Bug Out :: Playing With The Camera

by derek on November 14, 2008 · 35 comments

The other day it was time for me to break out the tool belt and complete a handful of tasks around the house – some which even included more fun with electricty. One of the tasks was the basic act of changing the light bulbs in the garage door opener.
As I opened the housing on the garage door opener, I noticed an interesting bug that was stuck in the housing and had died. The thing that really caught my attention was how the wings were extended and it was in an interesting position.
Naturally, I thought it would be interesting to bring the bug inside and capture a few pictures of it. While I still have much to learn about my Nikon D40x, I thought a few of these turned out well enough to share with all of you.
Note: Clicking each photo will show you a larger, more detailed version.

Macro Bug
Macro Bug
Macro Bug
Macro Bug
Macro Bug
Macro Bug

My personal favorite is the third photo with the leg lying in front of the bug. As I had been moving the bug around, one leg fell off. In this picture, the bug seems to be looking at its leg lying there and thinking “WTF! That’s my leg!“.
What do you think of these photos?

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

David Poindexter November 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm

Wow, truly impressive.
It’s so amazing the beauty that is in the things which we don’t normally see.


derek November 14, 2008 at 4:47 pm

Thanks for the feedback. It is always nice to hear what others think, particularly when they have nice things to say. 😉


Ryan November 14, 2008 at 4:33 pm

Nice shots… the 1st being my favorite (nice lighting).
Are you shooting in RAW?
Ryans last blog post..Hillary In The Cabinet?


derek November 14, 2008 at 4:50 pm

No, I had the camera in JPEG normal mode. Lighting is one of the things that I really need to understand, as that makes a huge difference in the photos.
Thanks for the feedback.


Ling@Uptake November 14, 2008 at 10:06 pm

Heh! That’s a good one. I mean, “WTF? That’s my leg!” Sounds like a scene from Monty Python. 🙂


derek November 14, 2008 at 10:54 pm

Lol, glad you liked it!


Andrea November 14, 2008 at 10:43 pm

What was your lighting set up?


derek November 14, 2008 at 10:55 pm

For these shots, I had the fading daylight coming in the windows plus overhead lighting.


Stephen November 15, 2008 at 12:42 am

Shoot in RAW Derek. If you ever screw up a shot, you have way more adjustment to bring it back. Also, in JPG, some of the settings in the camera can affect the output, making it not look like what you thought you were shooting (colors might be bumped up, contrast might be spiked etc).
As for lighting, shoot in one type. So either all daylight, or all artificial. At least when you can control it. It makes it much easier to white balance after the fact. Although AUTO WB is great most of the time, there are situations, like in mixed lighting, where the results aren’t what you want. The camera is trying to guess and take an average. You’ll see this in your pictures, where the white is not the same white. In some, it’s redder. In some it’s bluer.
Did you use a tripod? If not, you have a pretty steady hand. You should be a surgeon! 🙂
Stephens last blog post..Dot Com Dinner Chef – The Battles Continue!


derek November 15, 2008 at 1:43 am

Stephen, thank you for the insight and advice. I’ll be experimenting with RAW the next time I take some shots, we’ll see what happens.
With these photos, I did not use the tripod – so I guess I have a pretty steady hand. My surgical career never progressed beyond my mad skills at the game Operation though.


Nicole Price November 15, 2008 at 12:56 am

Nicole Prices last blog post..Save Money on Medication


Jerry November 15, 2008 at 1:15 pm

Although I’m not into insects, the photos are impressively clear!
Jerrys last blog post..If you didn’t vote, then you shouldn’t complain


Ajith Edassery November 16, 2008 at 11:49 am

The tone is really good for the first three pics. Rest are a bit too dark, I guess. Perhaps if it was placed on a glass sheet or so, it would have looked nicer? Good job overall.
(Don’t show the second one to any hollywood director. They might come up with a ‘Bruce Willis yet again saving the Americans!’ kind of theme 😆 just kiddin’
Ajith Edasserys last blog post..Who is your real idol blogger?


Julie November 16, 2008 at 1:12 pm

You’ve inspired me to finally buy a digital camera! I don’t think I’ll be photographing dead bugs, however! But the quality of the photos is amazing!
Julies last blog post..Invited out for Thanksgiving


Bella November 17, 2008 at 7:24 am

Wow, I like the detail of the pictures.


Asia November 17, 2008 at 7:39 am

Nice photo looks like a shot of a pro.


Implantes November 18, 2008 at 9:43 am

Those are sharp photos. Most people would think it’s an easy task to shoot an insect up close like you did in your little experiment, but it’s not. Good job.


Betsy Buchanan November 18, 2008 at 9:44 am

OMG, good pictures, strange bug, your honey do list is never ending isn’t it.
With Regards,
Betsy Buchanan
Betsy Buchanans last blog post..So many leaves, so little time


Auto November 18, 2008 at 3:12 pm

I do that too! 🙂 I recentely bought a powerfool microscope, so things like that happen to me, i just pick up some bugs and take pictures of them under the microscope!


derek November 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm

Interesting…trying to imagine the setup in order to take pictures of something under a microscope. Sounds pretty cool to me. Do you have any samples?


Steve@Free iPods November 18, 2008 at 6:19 pm

You certainly have an eye for a photo. Having the gear is one thing but getting the right shot is totally different.
What did you use for a background?


derek November 18, 2008 at 7:44 pm

Thanks, I’ve always liked to think so but nobody else has ever confirmed that ability. 🙂
The background for those shots was a portable “studio in a box” setup that I bought. It is quite similar to those home-made version from Tyler. Unlike Tyler, I was lazy and just bought a kit.


Fancy Dress November 19, 2008 at 1:38 am

Superb!! The tone is really good for the first three pics. Rest are a bit too dark, I guess. Perhaps if it was placed on a glass sheet or so, it would have looked nicer? Good job overall.


Jack Lee November 19, 2008 at 3:36 am

What a lightning effect shots. All images are perfectly clean and clear. All Insect’s actions are easy to understandable.


Nick@romandock dot com November 19, 2008 at 5:44 pm

Wow, those turned out pretty good. What an amusing specimen as well, most people would’ve just tossed the dead bug aside and continued on their merry way…thanks for not doing that.
Nicks last blog post..Sunday Snapshots – 009


derek November 19, 2008 at 5:50 pm

As soon as I saw it, I thought it would make for a pretty cool picture and carried it into the house for safe-keeping on my desk. My wife thought I was a little nuts though.


Nick@romandock dot com November 19, 2008 at 8:18 pm

Yeah, I’m just impressed by your presence of mind to think of that before it was too late. Most would be more focused on the task at hand and not concerned about specimens for a photo shoot 🙂
…just a little?
Nicks last blog post..5 Things Meme


derek November 19, 2008 at 8:24 pm

Thanks, appreciate that – although that might be more indicative of the fact that I was not all that interested in the task at hand and looking for a reason to be distracted.
It depends on the day…


Shawn Knight November 22, 2008 at 11:19 pm

Which lens did you use?
Shawn Knights last blog post..Ole Miss Wins 31 – 13


derek November 23, 2008 at 11:06 am

These were taken with my Nikon 18-55mm lens that came as part of the camera kit.


Jessica W November 25, 2008 at 3:56 am

Hehe, very interesting photos of you bug :). Although she is dead, the bug looks like living.
Jessica Ws last blog post..Why is Professional Web Design so Important


Neil@PS3 December 2, 2008 at 2:32 am

I love the shots derek. My Father in Law is the photographer in our family and spends a fortune on the best equipment. I have never been into it myself but think it is amazing how you can get such clear amazing looking shots.


Helen @ Halloween Fancy Dress August 22, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Derek these are some excellent quality shots. We have a Nikon D5000 and do close up shots similar to these with a number of garments that we sell. I agree the third shot is quite incredible and I hope to bust the camera out over the weekend to do some more creative work.


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