I have decided to start a new feature of the blog where each Monday I post and discuss my favorite picture taken during the week. If I do not have a single shot from the previous week that I am brave enough to post, I will post one from an earlier time.
As many of you who know me know, one of my favorite types of photography is macro – specifically pictures of insects and bugs. Yesterday, I finally had an hour’s break between a long week of everyone at home getting sick. I could not go too far so I settled for my usual location – my backyard. The nice thing about macro is you don’t have to go too far.
Usually I wander through the yard and pick up stones and pieces of wood looking for things but I have become a bit bored with the results. I now pretty much know what I can find under each rock and log (my yard isn’t that big) and typically I find lots of pill bugs, a millipede or two, a few centipedes, some redish ants, a gnat or two, grubs, and occasionally a spider mite. However today I was mainly finding pill bugs and I have become a bit tired of getting some shots of them – though I did find one molting that I got some interesting shots of – follow the link for more.
I then wandered over to our fruit trees and noticed that there were a few ants wandering the branches. I found one and tried to get a good angle for a shot but its position made it very difficult to get the camera in without bumping the limbs and knocking the ant off.
I decided to look for more ants and soon I found a largish carpenter ant wandering with another one nearby. Soon they both came into contact and I took about 50-60 shots of the encounter. I do not know enough about ants to surmise whether they were from the same colony or different ones but I did notice that at times they would lash out at each other. The smaller ant stayed towards the end of the branch while the larger one would, after each encounter, retreat a few inches and then return.
I managed to get a few shots of them locked jaw to jaw but unfortunately my angle was not the best – they moved so quickly towards each other I did not have the time to readjust – so I did not like most of them. There are a few half decent ones on my photography page for those who are curious. I probably like this one the best due to the framing and the antipication of an action between the ants.
Currently, these are my favorite types of shots to take – images of the life of insects vs of the insects themselves. My goal has always been to take the ‘National Geographic’ types of shots. I obviously have a long way to go for this but as long as I see improvement I am happy.
In terms of a critique of my own shot when this shot goes to Photoshop I will obviously remove the green part on the right of the shot because it is too distracting. I am happy with the framing of the shot – using the rule of thirds decently. The lighting is a bit harsh but then given the dark background (common with macro shots like this) I think the lighting helps separate the ants from the background – with a less harsh lighting they may have been more difficult to distinguish. It may have been interesting to use a lower DOF and try to bring focus to both ants’ heads but that is difficult to do because the tended to move very fast.
Overall I think this is a good shot but not a great one. I should have probably stuck with the ants for another at least 100 frames and maybe I would have had a better one.