Odd Bug Under A Leaf

I was going through old backup drives cleaning out images to make more room and came across this odd bug image from years ago. Do not know what it is, but it is definitely different looking. Images taken with a Sigma 150mm macro with a Canon 1.4X teleconverter on a Canon 7D. I was also using some fill light in the shadows with a flash dialed down and more diffusion added to the flash head to just give a little more light on the subject as it was under the leaf.

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White Leafhopper

Strange Bug

We found this strange bug on a Daisy. Never saw one like it before, but there were multiple ones on other Daisies. We tried to research what it was but found nothing on it. It seems to have very broad front legs and is less than 1/2″ long.

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Candy-striped Leafhoppers

I have never seen the Candy-striped Leafhoppers before, but apparently they are quite common. They are also called scarlet and green, red-banded, red and blue leafhoppers. They are in the same order as cicadas and aphids. They seem to be quite active and move around quite a bit. Candy-striped Leafhoppers at rest cock their hind legs so as to be able to hop away from danger. They are likely to turn up on any plant in your yard, garden or in the wild. They are about 1/4″ to maybe a half inch or so in length, so they are a small subject to photograph.

Most of the following images are stacked for focus from 2 to 7 images, combined, aligned and image stacked in Photoshop. With 150mm macro lenses it is hard to get different areas in the frame in focus. Even stopping down to f/32 would not get everything in focus plus you have to deal with image diffraction lowering sharpness plus getting a more distracting background. Also it lowers your shutter speed so your subjects tend to have a little image blur from movement. Photoshop automatically aligns and blends them together. You might have to touch up and an edge or a slight cloning here or there, but does a pretty good job overall. Most of my image stacks are shot at f/8 and are handheld. These were shot with a 150mm f/2.8 macro with a 2x teleconverter yielding a 300mm f/5.6 to get close enough to the subjects. Fill flash, set to -1 stop exposure compensation, with a flexible bounce reflector, to help fill in the shadows and stop the action.

 

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Soldier Fly

I found this Soldier Fly on this interesting plant background when we were at The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge by Cambridge Maryland. I like the green in the bug and the green in the flora that complement each other. This was at the new Large Observation Platform on the Wildlife Drive. At the entrance to the platform there are lots of plants along the drive, with a large variety of bugs and dragonflies moving about. Also look for webs with water drops (if it had rained) or condensation on them early in the morning. We usually go there for birds. They are known for Bald Eagles Ospreys, Tundra Swans, Snow Geese, White Pelicans, etc. When it quiets down around noon it is a great place for macro or closeup photos, landscapes, or just wandering around to see what you can find. During the warmer months it is also a good place for a wide variety of Dragonflies. You do not need a macro lens to have fun shooting bugs or closeups. When I am out wandering around I always have a set of extension tubes in my photo vest. They come in handy when you find an interesting subject. Try using extension tubes to get closer to your subject and have fun seeing what you can find.

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Soldier Fly. Canon 1D MkIV, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS DO zoom @ 300mm, 25mm Canon Extension Tube, f/9, 1/640 sec, ISO 400

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Soldier Fly. Canon 1D MkIV, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS DO zoom @ 300mm, 25mm Canon Extension Tube, f/9, 1/640 sec, ISO 400

 

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