Friday, 28 October 2016

Photographing Insects

The Rainbow Shield Bug or the Jewelled Bug is a beautiful critter!

Just this month, when I visited the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary with high hopes of catching the winged birds in flight, I was disappointed! Very few birds had turned up so the Park was more or less deserted,  two of my brothers and I being the first visitors that day. To make matters worse was that we thought the park was closed since there was a lock hanging from the gate. A day of disappointment however turned into a luckier day when one of the Park officers turned up yawning and then let us in, that too without any fees since it was the seventh of October, the last day of the Wildlife Week!

Where there are flowers, there will be Wasps of all kinds!

But then not all wasps like flowers, some like windshields of cars

Of course my two brothers and I were the first to step into the park and the only wildlife we saw were a few Ox that seemed more afraid of us. However we were determined not to be disappointed and so decided to look for anything that would be interesting to photograph. And then my eyes were drawn to a few dragonflies flitting in the air, and my oh my, were they not simply amazing! I had stuck on a 55-250 mm lens on to my camera, so that was it, I could not get too close of the dragonflies, but then, I guess I was able to take quite a few good shots! I guess we were so drawn to the dragonflies that we were not even bothered by the absence of migratory birds in the park.

This butterfly was caught napping on the door of a car

It was after I had reviewed the snaps of the dragonflies that I  was reminded of the large number of photographs I had taken of insects over the years,  and sure when I looked at them, I decided that I would put them on my blog. While looking at some of the exotic bugs, I learned that the Death’s Head Hawkmoth called so because it bears on its thorax a stunning likeness of the human skull. There is a superstitious myth associated with this species of the moth which states that it brings bad luck, so much so that an Aristocrat in England went mad after two such moths were discovered in his chamber.
The Death's Head Hawkmoth is a fierce looking insect indeed!

While no doubt insects are small and you require specialised lenses and a tripod to photograph them, you might manage perfectly well with an 18-55 mm zoom lens, or even a 55-250 mm zoom lens. I guess all it requires is a steady hand, the correct lighting, and, I guess luck! In many cases when you are shooting in the wild, and not in the laboratory, you might not have many options! Macro-photography is very interesting indeed, and when you have a well-focussed snap of a critter with those glaring eyes, then sure enough, you get a thrill. It might also be a good idea to show someone one of your favourite critter snaps only to hear her gasp with fear!
This is a snap of a spider that has gorged itself on a fly

Thus it was while going through some of my old snaps of critters and researching them that I came across one that is called Jewel Bug, or even Rainbow Shield Bug. It is one of the most colourful insects that I have ever photographed, coming next to the Hawkmoth. That reminds me about how I was able to get a photograph of the Hawkmoth. I was in school that day, and while passing through the corridor I came across a strange insect stuck to an essay that had been written by a student of mine. Moving closer, I was both repulsed and fascinated by this critter. The colours on its wings were so attractive that I went as close to it as I could dare and then took a few snaps with my mobile phone.
This is a Hawkmoth that is more beautiful than its cousin the Death's Head Hawkmoth.

There seems to be so much more about photographing insects, because they can be found everywhere. You really don’t need to go to a National Park and yes they might be found in your own backyard if not your living room!  
The Spider is feeding on a fly. The red eyes belong to the fly.

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