Frost Survivor

Frost Survivor

Anthomyiidae (I think)

Size: 6 mm

 

Found this fly slowly treading over this frosty stalk just as the sun was coming over the tree line. Minutes later all the frost was gone. I'm guessing the fly had spent the night in a slighly more sheltered place and emerged at the first sight of sunlight.

 

19 natural light exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 2.4X, 1/5s, f/5.6, ISO200

Phantom Midge Larva

Phantom Midge Larva

Phantom Midge Larva

Chaoboridae

Size: 6-7 mm

 

My son and I caught this larva (along with various other aquatic bugs) in a nearby puddle in the woods the other day. We brought them with us home for closer study! I've posted some more shots from the occasion on the blog »

 

The mosquito larvae ended up as much appreciated dinner for the fishes in our aquarium – but first I had to snap a few shots of them.

 

Canon 5DmkII + Canon MP-E65 + Canon 270EX.

 

Single handheld shot at 3.7X, 1/100s, f/11, ISO200

Cardinal Beetle Larva

Cardinal Beetle Larva

Pyrochroa coccinea larva

 

Size: 25 mm

 

Natural light stacks of this cardinal beetle larva found underneath the bark of an old willow (Salix caprea).

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65

Sign of spring?

Sign of spring?

Melting frost crystals on a dry grass leaf from last year.

 

As the sun rises above the tree line the frost crystals melt in a matter of minutes. The dry grass in the background takes on a distinctly golden tone. 

 

Stacked from 37 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII + reversed Pentacon 50/1.8 on Olympus telescopic extension tube.

 

This image was shot as a part of a project where this 50mm lens is sent around the world to 50 different photographers.

Frost

Frost

Grass leaf covered in frost. Nights and early mornings are still cold here in Stockholm, Sweden (April 2014)! 

 

37 natural light exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker

 

Canon 5DmkII + Canon MP-E65

Great minds think alike...

Great minds think alike...

...instinctive behavior seldom differ?

 

In any case, this was a well chosen place to spend the night: it was one of very few places spared from severe frost.

A tick Ixodes ricinus and a small spider (juvenile Tetragnatha sp.perhaps?)

Body length: 3,5 mm

 

Early morning stack shot during just a few days ago. There was not much life around visible except from these two.

 

43 natural light exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker.

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 5X (slightly cropped), 1/5s, f/5.0, ISO200

Hazel ♂|♀

Hazel ♂|♀

 

Corylus avellana

 

Hazel flowers are monoecious – the pollen is transferred by wind from the long hanging male catkins to the tiny (a few mm) pinkish females. They flower very early in the spring – these were shot now (April 2nd) and they are both well past their prime.

 

Stacked from 20 and 42 frames respectively.

 

Canon 5DmkII + Canon MP-E65

Vestigial Legs

Vestigial Legs

 

Issoria lathonia, Nymphalidae

Body length: 17 mm

 

A closer (2.2X) view of the butterfly featured in the last couple of posts!

 

In this image you can clearly see the vestigial front leg in its typical folded up state (with its knee just below the eye)! These guys are practically four-legged.

 

50 exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65@ 2.2X, 1/20s, f/5.6, ISO200

Dewy Wings

Dewy Wings

 

Issoria lathonia, Nymphalidae

Body length: 17 mm

 

This shows a portion of the wings (where the fore and hind wings overlaps) of the Queen of Spain Fritillary from the past two posts.

 

19 exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 3.3x (and cropped), 1/13s, f/5.6

Queen of Spain Fritillary II

Queen of Spain Fritillary II

 

Issoria lathonia, Nymphalidae

Body length: 17 mm

 

Normally I wouldn't post two such similar images but in this case I thought it was interesting to note how the light changed in just 10 minutes. Here, the sun has come up more and it's now shining on the meadow in the background. In this time, while I was busy with another subject, the butterfly had moved to a slightly higher position but still remained on the same plant.

 

25 exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 1X, 1/80s, f/5.6

Queen of Spain Fritillary

Queen of Spain Fritillary

 

Issoria lathonia, Nymphalidae

Body length: 17 mm

 

Early morning stack of this butterfly resting on dry filipendula. This migrating species fluctuates significantly in numbers from year to year here in Sweden. Generally it's rather scarce but some years they show up in larger numbers. This was shot in 2013 (August) which I think would qualify as a mediocre year for this species in Sweden.

 

Stacked from 26 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII + Canon MP-E65 @ 1X, 1/100s, f/5, ISO200

Net-winged beetles

Net-winged beetles

 

Lygistopterus cf. sanguineus, Lycidae

Size: 9 mm

 

A group of net-winged beetles on flowering yarrow.

 

This was stacked from a handful of exposures shot a windy morning back in July 2012.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 1.56X, f/7.1, 1/4s, ISO200

Flat bug family

Flat bug family

Aneurus avenius Aradidae, male + larvae

ID-cred: CC Coulianos

Size: 5 mm (adult specimen)

 

You typically find these peculiar, almost two-dimensional, bugs under bark. I'm somewhat puzzled by they "bullseye" pattern on the back of the larvae – any theories?

 

Single exposure, Canon 5DmkII + Canon MP-E65 + Canon 270EX flash with yoghurt-bottle diffuser.

Gymnosoma from behind

Gymnosoma from behind

 

Gymnosoma sp., Tachinidae

Size: 6 mm

 

This was shot in 2012 but I've disregarded it because of wing movements causing major artifacts in the stacking process. I revisited it now and applied the local stacking technique (described this an earlier post») which solved the problems I was having. So, think twice before throwing problematic stacking sequences away – who knows what we'll be able to fix in the future :)

 

73 natural light expoures stacked in Zerene Stacker. It moved both wings independently so I had to run two separate local stacks.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Nikon PB-6 bellows, reversed Apo-Componon 40/2,8.

Earthworm in the studio!

Earthworm in the studio!

 

Unknown earthworm species Lumbricidae

80 mm in length

 

Tomorrow (March 6th) marks the release of our children's book Minimonster i naturen (website ») here in Sweden!

 

This earthworm is one of the featured bugs in the book. Like most images in the book it was shot specifically for this, and here I wanted to capture the bristles called setae on the worm's body! They provide grip against the substrate and thus help the worm to move both forward and backward!

 

This is a studio stack of a prepared specimen. It's stacked from 45 exposures and in Zerene stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII + Nikon PB-6 bellows + reversed Schneider-Kreuznach Apo-Componon 60/4

Small Soldier Fly

Small Soldier Fly

Stratiomyidae. Possibly Microchrysa sp.

Size: 5 mm

 

A single exposure of a little soldier fly taking a sip of dew from this dry grass spike.

 

The fly was quite active but I did get a couple of short stacks as well. In this case I preferred this "single" image. It's f/8 but manually patched with a few pixels from an otherwise identical f/5.6 exposure (for less diffraction in the focused parts).

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 4.3X, 1s, f/5.5 & f/8, ISO100

Sleeping heads down

Sleeping heads down

 

Anthidium punctatum ♂

Size: 6 mm

 

These little bees predictably show up every year at my favorite shooting location. They sleep like this, clamped down on some delicate piece of vegetation using their mouthparts (mandibles) alone. When approached carefully they make easy subjects!

 

Stacked from 31 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 2.7X, 0.6s, f/5.6, ISO200

Our Children's book is out!

Our Children's book is out!

 

Coccinella septempunctata interacting with a kindhearted (juvenile) specimen of the otherwise ferocious species Homo sapiens

 

This image is featured in a, soon to be released, book of ours. It's a children's book called "Minimonster i naturen" (= "Mini-monsters in nature" – see, Swedish is easier than it sounds!) and the topic is – surprise, surprise – bugs! Hanna (my wife) is the author and Bruno (our son) is the main character. I'm happy to contribute with the images!

 

This is a two shot composite of a seven-spot ladybird about to take off from my son's index finger.

 

Shot with Canon 5DmkII + Nikkor 20/3.5 on a short extension tube. Natural light balanced out with diffused flash in the foreground.

Four-spotted Orb Weaver II

Four-spotted Orb Weaver II

 

Araneus quadratus♀, Araneidae

Size (body): 16 mm

 

This is an early morning stack of an adult female orb weaver on an old orpine flower (Hylotelephium).

 

This was shot on a cold morning in mid-september 2013 and the subject patiently posed for several stackning sequences from different angles.

 

Stacked from 82 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 1.8X, 0.5s, f/6.3, ISO100

Four-spotted Orb Weaver

Four-spotted Orb Weaver

 

Araneus quadratus♀, Araneidae

Size (body): 16 mm

 

This is an early morning stack of an adult female orb weaver on an old orpine flower (Hylotelephium).

 

This was shot on a cold morning in mid-september 2013 and the subject patiently posed for several stackning sequences from different angles.

 

I used a small aluminum reflector to bounce some light onto the subject (from below right) and a circular polarizer to control reflections.

 

Stacked from 58 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 2.2X, 0.4s, f/6.3, ISO200

Studio stack: Long-jawed orb weaver (ventral)

Studio stack: Long-jawed orb weaver (ventral)

 

Pachygnatha clercki ♂, Tetragnathidae (ID-cred: S. Kyrk)

Size: 6 mm (inlcuding chelicerae)

 

This little spider was found in the winter while searching for hibernating bugs (two years ago). I shot it in the field as documented in this video clip from the occasion: youtu.be/EpbCngGAIkA. I brought the specimen with me for ID. It was preserved in the freezer for a few months.

 

113 exposures stacked in Zerene stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Nikon PB-6 bellows, morfanon tube-lens, Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 10X 0.28

Lamella

Lamella

 

Unidentified Bark louse, Psocoptera

Size: 1.5 mm

 

This little bark louse is exploring the lamella under the cap of a small mushroom.

 

Single exposure with diffused flash (DIY Beautydish diffuser). Canon 5DmkII, Canon 270EX, Canon MP-E65 @ 3.7X, 1/30s, f/8, ISO320

Feathery Thorn

Feathery Thorn

 

Colotois pennaria ♂ ID-cred: H. Elmquist

Size: 20 mm (wingspan: 40 mm)

 

This is a partially flash-lit morning stack of a moth attracted to a light during the night. It was quite windy and for protection against the wind I used a small light tent (which I actually had to secure with heavy bricks!).

 

This work decently but I often find the light inside the tent to be too even and dull. With a clear sky and in direct sunlight it's usually decent (at least since I've replaced the back wall with translucent plastic) but on a cloudy day such as this one the light inside the tent is just boring.

 

Nevertheless I shot several "natural" light stacks from different angles inside the tent, trying to make the most of this (most cooperative) subject.

 

I realized I had my flash in the camera bag and eventually shot this 38 image sequence with the flash positioned outside to the tent hitting the left wall.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon 270EX, Canon MP-E65 @ 3.7X, 1/5s, f/6.3, ISO200

Lypusa

Lypusa

 

Lypusa maurella, ID-cred: H. Elmquist

Size: 7 mm

 

It's almost difficult to imagine a more nondescript insect than this little moth. But its bland and featureless exterior takes nothing away from the elegant posture at the very tip of this grass leaf.

 

40 natural light exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 3.0X, 1/4s, f/4.5, ISO100