Photographs by Frank

10 December 2010

Massachusetts Wildlife

Back in September, I entered ten images in a photo contest sponsored by Massachusetts Wildlife magazine, a quarterly publication of Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

I had pretty much forgotten about the contest and my entry. However, I was pleasantly reminded about it when I recently received email informing me that four of my photos have been given awards!

According to the email from Peter Mirick,  the editor, there were “1,137 entries received from 183 individuals living in 149 cities and towns, some as far away as Florida and Arizona.”

No large cash prizes! Just a subscription to the magazine and a few extra copies of the  issue in which the images will be published.  However, it is nice to have ones work recognized this way.

Here are the four images that were selected:

And here are the other entries:

Thanks for “wandering by”.


12 June 2010

Ants Herding Aphids

Filed under: Other Insects,The Yard,Wildlife — Tags: , , — Frank @ 9:11 AM

Yesterday after work Joan went out to inspect her vast flower beds. At one point she stuck her head back in the door to say “There are ants herding aphids out here.”

I have learned over the years that when your wife spotter announces a find I am required go get the camera and investigate.

For those of you who have not heard about or seen ants herding aphids, it is an example of biological mutualism. You can read more about it here.

As you know, ants are very small (these were about one quarter of an inch long) and (most commonly) black. This makes for a difficult photographic subject. Thus,  I had some experimenting to do.

To get high magnifications, I used my extension tubes… this was the first time I had a need for all three at once.  The camera was mounted on the tripod… no hand holding at this magnification.

Light was provided by an off camera flash diffused with a soft-box. This was lying on the ground off to one side or hand held off to the side more-or-less at the level of the subject.

This  photo was taken using my 70-300 mm lens with three extension tubes (36 + 20 + 12 = 68 mm):

Ants Herding Aphids 1

For this photo, I switched to the 90 mm macro lens and ended up using just the two larger extension tubes… all three tubes gave too much magnification:

Ants Herding Aphids 2


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