Wasps, some in flight

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5,476
Name
Nick
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#1
I've been working through my rather large backlog and came across yet another unprocessed set of images from an exercise I did in 2018 comparing a lot of different setups to photograph wasps at the entrance of a nest in a wall in our back garden. These were captured with a Panasonic G80 and Olympus 60mm macro lens, with a Venus Optics KX800 twin flash, in this case (and unusually) using a monopod rather than a tripod to support the camera during the 35 minute session, during which I captured around 560 images (all single captures, no bursts, at an average rate of around one capture every 3.75 seconds).

I processed the raw files using DXO PhotoLab, Silkypix, Lightroom and Topaz Sharpen AI. These eight images are taken from this album at Flickr which has 1300 pixel high versions of the 16 images I kept from the session.

#1

1608 01 2018_08_19 P1530178_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h
by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

#2

1608 03 2018_08_19 P1530209_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h AIS
by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

#3

1608 07 2018_08_19 P1530288_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h AIS
by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

#4

1608 09 2018_08_19 P1530376_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h AIS
by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

#5

1608 11 2018_08_19 P1520978_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h-2 AIS
by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

#6

1608 12 2018_08_19 P1530436_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h AIS
by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

#7

1608 15 2018_08_19 P1530127_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h AIS
by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

#8

1608 16 2018_08_19 P1520913_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h AIS
by gardenersassistant, on Flickr
 
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6,533
Name
Graham
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#2
Another great set and as were the last lot of Wasp pics you posted here.
 
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5,476
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Nick
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#7
Another great set and as were the last lot of Wasp pics you posted here.
Really interesting. Thanks!
These are stunning, I really need to purchase a macro lens at some point.
Number 1 & 2 are corkers. Brilliant as always.
Cracking set Nick- I have not used my macro lens since last spring- I really must
make an effort this year :)

Les
Thank you all for your kind comments.

I have not used my macro lens since last spring- I really must make an effort this year :)
Les
I'm intending to try harder this year. Last year I got very discouraged by the lack of subjects and the lack of variety in our garden and at the few sites I visited and stopped bothering much with insects etc, sticking to flowers instead. I am going to try to visit more, and different, sites this year.


I really need to purchase a macro lens at some point.
Depending on what other kit you have, or want to get, you don't necessarily need to use a macro lens for this sort of thing. Most of the combinations of kit I used for that exercise involved close-up lenses on telezoom lenses. In fact apart from technical exercises like this, I don't use a macro lens for invertebrates. Instead I use close-up lenses on telezoom lenses. For example the first four of these used a close-up lens on a small sensor fixed lens Panasonic FZ330 bridge camera (my favourite setup for this sort of subject), and the other four used the same close-up lens, a Raynox 150, on a 45-175 lens on two micro four thirds cameras, a Panasonic G5 for the fifth and sixth and a Panasonic G80 for the last two.

I do use a macro lens for flowers, but that is a different story, and before I started using a macro lens for flowers I got results I liked with and without a less powerful close-up lens, a Canon 500D, on small sensor bridge cameras and on telezoom lenses on micro four thirds and APS-C cameras.

These images are taken from this album at Flickr which contains 1300 pixel high versions of 16 images captured with close-up lenses that I reprocessed this afternoon for this post.

#1

1610 04 reprocessed 2020-02-13 FZ330 P1500258_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h-DNAI
by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

#2

1610 06 reprocessed 2020-02-13 FZ330 P1500527_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h-DNAI
by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

#3

1610 03 reprocessed 2020-02-13 FZ330 P1490474_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h-DNAI
by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

#4

1610 05 reprocessed 2020-02-13 FZ330 P1500502_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h-DNAI
by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

#5

1610 11 reprocessed 2020-02-13 G5 P1230012_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h-DNAI
by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

#6

1610 12 reprocessed 2020-02-13 G5 P1230295_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h-DNAI
by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

#7

1610 14 reprocessed 2020-02-13 G80 P1110730_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h-DNAI
by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

#8
1610 15 reprocessed 2020-02-13 G80 P1120295_PLab3 SP9 LR 1300h-DNAI
by gardenersassistant, on Flickr
 
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5,476
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Nick
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#12
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Nick
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#13
What shutter speed is that, Bees in flight look like crap even at 1/8000. Maybe wasps are slower
They seemed quite fast to me. Unlike with bees in flight if I kept the shutter button half pressed and completed the press when I saw a wasp in the frame there was almost always nothing there when the shot was taken, and this was with fixed focus so there was no focusing lag. After a while, for incoming wasps I tried to gauge when to shoot from the sound as they flew past me, and for ones emerging I shot when, or shortly after, I first saw them in the distance in the tunnel, but there was a huge degree of randomness about it.

The shutter speed for the images in the top post was 1/250 sec.

For the images in the later post the shutter speeds were, in the order shown:

FZ330 - 1/1000, 1/1000, 1/800 (probably accidentally nudged it down), 1/1000 sec
G5 - 1/160, 1/160 sec
G80 - 1/250, 1/250 sec

Flash was the dominant light source so the effective shutter speed was the length of the flash pulse. At the flash power I was probably using (it is a manual flash) this would probably have been in the region of 1/1600 to 1/2500, but certainly not as fast as 1/8000 sec.
 
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78
Name
Paul
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#14
They seemed quite fast to me. Unlike with bees in flight if I kept the shutter button half pressed and completed the press when I saw a wasp in the frame there was almost always nothing there when the shot was taken, and this was with fixed focus so there was no focusing lag. After a while, for incoming wasps I tried to gauge when to shoot from the sound as they flew past me, and for ones emerging I shot when, or shortly after, I first saw them in the distance in the tunnel, but there was a huge degree of randomness about it.

The shutter speed for the images in the top post was 1/250 sec.

For the images in the later post the shutter speeds were, in the order shown:

FZ330 - 1/1000, 1/1000, 1/800 (probably accidentally nudged it down), 1/1000 sec
G5 - 1/160, 1/160 sec
G80 - 1/250, 1/250 sec

Flash was the dominant light source so the effective shutter speed was the length of the flash pulse. At the flash power I was probably using (it is a manual flash) this would probably have been in the region of 1/1600 to 1/2500, but certainly not as fast as 1/8000 sec.
My understanding is a shutter speed of 1/8000 would still have the motion blur of 1/250th in very fast moving bugs (like wings) as it is really only moving the curtain at your flash sync speed, but with the curtain only open a sliver. There is still a lag between the top and bottom of the frame being exposed. This isn't a problem in spots, where things are generally slow enough, but the rapid beating of insect wings might just be quick enough to show it?

I could be wrong though!

I'd love to know how you got your depth of field - was the lens just stopped down to f/22 or similar, and the flash took care of the exposure? Really wonderful colours and details in these images, must have really trialled your patience.
 
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5,476
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Nick
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#15
My understanding is a shutter speed of 1/8000 would still have the motion blur of 1/250th in very fast moving bugs (like wings) as it is really only moving the curtain at your flash sync speed, but with the curtain only open a sliver. There is still a lag between the top and bottom of the frame being exposed. This isn't a problem in spots, where things are generally slow enough, but the rapid beating of insect wings might just be quick enough to show it?

I could be wrong though!
That makes sense to me. The lag between top and bottom makes sense, as the narrow slit travels down the scene, but any individual thin "slice" would only be exposed for 1/8000 and so would be sharp I would have thought (well, sharper than at 1/250, but of course perhaps not fully sharp depending on how fast the subject is moving). Even if 1/8000 is fast enough for it to be sharp, I imagine what you could get is lateral displacement as the "slices" get exposed at different times, a rolling shutter effect.

That isn't a factor with my bridge cameras though. As I increase the shutter speed I don't get dark bars across the image. It is fine until the shutter speed is faster than the flash burst, at which point the image just gets darker, but evenly. Here is an example, where it only starts to get darker somewhere past 1/2000 sec. The flash was at about 1/8 power. It gets darker sooner with higher flash power.


1612 1 Fast shutter speed with Leaf vs Focal Plane shutter
by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

I'd love to know how you got your depth of field - was the lens just stopped down to f/22 or similar,
Yes, for medium sized and small invertebrates I almost always use minimum aperture, which on all my setups is equivalent to f/45 on full frame in terms of depth of field and loss of detail/sharpness from diffraction blurring. (Strictly speaking it is equivalent to effective f/45 on full frame. More on this if of interest).

and the flash took care of the exposure?
Yes, it needs flash with those apertures unless the conditions are really bright, in which case there can be very harsh shadows anyway so fill flash can be needed in order to get nicer tonality even if I am using natural light as the main light source.

Really wonderful colours and details in these images,
Thanks. I think it is a combination of fast effective shutter speed, illumination/diffusion arrangements and post processing.

must have really trialled your patience.
I'm ok with repetitive activities. I don't recall if it was for this wasp nest or one we had previously, but I did a count for one of them and I had captured about 7,000 images (all single shots, no bursts). This time round I did sessions with lots of different kit setups and I did a count for one of the sessions, for which I kept five images out of around 500.
 
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