) was less that two feet above ground level. I am glad that nobody could see me as I contorted my body with considerably less grace than the Olympic gymnasts I watched earlier this week.

When I looked at my closeup shots of the eyes, I realized they were a little creepy. No, they were more than a little creepy. So, of course, I am sharing them with you. Hopefully this image does not cause anyone to lose sleep or have nightmares and I certainly would not advise blowing this up and hanging it on your wall. (And yes, I know my macro technique still needs work, but I am still just learning.)

Now I can return to my chores, unless some other photo opportunity literally falls at my door step.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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One can only imagine what is going through the frog’s mind as he looks into the crazed eyes of the green heron who has just speared him. Is he looking for mercy? Is he resigned to his fate?

I watched the prelude to this moment unfold this afternoon at Huntley Meadows Park, a marshland park here in Virginia. The green heron was intently scanning the water from the edge of a boardwalk that runs through the march. Periodically he would extend his neck down toward the water.

Several times we heard an excited “eeep” sound followed by a splash, indicating another frog had escaped. After a few more minutes, however, the heron dived into the water and reappeared on the boardwalk with the speared frog you see in the first photo.

When you look at the comparative size of the heron’s mouth and the frog, it hardly seems possible that the green heron could swallow the entire frog. The heron took his time shifting the position of the frog and then all at once he turned his head, bent his neck back a little, and down went the frog. It happened so quickly that I was able to snap only a single photo that shows the frog’s webbed feet as the only remaining parts that have not yet been swallowed.

In this final photo the heron no longer has a slim neck. I have no idea how long it will take for the frog to reach the heron’s stomach but I am pretty sure he was not yet there when I took this photo.

And don’t try to talk with the heron during this period. Why not? Read the caption of the last photo!

I can’t talk now. I have a frog in my throat.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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What’s a harvestman?

a. A man who harvests. like a farmer or a migrant worker;

b. A pocket electronic device made by International Harvester (like a Walkman or Discman);

c. An insect related to a spider; or

d. Spiderman’s adversary in the new Spiderman movie

Until earlier this week I might have responded with selection  “a” if  I had been posed this question—it is the most obvious answer. I would have been wrong. The correct answer is “c.”

As I was finishing up a photo shoot in a local garden one of my friends excitedly pointed to a bush and exclaimed, “There’s your first harvestman.” I did not have a clue what she was talking about. All I could really see in the bush was a bunch of long legs connected to a body. (My friend Cindy D. has some photos of the entire body of a harvestman in one of her blog postings in case you are not familiar with this insect.)

I shot some photos anyways and when I looked at them on my computer I was shocked. There appeared to be two eyes on a stalk in the middle of the insect’s back, with the eyes looking sidewards in completely opposite directions. Could they really be eyes?

Here is one of my photos of the harvestman. It is not a technically perfect photo but it gives you a pretty clear view of the unusual eyes of this strange insect.  If you want to learn more, check out this page, which is full of fascination factoids and photos.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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