Bug Shots

You'd think an entomologist would have loads of insect pictures, but I have only a handful.  I found these four last week while looking for illustrations of macro and close-up photography and decided I liked them well enough to share.

  Butterfly on thistle   Nikon D90 + Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro ; Keuka Lake Outlet trail, NY.

Butterfly on thistle

Nikon D90 + Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro; Keuka Lake Outlet trail, NY.

Only the first image was taken with a true macro lens, the Sigma 150.  On a crop sensor camera like the D90 it makes a great "bug stalker."  Unfortunately, when I upgraded to a D7100 I found it was incompatible with the Live View autofocus system of the new camera (important for shooting on a tripod), so I sold it.

The remaining three images were "opportunity shots" taken with a variety of all-purpose zoom lenses. In each case, I got as as much as I could at the longest focal length and then I cropped afterward for the best composition.  I'm surprised at how well this approach worked even with the 12-megapixel D90; with modern higher resolution digital sensors you can really throw away a lot of pixels and still come away with something.

  Bumblebee on coneflower   Nikon D90 + Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, The High Line, New York City.

Bumblebee on coneflower

Nikon D90 + Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, The High Line, New York City.

  Bug sex   Nikon D90 + Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 VR; Garden of the Gods, CO.

Bug sex

Nikon D90 + Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 VR; Garden of the Gods, CO.

  Hummingbird moth   Nikon D90 + Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR; Anthony Road Winery, Penn Yan, NY.

Hummingbird moth

Nikon D90 + Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR; Anthony Road Winery, Penn Yan, NY.

These images make me want to shoot more insect pictures.  The first image, in particular also makes me want to get a new "bug stalker" macro lens.