Backyard Macro Safari [2013#1]

The backyard macro safari happens from time to time when I get home from work and need a little "shutter therapy". [I hope my friend Robin Wong doesn't object to me using a phrase I think he coined.]  I basically grab my camera and walk around outside looking for something to photograph.

Since there are no spanning vistas to photograph in my backyard, I will throw on a macro lens and look for something small.  I often end up with a few bugs. I call this exercise a safari because when photographed "up close and personal" bugs look awful scary and prehistoric and wild... but are actually quite beautiful and amazing creatures (critters?).  And you don't even know they are there, unless you decide to go "on safari".

There is danger involved, just as there is with any safari.  This time of year, as you hold your camera motionless, trying to lock focus while holding your breath, squadrons of mosquitoes will execute their well designed attack plans. The ensuing battle can be rather bloody, and it becomes very difficult to concentrate and to aim your camera accurately. The best sniper tactics are required.  During this last heat wave (seven days!) I found on most evenings that "discretion was the better part of valor" and I would make a hasty retreat to the safety of the house after getting off just a few shots.

It is for these reasons that the results of this last safari were rather meager, though I am happy with the dragonfly pictures.

I used two setups for these images: (1) Sony NEX6 with Tamron 90mm macro and (2) Olympus E-M5 with 60mm macro

That's a yellow crab spider on the left.  They love little
flies like the little black one that seems to be in his sights.
Crab spiders lay in wait for prey.  They do not make web nets.

Japanese beetle, as any gardener would know.

Dragonfly with prey

I believe this is some kind of nasty wasp.
It measures about 1.5" and burrows in the dirt.
(Right next to the front door!)

Another dragonfly with prey

Next time I will try to focus on the beautiful wings,
rather than the eyes.


Gregg Mack said...

Peter, this are some very, very nice macro photos from the jungle in your backyard! You are achieving some very nice depth of field with these camera and lenses.

Peter F. said...

Thanks, Gregg! It's always an exercise in compromise. Go for more DOF and the background can become more defined and therefore more distracting. I got lucky with most of the backgrounds here since they are basically one color... green.