Bugs are fickle little critters, you just never know if they’re going to sit still, if they’re going to fly away or if they might let you take a few shots of them. This year I’ve been complaining about the lack of bugs and that trend continues – apparently this is the coldest summer in something like 80 years so that might have a thing or two to do with it – so that’s one reason to make sure you leave the house for a bug hunt equipped with an extra portion of patience; you just never know if you’re going to find anything good or not. It doesn’t end once you find your subject though, sometimes that’s when the real wait starts.
For the shot above I spent 20 minutes after finding the critter before I could even start shooting it. I first spotted it sitting on a flower but it was in a rather bad position with most of if hidden in a way that made it impossible to get a clear shot. The good thing about beetles is that they’re usually pretty cooperative so I didn’t think twice about poking him a bit with a stick. Sure enough, getting him on the stick wasn’t a problem. However, what was a problem was to get him to stop wandering up and down that stick. He would walk to one end, look around a bit and then start down the way he came. This went on for quite some time and finally I realized that I wasn’t going to get a shot of him.
As a final try I guided him back on his flower. Lo and behold, he actually liked the flower better than the stick and after a while settled down enough to let me get a few decent shots. The results were OK but not spectacular. The important thing for you to take with you from this story is that you can’t rush things when shooting bugs, it just won’t work. You need to move slowly, be methodical and, once you have your prey in your grasp, make the most of it and don’t give up too easily.