Phlox Pheeding Sphinx (say aloud 3 times fast)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Truman, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. Truman

    Truman Guest

    I SO FUCKING HATE FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY!

    But .... it was the only way to get these hand-held shots in the dark
    tonight.

    As I was coming back from putting out the first-round (of dozens) of
    nightly grub for an assorted friendly menagerie of some 50-70 wild
    raccoons, foxes, and opossums, I spotted this moth feeding by the house. I
    wasn't used to the flash on this superzoom camera, having never used its
    flash before, so this image was rather underexposed. Later, less
    interesting shots were properly exposed once I learned to use the 13 levels
    of TTL-metered flash-output, but this one had the nicest composition.

    <http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4099/4822609827_0e86944322_b.jpg>

    Though I'll probably use this one for ID purposes.

    <http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4098/4822609831_4500176d31_b.jpg>

    There's another with a full-on well-exposed dorsal view, but it looks like
    it was sitting on the flower instead of in-flight. Good for ID-ing, but
    lousy to show its behavior at the time.

    <http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4079/4822609833_991c46c7b8_b.jpg>

    Odd, the closest I can come to ID-ing it is the Laurel Sphinx, but it
    doesn't quite seem to match. Either way, this is a new species for my
    insect archives.


    Now, what was it that all you lying, deceitful, and condescending
    gutter-**** DSLR-TROLLS were saying about "P&S" camera shutter-lag and not
    being able to auto-focus fast enough in dim lighting? It was pitch dark out
    when I shot these tonight. Auto-focusing by the camera's dim focus-assist
    LED light alone, from 7-10 feet away.

    [As always, high JPG compression applied to entertain the thieves and
    armchair-photographer trolls.]
     
    Truman, Jul 24, 2010
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Truman

    John Turco Guest

    Truman wrote:
    >
    > I SO FUCKING HATE FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY!
    >
    > But .... it was the only way to get these hand-held shots in the dark
    > tonight.
    >
    > As I was coming back from putting out the first-round (of dozens) of
    > nightly grub for an assorted friendly menagerie of some 50-70 wild
    > raccoons, foxes, and opossums, I spotted this moth feeding by the house. I
    > wasn't used to the flash on this superzoom camera, having never used its
    > flash before, so this image was rather underexposed. Later, less
    > interesting shots were properly exposed once I learned to use the 13 levels
    > of TTL-metered flash-output, but this one had the nicest composition.
    >
    > <http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4099/4822609827_0e86944322_b.jpg>
    >
    > Though I'll probably use this one for ID purposes.
    >
    > <http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4098/4822609831_4500176d31_b.jpg>
    >
    > There's another with a full-on well-exposed dorsal view, but it looks like
    > it was sitting on the flower instead of in-flight. Good for ID-ing, but
    > lousy to show its behavior at the time.
    >
    > <http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4079/4822609833_991c46c7b8_b.jpg>
    >
    > Odd, the closest I can come to ID-ing it is the Laurel Sphinx, but it
    > doesn't quite seem to match. Either way, this is a new species for my
    > insect archives.
    >
    > Now, what was it that all you lying, deceitful, and condescending
    > gutter-**** DSLR-TROLLS were saying about "P&S" camera shutter-lag and not
    > being able to auto-focus fast enough in dim lighting? It was pitch dark out
    > when I shot these tonight. Auto-focusing by the camera's dim focus-assist
    > LED light alone, from 7-10 feet away.
    >
    > [As always, high JPG compression applied to entertain the thieves and
    > armchair-photographer trolls.]


    Those damned "hummingbird moths" are rather tough to "capture," also! They
    normally pop up, at dusk, when "camera shake" makes a mess of my attempts.

    It didn't help matters, that I've been wielding a pair of crippled Kodak
    models (DX6490 and DX7440), lately. (I fear the current humid conditions
    might harm my good gear.)

    Or, I've merely been unlucky. My DX7440's badly-collimated lens (the barrel
    is far too sloppy) threw everything out of focus.

    On the next evening, I had the DX6490 (10x "super zoom"), right at hand.
    A hummingbird moth appeared early enough, there was plenty of light to
    take decent photos (unlike with my DX7440, previously). Alas, the bug made
    a relatively brief visit, and I was only able to obtain two poor-quality
    pictures (camera shake was the culprit, largely).

    Finally, on July 27, 2009, I hit the jackpot! At around noon, I snapped 44
    shots of a big, black butterfly. The DX6490 allowed me to zoom in on the
    insect, as he was feasting on our flowers. Many of the resulting images
    were excellent, and the abundance of sunlight was a true boon.

    Incidentally, in your "Re: 40D GETS EXTREME !" message (October 1, 2007),
    you replied to me, thusly:

    "Yes, they're pretty amazing. There's 3 similar species in the USA, two of them
    difficult to tell apart at first glance at times. Hummingbird Clearwing, Slender
    Clearwing, and Snowberry Clearwing (the bumble-bee mimic, sometimes called the
    Bumble-Bee Moth). The Snowberry Clearwing being more like a very large
    bumble-bee than hummingbird so that makes it a little easier to not be fooled.
    But they won't land on flowers, always hovering, so it's easy to tell if there's
    a stinger included or not. The bees will land on the flowers that they're
    feeding from. All of them being day or late-afternoon fliers.

    "Even if you do have your camera handy don't be too disappointed when trying to
    photograph them. They are much quicker as they move from blossom to blossom than
    any hummingbird I've ever met. Plus their smaller size requires more
    magnification for a good photo, which only enhances any camera shake and causing
    a shallower DOF to work with. I only managed to capture Clearwing's photos a few
    times, disappointedly, tiring myself out trying to chase it all over a meadow
    full of flowers, none of the images ended up being good enough for sharing. Just
    as soon as you think you've got it in focus and framed it's off to another
    blossom while you start to say 'DAMN IT!' every time. Their flight patterns are
    not only quicker, spending far less time at each blossom, but they seem to be
    more erratic/random than hummingbirds too. I suspect this is evolution at work,
    the moths being a juicer meal for many more animals than hummingbirds so they
    have to have a more darting flight pattern to avoid being dinner.

    "Average life-span of an adult moth is usually until just after they mate each
    year. Usually once a year in northern climates, sometimes 2 life-cycles per year
    in warmer climates. Adult moths, or in pupal stage, will over-winter hidden in
    crevices of bark and the ground (or as in pupa merrily hanging from a branch or
    tree-trunk, emerging in spring) surviving a freeze, but I've never heard of any
    moth lasting very long as an adult, non-larval, state. Most of their life is
    spent as a larva, eating and growing, until they can pupate into an adult to fly
    and mate again.

    "Checking my Moths book here to be sure, I read (semi-paraphrased): 'Some species
    live 2-3 days as adults, some have been reported living up to 60 days. ... Two
    weeks seems to be a reliable estimate of the adult life-span for medium and
    large sized (adult) moths, although it is not safe to generalize on the basis of
    the little we know about the subject.'

    "In short, it's very unlikely that it's the same moth from year to year. But you
    can still name it if you like and pretend it is. :)

    "Practice taking its photo if you can. If you can capture one of those moths
    clearly with available light then you'll have no problems photographing a real
    hummingbird. Capturing a hummingbird's slower activity is child's play compared
    to getting one of those moths.

    "This is the nice part about having experience in taking a wide variety of
    subjects under many circumstances. You know when to applaud the efforts of
    others who have managed to accomplish what you have yet to do well. Conversely,
    you also know full-well when some 5th-rate hack on the internet is trying to
    pull the wool over the less experienced photographers' eyes."

    You'd used the "IdiotParadeInterjection" handle, then...remember?

    --
    Cordially,
    John Turco <>

    Marie's Musings <http://fairiesandtails.blogspot.com>
     
    John Turco, Aug 16, 2010
    #2
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Anon

    You say SIM, I say SEM

    Anon, Mar 17, 2006, in forum: Computer Security
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    556
    Randal T. Rioux
    Mar 18, 2006
  2. Moo

    Boot Times and Recycle Times

    Moo, Nov 19, 2004, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    391
    Bob Harrington
    Nov 20, 2004
  3. Jules W
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    383
    Briscobar
    Aug 30, 2005
  4. Lawrence D'Oliveiro
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    615
    Gordon
    Oct 6, 2010
  5. Skybuck Flying

    Boot times vs Shutdown times

    Skybuck Flying, Sep 10, 2011, in forum: Windows 64bit
    Replies:
    15
    Views:
    1,414
    Skybuck Flying
    Sep 26, 2011
Loading...

Share This Page