Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Bug Hunting!

Widefooted Treehopper

This morning I experimented with my Nikon 1 V1 and Tamron 60mm f/2 macro lens using a speedlight. I improvised a diffuser with some diffusion material from work, but what I really need is a twin flash system. To do insect macro photography right, I should probably get a DSLR with a larger sensor and a higher quality macro lens. I could do it, but I'm still not sure how committed I am with insects. For documentation purposes, the Nikon 1 V1 does a fine job with bugs and other crawly critters. And just like bird images, the Internet is saturated with exceptional insect photography. Why create more? Well, it's fun. It's a hobby. I would walk through the conservancy even without a camera, but capturing nature images along the way adds a unique type of enjoyment. But do I really want to haul another camera around while I'm birding? Once migration picks up, I probably wouldn't bother carrying a second camera. There are those slow times, though. So, do I plunk down $3.5K for the gear or not?

Mining Bee (?)

Black Swallowtail caterpillar

White-faced Meadowhawk

White-faced Meadowhawk

Brown-belted Bumble Bee (male)

Grasshopper (unidentified)

Red Milkweed Beetle

Goldenrod Leaf Beetle

Punctured Tiger Beetle

Pheasant Branch, Dane, US-WI
Aug 6, 2013 7:00 AM - 12:00 PM
40 species

Ring-necked Pheasant 
Red-tailed Hawk 
Sandhill Crane 
Solitary Sandpiper 
Ring-billed Gull 
Mourning Dove 
Red-bellied Woodpecker 
Downy Woodpecker 
Hairy Woodpecker 
Northern Flicker 
Eastern Wood-Pewee 
Willow Flycatcher 
Eastern Kingbird 
Blue Jay 
American Crow 
Barn Swallow 
Black-capped Chickadee 
White-breasted Nuthatch 
House Wren 
Sedge Wren 
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 
American Robin 
Gray Catbird 
Cedar Waxwing 
Common Yellowthroat 
Chipping Sparrow 
Field Sparrow 
Song Sparrow 
Northern Cardinal 
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 
Indigo Bunting 
Red-winged Blackbird 
Orchard Oriole 
Baltimore Oriole 
House Finch 
American Goldfinch 
House Sparrow 

All images © 2013 Mike McDowell


  1. Love the photographs of the bugs. Incredible detail.

  2. I wouldn't buy the more expensive set up, looks great to me, maybe just tweak your flash set up.