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More Butterflies and a Crawly

October 8th, 2007


Atlantis fritillary


Another Vanessa atalanta

And in the interest of it being the season of crawlies:

I actually have a way bigger and hairier crawly than this, but in the interest of not scaring away my loyal readership I will save it for a bleaker and more evil hallowe’en. Though perhaps by then the change in climate will have given me an excuse to begin celebrating dia de los muertos in its stead. And for that one really would rather have photos of skulls.

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6 Comments »

  • lizsmith says:

    Atlantis Fritillary! What a great name.

  • MaggieDR says:

    I want to see the really big creepy crawly!

  • Erin says:

    Yay spiders! I second Maggie’s vote. It is October, you can excuse it as a Halloween thing.

  • jeffhowell says:

    Maybe you can post a clickable blurry image like those NSFW (not safe for work) type things. That way if it bugs (haha or groan) anyone they don’t have to click 🙂

    Have you ever mentioned what camera you like using? I have an older model digital Olympus which despite having a little flower for ‘macro’ mode or whatever doesn’t take pictures anywhere nice as yours of outdoor bugs, the couple times I tried.

    • mjd says:

      Okay, it looks like I’ll be posting the big ole spider sometime in the near future. I’m pretty sure there’s a “cut” feature in WordPress, I just haven’t bothered to figure out what it is.

      My camera is a Kodak EasyShare DX6490. 4.0 Mp, 10x optical zoom. It’s not new–I think I’ve had it since December 2003. It has a fair run of manual settings and customizability, given its era, most of which I have experimented with at one time or another. It only has two presets, though I use those all the time. One of them is that flower symbol, for well-lit, stationary objects close to the lens. The other is panorama, which as far as I can tell doesn’t do much besides make the autofocus more inclined to distance.

      To be honest, I think mostly what I do to get good pictures is take a lot of shots and get lucky. That close-up preset can be a bane as well as a boon, because if the crawly you happen to be focusing on is at all aware that you are staring at it with your huge glass eye and hasn’t already settled on the ‘play dead’ approach, then you don’t get anything anywhere near the clarity of these three photos. Compare the kickass detail you can see in the underwing pattern on this Vanessa atalanta to the fuzziness of the previous one, here:
      http://mossyskull.com/?p=230
      Both shots were taken in direct sunlight at similar altitude, flowering meadow, same time of day. But the first one was a breezy, warm day on top of Mt. Greylock in August, when the butterfly was friskier and more inclined to ride the wind, whereas in the second case it was early October, cool and calm. Also, the fact that in case one I had been hiking all day and my muscles were rubber may have contributed to a lack of steadiness on my part.

      My Dad, who has been an avid hunter and photographer all his life (and takes way better pictures than me), claims that he actually practices holding still. Which would seem far-fetched even to me if it didn’t seem like exactly the kind of gonzo deliberateness I have learned to expect of him. And it seems to work? Anyway, that and a way bigger camera budget.

      • jeffhowell says:

        Cool info, thank you. 10x optical zoom seems like a real plus. Also standing still definitely makes sense to me, letting the critters come to you. Being able to take a lot of digital shots is great, that’s how I get good ones of my cat.

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