Been a few months since I've made a stacked macro shot - so here's a portrait of a leaf footed bug that stumbled across my desk a few weeks ago. I spent far more time cleaning it than I care to admit, but it is still a bit dirty:
Pentax K-3, reverse mounted SMC K 24mm f3.5, approximately 4x lifesized. 59 combined exposures.
I wanted to make a stacked macro today, so I pulled a specimen out of the freezer without looking, figuring I'd work with whatever I got.
Ouch! I winced when I saw how small this one was! Why do I even bother to collect things this size...
So - here it is... When I collected it I thought it was a drone ant with wings intact, but looking at it I think it is actually a wasp, possibly family Sphecidae - thread waisted wasps.It was very small and this portrait was taken at about 8x lifesized. Update: I have since learned that this is indeed a winged ant.
Pentax K01, K24mm f3.5 reverse mounted on a lot of extension. Here is a reference image of the insect, taken at about 1:1 lifesized:
Over the past summer, European honey bees have been infrequent visitors to my little wildflower garden. I've been lamenting their decline and hoping for a return. But now that the wild autumn aster is in bloom, honey bees have suddenly appeared in droves. On a warm after the asters are swarming with literally hundreds of these bees, along with a good number of bumble bees and other native bees. Maybe an urban beekeeper has set up shop nearby? Who knows - but it is great to see them back!
Since the autumn aster will be blooming well into October, I hope to have a few more photos of bees gathering nectar for the winter months.
Green Bottle Fly, a common fly of the genus Lucilia:
I usually learn something new with each of these super-macro sessions. The lesson in this case was that specimens do not last forever in the freezer! I have collected a green bottle fly some months ago and finally got around to preparing it for photographing a few days ago. When I got it in the camera's sights I found a dent in one of the eyes plus the cells in the compound eyes looked very irregular. Looking very closely I realized that some fo the cells int he eye had collapsed - they no longer bulged slightly outward, but rather some cells now sank back into the eye. Some cells had gone from convex to concave, and so reflected light differently and created an irregular aspect to the celll pattern of the eye. Snatching a fresh bottle fly off a leaf and photographing it a few hours after collection revealed a very regular pattern to the eyes.
So - at lease some insects must be fresh to get good results when photographed, or perhaps I need to find an alternative method of storing them.
This photo was made from 154 stacked images at approximately 5x lifesized.