A Migratory Grasshopper One-hander

Grasshoppers can be a nuisance to photograph sometimes…

Melanoplus sanguinipes – migratory grasshopper

Melanoplus sanguinipes – the migratory grasshopper

Melanoplus sanguinipes (1 of 1)

Sidling ‘hopper


Even when you approach them as slowly and discretely as possible, you will find them sidling over to the other side of the stem–that’s if they haven’t already jumped and/or flown off. One solution to the sidling reflex is to carefully move a hand or an object behind the hopper (but out of the cameras field of view) to make it move into view again. That’s how I managed to photograph this migratory grasshopper down in Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park earlier this year.

This illustrates another point: learning to use your macro-rigged camera with one hand gives you a wealth of opportunities to do something else with the free hand. That is why camera choice is important–find the camera that is comfortable in your hand when it is fully rigged for macro. For many people, that means a full-frame camera with a flash on a bracket and a long 150mm macro lens will be out of the question–it will simply be too heavy. Others may decide that an added battery pack may give the grip they need to solidify single-hand holding of a smaller camera. Sometimes it is easy to dismiss the weight because you can hold it for a single shot, but then imagine you are shooting hundreds of shots over a few hours (which many macro photographers do!)…how will your hand and arm strength hold up then?

Do yourself a favour: learn to one-hand your macro camera rig and it will open new opportunities for improving your success with macro photography.

More on what you can do with your spare hand in a future post!

Thanks to Dan Johnson for the ID. For all your prairie hopper ID’s please join Dan’s Orthoptera Facebook page. You can also download Dan’s pdf agri-booklet on grasshoppers for free!

(Images date: 16 September, 2013, 7:06 PM. Canon T2i with Canon EF 100mm f2.8 macro lens and diffused flash.ISO 200, 1/200 sec. @ f14)

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