“…mysterious and little known organisms live within walking distance of where you sit. Splendor awaits in minute proportions.”
E.O. Wilson (Biophilia)
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- Note on photography: unless otherwise mentioned, all subjects are photographed live and 'in-situ'--in the field. White-background images are taken without added cooling, freezing or other manipulation.
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© Adrian Thysse and Splendour Awaits, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adrian Thysse and 'Splendour Awaits', with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
DISCLAIMERI am a photographer, not an entomologist. I do my best to have professionals assist in identifying the subjects of my photographs. However, positive identifications can not always be done unless the specimen is dead and viewed under a microscope. If you do find an error, or have doubts about the identification provided, please let me know in the comments or by email.
Category Archives: Portrait
Longhorns Beetles (Coleoptera, Family Cerambycidae) can be a bit of a challenge to photograph well, because the antennae are so long that they are hard to include in the photo without all or part of the length being out of focus. As macro photographers we must choose carefully what part of the subject will be in focus, because the depth of field is always shallow. As a rule, the eye is the most important feature to keep in focus. Some photographers choose to close in on the beetle and leave the ‘horns’ severely clipped at the image borders, however, by carefully aligning both the beetle and the closer antenna on the same plane, it is possible to get an acceptable appearance of focus throughout. The other alternative is a direct dorsal photograph of a chilled or pinned specimen, with antenna flat, but this does not give the lively look that is most pleasing.
However, there is another approach. Treat your longhorn like a portrait photographer would, and ask it to – ”…tilt your head just a little bit this way”, and …”now a little bit to the right” and”… lift your chin a bit…that’s it! Hold it!”
Live beetle donated by a kindly visitor to my booth at the Rooted in Nature Art Show at Devonian Botanic Gardens!
My wife says she has never seen me work so fast…
(Best viewed in HD full screen. If video loads slowly please turn down the quality setting)
Some galleries require a plain, narrow black metal frame, with the photograph surrounded by at least a 3″ wide white mat. All the materials are acid-free, conservation grade:
♦ 16″ x 20″ Single Mat Conservation Paper – White Wash, opening: 9″ x 13″
♦ 16″ x 20 Matshop Mouldings – Regular Black Metal
♦ 16″ x 20″ Backing Foamcore AF Black 3/16
♦ 16″ x 20″ Glazing Plexi – 1 mm
All supplies from the MatShop, Canada
My daughter is soon to be launched on a musical tour of Spain, travelling with the Singing Strings Orchestra. I was clearing out the memory cards from her camera in preparation for the trip, when I came across a series of photos she had taken while I was photographing mason bees along the banks of the Saskatchewan river…
There are only a few images of me ‘at work’, so I thought I would share this one. I am using my standard configuration, consisting of the Nikon D80 with Tamron 90mm macro lens mounted on Kenko Pro 1.4x tele-extender, with the wireless Nikon R1 unit and 2 diffused flashes. This is the same exposed part of the riverbank that I discovered earlier that year (See ‘Dummkopf!). It was an unsuccessful attempt at photographing the bees as they came in to land - very fast, and hard to predict. It was this location that made me reconsider the usefulness of high-speed photo triggers.
That bamboo pole? That’s for
poking at hornet’s nests steadying myself while shooting – very light and infinitely adjustable. It also has many other uses – holding back vegetation, fending off dogs and nosy children…and toasting marshmallows.
(Photo by Arwen Thysse, 22 July, 2010. Canon A620)
(Adapted from a previously published on Voyages Around My Camera)
An older photograph from 2004, shot on film with Olympus OM4 and Tamron 90mm Macro lens. A portait of the Poplar Borer, Saperda calcarata. This insect is native to North America and this particular specimen was photographed in my backyard in Edmonton, Alberta. They have a relatively long life cycle, living up to 4 years.
“The adults feed on the foliage and the tender bark of twigs. The females lay their eggs in slits they have cut in the bark. After hatching, the larvae begin feeding in the cambium and then penetrate into the heartwood by creating deep galleries. In the spring of the last year of larval development, the larvae change into pupae and then into adults.
Swollen bark areas, sap run and piles of frass around the entrance to galleries near the base of the trunk and the roots are signs of the poplar borer’s presence. Bark swelling caused by larval activity is more visible in young poplars. The insect prefers trees with a diameter just over 10 cm, in low density stands.”*
*Reference: Natural Resources Canada.
- Maine Forest Service to Hold Bark-Peeling Sessions to Look for Invasive Species (thevalleyvoice.org)