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Thread: My Best Bird Shot

  1. #1
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    My Best Bird Shot

    And it's not even a bird...



    And here's one from the back...



    Both with a Canon G9 and Canon Macro Lenses 250D and 500D (+6 diopters).

    Don

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    Senior Member kweide's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Don,

    phantastic shots....it has an hairy a....
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    Senior Member Will's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Beautiful images Don.
    I think it's a horse fly (ouch) and the poor thing has mites.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Don, these look incredible. The bee looks massive in the first shot.

  5. #5
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    How the devil did you ever get the bee to pose for you? Super glue? Amazing.

  6. #6
    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    It looks like the C130 model

  7. #7
    D upton-Hackett.
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Explosive lovely DOT.

  8. #8
    sphexx
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    Beautiful images Don.
    I think it's a horse fly (ouch) and the poor thing has mites.
    It does look and seems behave like some kind of predatory fly but it has 2 pairs of wing and so it is NOT a fly. I don't think it is a bee either.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Will's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by sphexx View Post
    It does look and seems behave like some kind of predatory fly but it has 2 pairs of wing and so it is NOT a fly. I don't think it is a bee either.
    Good point.
    Though some fly wings look like that even though they are a single pair.
    Now where did I put that insect reference book?
    Last edited by Will; 2nd August 2009 at 10:23.

  10. #10
    Super Duper
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Gorgeous Macro work Don, perfectly executed!

  11. #11
    sphexx
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    OT Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    Good point.
    Though some fly wings look like that even though they are a single pair.
    Now where did I put that insect reference book?
    I'm fairly sure there are 2 pairs but in the first shot you should be able to see the halteres if it were a fly.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    What a lot of nice comments to wake up to this morning. Thank you all... I'll make a few personal replies right after I get the heavy work out of the way -- posting three more photos (five if you count links... and I do).

    I said that I might go out and try shooting him with a tripod (and camera) in hopes of getting a little more depth of field. So I did... but he wasn't cooperating at all. I walked out to find that he had a new perch -- a ceramic birdcage on a table in our garden. It was perfectly, really, with the nice blue-glazed knob. So I set everything up, took a couple of blurry test shots, decided that I might be less intrusive if I attached a long cable release... and he loved it. So much so that it became his new perch. I gently waved that cord this way and that and he would either hang on for the ride, or fly off for three seconds at a time before returning to it. I finally gave up and shot him freehand.

    These first two shots are with the DP2. An interesting fact about the first shot of the entire setup is that I must have put my thumb on the exposure compensation button by mistake... but I was in such a hurry to leave the house that all I could do was shake my head at the overexposed image I saw in the LCD viewfinder. When I finally got it into SPP, I saw that it was set to EC +1.7... normally, I would just delete something like this, but I shoot RAW so I dialled in EC -2.0 (which gives me my usual -0.3). And here's the photo... not bad for exposure.



    Click on the image for a larger image... and you can also see my other problem: Mr. Bee (or whatever he is)...





    Just in case you missed him, here's another clickable photo:





    And here's a handheld shot that I like for the surroundings -- his shoulders are in greater focus than his little flat face and round eyes, but it's still fairly charming...



    Cheers,
    Don

  13. #13
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by kweide View Post
    Don,
    phantastic shots....it has an hairy a....
    That's how you can tell it's a guy.

    Thanks for comment.
    Don

  14. #14
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    Beautiful images Don.
    I think it's a horse fly (ouch) and the poor thing has mites.
    Thank you, Will... I don't think it's a horsefly... I met enough of those guys on my grandparents' Kansas farm and they are truly awful, awe-inspiring, aggravating... take your pick. Say horsefly and I get a mental, visual and auditory image immediately... and this guy doesn't match, not that I know what he is.

    I'll see if I can find someone knowledgeable.

    Don

  15. #15
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawfa View Post
    Don, these look incredible. The bee looks massive in the first shot.
    Thank you... he's pretty big in real life, but not huge. Maybe an inch long. Such is the power of macro photography.

    Still, if he stings, you wouldn't want to be there. But he has landed on my finger, more out of curiosity than anything, and I blew him off with a puff of air. So he's not aggressive.

    Don

  16. #16
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by tom in mpls View Post
    How the devil did you ever get the bee to pose for you? Super glue? Amazing.
    He's really quite something... almost as inquisitive as the praying mantises. As soon as the camera comes out now, he heads for it. Got a tripod? He wants to feel it. Got a head? He wants to land on it. But it all seems like curiosity more than anything.

    Shoo him away and he comes right back... not angry, just persistent.

    Don

  17. #17
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    It looks like the C130 model
    Spoken like a veteran... and you're right. A lot of C-130s brought me a lot of C-rations once upon a time. I like 'em (the planes).

    Don

  18. #18
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by D upton-Hackett. View Post
    Explosive lovely DOT.
    Thank you... I'm glad you like them.

    Don

  19. #19
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Lili View Post
    Gorgeous Macro work Don, perfectly executed!
    Thank you, Lili... he's been fun to photograph. It's been awhile since I've found anything interesting in the garden... and one day I found two creatures, a double bonus.



    Don

  20. #20
    Senior Member Will's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    That is really beautiful, I love the softness of it.

    I have an image of what looks like a similar pair of insects to your friendly "fly/bee". I was quite proud of it until you posted your shots which make me realize I get a bit carried away with the levels and unsharp mask on my macros.

    Posted this before I'm sure but the similarity of insect is interesting perhaps.
    GRD2

  21. #21
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    That is really beautiful, I love the softness of it.

    I have an image of what looks like a similar pair of insects to your friendly "fly/bee". I was quite proud of it until you posted your shots which make me realize I get a bit carried away with the levels and unsharp mask on my macros.

    Posted this before I'm sure but the similarity of insect is interesting perhaps.
    My guys have been a little more discreet than that, but perhaps they're just good friends. Yes, they do look at lot alike.

    I'm always surprised at the similarities of animals over here and back in the States -- whippoorwills immediately come to mind. I haven't seen one, but I hear them regularly and they sound just like they did in Kansas. Maybe I'm not the only migratory animal.

    I sent some photos and a description to an entomological website in Hong Kong... we'll see if I get an answer.

    Thanks for the photo.

    Don

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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Beautiful work

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    Senior Member 4season's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Great shots, Don! Also a pretty good demo of how hand-holding a macro shot can sometimes be the only way to get the picture. I've found Ricoh cameras in particular are outstanding for this sort of thing.

  24. #24
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by tom in mpls View Post
    How the devil did you ever get the bee to pose for you? Super glue? Amazing.

    There used to be a comedian that would put a dot of superglue on a house fly and attach a thread to it, then tie the other end of the thread to his finger, making a pet house fly.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by BlasR View Post
    Beautiful work
    Thank you...

  26. #26
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by 4season View Post
    Great shots, Don! Also a pretty good demo of how hand-holding a macro shot can sometimes be the only way to get the picture. I've found Ricoh cameras in particular are outstanding for this sort of thing.
    Thank you... yes, I've certainly had better luck handholding, for several reasons. First, these animals move. Second, there is such a shallow depth of field that you can half-depress the shutter to lock focus (on something), and then, keeping it half-depressed, you can move the camera in and out to decide exactly when to focus on (nose, shoulders, body, tail).

    But I could see tripods working in some situations and with greater depth of field because you could use smaller apertures.

    I've had good luck in the past with the Canon Pro 1 and the Canon Macro Lens 500D... but with the G9, I've found that you can stack the 250Ds and 500Ds and still get quite good edge-to-edge sharpness -- something that's not possible with the Pro 1.

    Cheers,
    Don

  27. #27
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Drone Fly -- Syrphidae Eristalis

    So... the bee mystery solved. It's not a bee at all. My breakfast report from the local entomological website tells me...

    "This is a hoverfly (Syrphidae). The bee-like hoverflies are called Drone Flies and are of the genus Eristalis."

    So now we know.
    Don

  28. #28
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Stop Presses! Not a fly... maybe.

    This just in from my guest entomologist:

    "I have been taking a further look at your pictures and my reference books as I missed some of the wing venation so my initial ID is not correct. Whilst it is very like a dronefly the wing veins do not match up. Interesting puzzle and I’m just doing some cross checking. It is looking more like a carpenter bee or leaf cutting bee. I’ll delve back into it later on today when I have more time to cross check."

    We could be back in BeeLand.

    Bee Patient,
    Don

  29. #29
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Identification -- Carpenter Bee

    Stuart Morton at http://www.biocycle.com.hk reports...

    "This is a Carpenter Bee -- Xylocopa collaris.

    "Yes, those are mites you can see. Here is a link to some information on bee mites:
    http://www.sel.barc.usda.gov/acari/frames/beemites.html.

    "Your guy that is hovering around is a male. They may look aggressive and can dive around but they are harmless and have no stinger so your wife is still OK. The female is normally around the nest and can sting but only really if provoked and handled."

    Cheers,
    Don

  30. #30
    Senior Member Will's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    No gold star for me then (though I did spot the mites )

  31. #31
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    No gold star for me then (though I did spot the mites )
    Gold stars aren't worth as much today as when your teachers were handing them out, so no great loss. And you can skip study hall today and go straight to recess for your mite insight.

    Don

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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Don What is the brand of the horizontal bar on your Gitzo?

  33. #33
    Senior Member pollobarca's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Don,
    I hate wasps and bees. I was never stung until I was 36 and I got stung 3 times at once under my shirt while riding my Guzzi round a nice tight curve. I really can't look at them without shivering.
    For you an exception , great shots and in the frst the beast looks almost cuddly, you really caught her well.
    all the best

    paul
    "I ruined my health by drinking to everyone else's." Brendan Behan
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pollobarca/

  34. #34
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by hlwms View Post
    Don What is the brand of the horizontal bar on your Gitzo?
    It's a Gitzo G-532 Lateral Side Arm for Reporter Tripods. You'll find it here... at the usual Gitzo incredible price...
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Side_Arm.html

    Don

  35. #35
    Senior Member Don Ellis's Avatar
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    Re: My Best Bird Shot

    Quote Originally Posted by pollobarca View Post
    Don,
    I hate wasps and bees. I was never stung until I was 36 and I got stung 3 times at once under my shirt while riding my Guzzi round a nice tight curve. I really can't look at them without shivering.
    Don't focus on the stings... just remember how manly you were not to have laid the bike down under the sudden pain. I bet you wouldn't even give up your serial number under interrogation.

    For you an exception , great shots and in the frst the beast looks almost cuddly, you really caught her well.
    all the best
    paul
    Thanks, Paul... that's very kind. And it still looks like a fuzzy bird with a tiny beak to me.

    Don

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