That’s it, I’m calling it, the bug season is over for me, it’s too cold and wet now. So it’s time for a little retrospective, a look at what I consider my top 10 bug shots of 2012. This post was by far the most popular post from last year so I thought I should do a repeat this year. Picking 10 shots to include was actually a lot easier this time, mainly because I didn’t have as many to choose from.
Before we start looking at the shots, perhaps an introduction is in order for those who are new to my blog. This is my second season shooting bugs and this year I’ve tried to take it to the next level. The most obvious way things have changed is by the addition of extension tubes to achieve higher magnification. Previously I was limited to 1:1 but this year I’ve shot almost everything at 2:1. It’s been a challenge and I’ve had to focus even more on technique in order to get good results.
Another change is that I’ve started experimenting with a different style. My old shots are all very natural looking but now I’ve been trying to find a more bold style and so far I’m quite happy with the results I’ve been able to get. Shooting in this style has imposed even more challenges on the shooting process and I’ve had to be quite selective with that to shoot. So that’s another reason for the smaller quantity of shots this year – the first reason would be the cold weather and general lack of bugs. If you’re interested in reading more about my process, have a look at the macro category from the archive page.
Now, without further ado, let’s have a look at the shots, presented in no particular order other than one that amuses me.
1. First critter out is also one of the very first shots from this year and the only one on this list that wasn’t shot at 2:1 (it’s at 1:1). This was a shy little guy but with some patience I got this shot.
2. So far the style is still pretty close to what I was doing last year but in the above shot I had started experimenting a bit more with elaborate(ish) setups. The results were encouraging.
3. This is one of my most recent shots and here you can see the new, bold, style I’ve been working my way towards. What drew me to this particular critter was the drop of water stuck to his back, it adds interest to the shot.
4. Most bugs from this year was chosen for their willingness to pose but not this one. I don’t even know if it was the same critter I kept shooting since it would only land on the flower for a short while before taking off again. Luckily the flower was very popular so I just had to wait in the same position and fire away when my subject was in frame.
5. This spider was one of the very first shots where the new style was really starting to take form and it’s one of my favourites, definitely a top 4. It was an unusually cooperative spider and I spent quite a bit of time with him, definitely a good day.
6. Another very cooperative bug. It was a windy day so he wasn’t about to fly off anywhere, which meant I got plenty of time to try some different angles. The fact that he seemed to prefer sitting upside down made things a bit tricky though.
7. This was by far my luckiest shot, probably ever. I was planning to just shoot the flower when this guy showed up and gave me another of my top 4 shots of the year. I was thrilled when I finally managed to get him in focus.
8. A speedy snail, one of my last shots of the year and pretty much an act of desperation because I couldn’t find anything else to shoot. It worked out well though, with some bold colours and decent composition I got a winner.
9. Yet another shot that I consider belongs in the top 4. These critters (crane flies) are usually very skittish but this one was a bit sticky from a spider web so he wasn’t going anywhere. Which was lucky, since it enabled me to get this rather nice shot.
10. My final pick, possible my favourite of the whole bunch, definitely top 4. This beetle was busy cleaning the flower so he let me shoot from lots of different angles in order to get a good result. I love the detail in this one and the colours are nice too.
There you have it, my top 10 bug photographs of 2012. I hope you guys like them because it’s the last you’ll see until next summer. Let my know which one is your favourite and what you think of the new style.