We haven’t been spoiled with a lot of sun this summer but last weekend I went out to hunt some bugs and the sun decided to join me and give my light some extra quality.
Before this weekend, if the sun had been out while I was bug hunting, it had been during the middle of the day when the light is rather top down. This time I went out a bit earlier and got some nice, warm, directional light. In the first shot to the left here you can see the light in full action. Even if I was using flash I still wanted to utilize the sun so I positioned myself with the bug between the sun and the camera. I like the crosslight that this gives us, the critter gets a nice sort of glow from the backlight and then the flash acts as fill to bring out the details. This isn’t my favourite shot of the day but it shows off the light the best.
This ant was also a victim of good light – I’m normally not that interested in ants since they’re rather small (you really need to view the larger version of the picture) but I quite liked the texture of this tree stub they were running around on. The light is the same as in the first shot: sun as back light and flash as fill. I have to say that I rather like the result as far as the light goes. This is something I definitely have to pay more attention to in the future. After seeing the light, so to speak (yeah, that was very cheap, sorry), it might even be worth the effort to get up for more early morning bug hunts…though I’m certainly stretching the imagination here.
One problem with ants is that they tend to be on the move most of the time so in order to get this shot I had to be a bit threatening with the lens so he would stop and growl at me. I’m sure he growled, he just did it very very quietly. However, one of the good things about ants is that you always know where to find them and you also know that you’ll find a lot of them, perhaps a bit too many sometimes. The next bug I found was one I didn’t know was there but it helped me out by announcing itself.
Grasshoppers; I hadn’t seen them around where we live but, as I was on my way to one of my usual spots, I heard their telltale chirping in the tall grass. They’re well camouflaged so if they hadn’t let me know they were there, I would have walked right past them. Another good thing about grasshoppers is that they’re very easy find once you know they’re there; you simply move your hand or foot gently through the grass until you see movement.
I was a bit worried that they wouldn’t sit still but they proved to be quite good posers. The main problem I encountered was that I had to make sure there was no grass between the lens and the little hoppers, since they do like their grass tall and thick (I guess it helps with the hopping or something). The nice sun light helped me out once again and let the flash act as fill to bring out details while the rest of the scene still looked good (the sun was still coming in from behind the critters).
A big surprise to me was the grasshopper’s eyes, I really like them, they remind me gem stones. If the weather permits I’ll have to come back for another photo shoot with these guys.
Lesson of the day: don’t forget to consider all the light that’s available to you. The importance of light can’t be stressed enough, I keep finding that out again and again.