Time for pics of mating bugs?

Started Jan 24, 2008 | Discussions
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David Chin Forum Pro • Posts: 11,670
Time for pics of mating bugs?

Perhaps you've got some photos and techniques to share.

I spotted these from a few feet away and configured the legs of my Gitzo tripod for the shot.

The Nikkor 105mm VR macro lens was already pre-focused to the 1:1 point, and I carefully positioned the tripod with the D300 on it and kinda moved the whole assembly in and out until I got the focus I wanted.

LiveView helped a lot as I didn't have to bend down too much to squint through the viewfinder.

The SB-800 flash was held off to the side connected to the D300 with the Nikon SC-17 TTL flash cord, and the camera was triggered with the China-made Phottix N1 remote control.

The D300 was on Standard picture Control, Manual mode, ISO 200, 1/250 sec and f/22.

The bugs being so tiny, I had to do a 25% crop (looks like I'll need more than the 1:1 magnification on the 105mm lens) followed by a resize to 1024 pixels on the longer side. Control points were used extensively in Nikon Capture NX to shape the color, brightness and contrast of different areas of the photo.

Dust spots were removed in Adobe Lightroom.

I think the flash could've been better diffused to reduce the amount of reflections on the bug's shell.

I might be wrong but does it look like the male is using its hind leg to transfer the important stuff?

samjstern Veteran Member • Posts: 6,899
David, itn't that what we're supposed to do?


Hey guy , it is a great picture, the detail is great.

Good to hear from you.

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JeffCole Senior Member • Posts: 1,423
Re: Time for pics of mating bugs?

It almost looks like it's smiling for the picture. Thats funny! Sharp shot too..

manel Contributing Member • Posts: 930
Here is mine

Kevin F Pyle Senior Member • Posts: 1,581
Re: Time for pics of mating bugs?

I've always wanted to send this one to Nike for their "Just Do It" campaign.
Your shot is incredible.
Kevin P.

ohmydentist Senior Member • Posts: 1,933
good to know bugs r having good time ^^ (nt)
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^ ^

Just Shoot !

Kevin F Pyle Senior Member • Posts: 1,581
Manel: Here is mine

incredible shot Manel, love the colors.
Kevin P.

pghaworth Senior Member • Posts: 1,486
Just do it...

...I think you should send it to Nike. They'd enjoy it but I doubt they'd publish it.
Perspective is Everything

pghaworth Senior Member • Posts: 1,486
Great shot

Wonder if there's any PP magic that could take care of the reflectionl? I don't know how to do it but I'd bet someone in the retouching forum would. Thanks for sharing.
Perspective is Everything

frankjoke Regular Member • Posts: 110
Re: Great shot

I have also one from last year with 105VR and D80, without lifeview and tripod!

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An amateur using a D300 with several nice Nikon lenses (also one Tokina 12-24)

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Joe Josephs Senior Member • Posts: 1,836
Re: Time for pics of mating bugs?

Excellent macros and thanks for posting.

Interesting to note that the lady (bug) doesn't look at the hardworking poor sod. Come on lady give your man a break, ya got a wonderful pair of compound eyes. All we're asking here is one lens focused his way.

As for me and my gal, I demand at least a passing glance.

Thank goodness for her astigmatism.

OleThorsen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,088
You sure nailed it David

Wow you got both the male and female bugs' eyes in pin sharp focus at the same time. Are you sure you're not pulling our legs with that mating thing

Here a couple of Ladybirds I caught in the act - I heard the male screaming to the female: "Please don't shake your body that much!"

Ole Thorsen


Knowing what
thou knowest not
is in a sense
(Grook by Piet Hein)

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Kelley Hoffman Senior Member • Posts: 1,285
Re: Time for pics of mating bugs?

Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it ....

I've only tried one bug macro of a spider in an elaborate web on my picture window. Bugs just gross me out. Bugs close up gross me out even worse. But I must say you have a good shot there.

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thomas2279 Forum Pro • Posts: 10,876
Re: Time for pics of mating bugs?

good pic dave

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pghaworth Senior Member • Posts: 1,486

Most bugs used to gross me out too but once I started photographing them the fascination with the shot took over. Give it time, it may do the same for you.
Perspective is Everything

Michelle Regular Member • Posts: 326
Re: Time for pics of mating bugs?

Great shots, all!!

Ladybugs are very "prolific..."


Jobaci Forum Member • Posts: 57
Re: Time for pics of mating bugs?

Two's company 3's a crowd.

AllOtherNamesTaken Veteran Member • Posts: 3,563
How are they so sharp?

Very nice pictures. I'm just curious how you got them so sharp? The reason I ask is that any picture I've ever taken at F22 is noticably un-sharp (when compared to say, F8) thanks to diffraction.


David Chin OP Forum Pro • Posts: 11,670
Mark, I've read about diffraction ...

... lots of times and never went above f/11 myself until just a week or two ago. I noticed that on Flickr, lots of folks are using f/18 and f/19 and I thought to myself what the heck, I'll just try f/22 for kicks.

I'm sure my pics would be sharper at f/8, but then the DOF would be too tiny.

John Shaw himself seems to use f/16 a lot, and f/22 occasionally, based on his photos in the book "Closeups in Nature". It's been said that on DX sensors however, diffraction would kick in sooner.

I don't know, maybe with a macro lens like the 105mm VR, diffraction isn't an issue at f/22?

I tried f/57 a bit though, and it was pretty disastrous.

Thanks for the compliment.

AllOtherNamesTaken wrote:

Very nice pictures. I'm just curious how you got them so sharp? The
reason I ask is that any picture I've ever taken at F22 is noticably
un-sharp (when compared to say, F8) thanks to diffraction.


pghaworth Senior Member • Posts: 1,486
Love the acrobats. :) nt
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Perspective is Everything

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