Today I mainly want to provide a couple of updates about some earlier posts. But I thought the post would be a little to uninteresting without at least one photo. The picture above is a close-up of the underside of a zebra nerite snail (Neritina natalensis). These snails are native to Africa and are popular with aquarium hobbyists because of their prodigious appetite for algae. I actually took this picture a couple of years ago as this snail was creeping along the glass of my aquarium. This little critter has been keeping the glass clean ever since.
There really isn’t much to say about taking the photo. It really doesn’t get much easier than photographing the flat surface of a slow moving animal like a snail. Basically it was focus, compose, “click”, check exposure…done.
Now for the updates…
A week ago I posted a blog I entitled “About insects: the mystery of the pollen covered red and black soldier beetle”. At the time I had no idea what species the beetle was (and admitted so). However, I posted one of the pictures on the Bugguide website and within a few days it had been identified as Rhagonycha fulva. I have updated the original text accordingly.
The very next day I uploaded the first of two back-to-back posts about photographing a predaceous diving beetle. Well, now I’m not sure if it was a predaceous diving beetle or a water scavenger beetle. These insects are very similar and I have had two different sources offer conflicting opinions about the identification of this species. I still have the little beast in an aquarium, so I need to catch it and take some photos of its ventral surface to know for sure. Don’t be surprised if the title of those two posts change. But then again don’t be surprised if they stay the same either…
And now for something that doesn’t involve beetles… A couple of days ago I posted my first attempt at stacking images: a picture of a sow bug. I wrote at the time that I would write later and in more detail about the equipment, techniques and software I used to create it. The software I used is called Zerene Stacker. I was amazed at how easy it was to use and how good the result was on my first try. I still intend to write more about the techniques I used both to take the pictures and to process them. But I haven’t had the chance to do another shoot yet, and I don’t want to post the same image that I have already shown. So I’m going to postpone writing more on the topic until I have more images to show. Stay tuned…
Likewise, I also want to write about the equipment set-up I used to take the photos. Specifically I will be writing about adapting a heritage Olympus OM Auto Bellows to a modern Olympus DSLR and how to use the rather cumbersome apparatus. I’m not sure if that post will be of much interest to anyone that doesn’t have, or plan to get a bellows. So I have been wondering whether I should add a second page to my site specifically for equipment discussions and maybe some DIY posts. These posts would be in addition to my regular posts. What do you think?
The technical stuff:
Camera: Olympus E-620 digital SLR
Lens: Zuiko 35mm macro
Settings: manual exposure (F11 @ 1/125 sec)
Lighting: on-camera flash (full power)