Readers’ wildlife photos

Today’s photos come from reader Bruce Budris; I’ve indented his notes and IDs:

I’ve attached a number of photos; as before, these are all taken in upstate New York.  Below is a brief description for each.
A pale green assassin bug nymph (Zelus luridus) lays claim to a ripe tomato from our garden.
At the time it was the closest thing we had to a yellow flower, so this yellow crab spider (Misumena vatia) tries to make do on an orangy mexican sunflower.

An eastern black swallowtail caterpillar (Papilio polyxenes) chowing down a dill plant in our herb garden.  I was hoping to capture the pupation stage but we never did find where any of the half dozen or so caterpillars slunk off to.

You know it’s getting late in the season when members of the wasp family start turning to flowers for sustenance, including this Bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) covered in autumnal goldenrod.
Ants are known to “farm” aphids for honeydew.  Here we have a carpenter ant (Camponotus spp.) herding its flock of aphids on a stalk of wheat.
An Eastern common bumblebee (Bombus impatiens) is still at it even though we are approaching late October.
Lastly, a bonus mammal.  A photo by my son of one of our resident Eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus) coming by to see if we have any of those delicious nuts we frequently dole out.  This one’s name is Longtail.


15 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

    1. Thanks. I see from your Flickr page that you have amassed quite an outstanding set of insect photos. You’ve managed to capture a huge range of diversity for a northern climate. I don’t think I’ve ever seen half of those insects let alone photograph them:) Great work!

    1. Thanks. For insect photos I use a full frame Nikon D850 with two types of macros lenses (Nikon 105mm or Tamron 90mm). For most photos I also use a series of Kenko extension tubes (usually 56mm worth). As these are single shot images (as opposed to focus-stacked images) the photos are taken with a small aperture typically between f/18 and f//32 to compensate for the minuscule depth of field that occurs from being so close to the subject. Cameras and lenses aside, for this type of photography artificial lighting is a necessity (due largely to the small aperture/high shutter speed, but also for night photography). As principally a natural light landscape photographer, this was a new and challenging area for me. Most of these photos were taken using a lens-mounted dual flash with a shoe-mounted wireless controller. The flashes are wrapped in various diffusers that I’ve concocted to soften the light. I typically use the maximum shutter speed allowed for the flashes at 1/250 sec. For some photos I use a shoe mounted single flash with a homemade “Pringles” can diffuser that directs and diffuses the light out over the end of the lens. Next spring I look forward to experimenting with softer, continuous sources of light such as lens mounted LEDs. The chipmunk is a 150-600mm lens that I use for bird photography.

      1. Thanks for the information! You’ve really developed an effective way to take first-rate macro shots. I’ve tried extension tubes with my Nikon D610 for photos that have been fair. Your suggestions will help very much!

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