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Animals ShowcaseBugs 'n' Flowers in Lincoln's Hamann Rose Garden with the "Poor Man's Macro"

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Charles Haacker
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Bugs 'n' Flowers in Lincoln's Hamann Rose Garden with the "Poor Man's Macro"

Post by Charles Haacker » Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:03 pm

I don't know if I mentioned that I've joined a camera club, first time ever, because my Kidz think I sit in this chair with this Chromebook in my lap entirely too much, and they are correct, I do. But the club hasn't done much except hold meetings, until last week somebody called and asked if I'd like to go over to the Hamann Rose Garden early on Friday. There were only three of us and we stayed only about an hour, but I had fun and socialized (yeah, me :rofl: ) and I got a chance to give the 10 mm extension ring a good workout with my ubersharp 18 - 105 f/4.0 zoom. These are as always entirely and perhaps stupidly hand held because I hate the lack of flexibility of a tripod even though I blow a lot of pitchers owing to losing focus. I've found that the autofocus does still work with the rings but even stopped to f/11 or f/16 the depth of focus is probably measured in nanometers. All ya hafta do is twitch and there goes the focus (bleh).
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This little feller is not a firefly but rather a margined Leatherwing beetle that mimics a firefly. It was likely hunting aphids (be vewy, vewy quiet).
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This is one of the sharpest bumblebees I've ever got, sipping nectar on rose milkweed. I'm lucky to have it. She landed, sipped, and split all in the 1/500 sec (ISO 1000) it took for me to get the pitcher.
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Monarch butterfly, Echinacea. This one stayed put and kept opening and closing the wings.
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This unusual little fella is a Bicolored Agapostemon Sweat Bee. They like to lick human sweat, for the salt. They are real bees equipped with stingers but are super laid back so you have to really aggravate them to get them mad enough to sting. She has a lovely fluorescent green face and thorax but the coloration on the abdomen is pretty standard bee stripes.
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Post by mikec » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:16 am

Looking good Chuck and pretty good at hand holding.
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Post by minniev » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:03 am

What a great set Chuck! They’d be ebeeèyêautiful even without the bugs but those detailed critters make the set exceptional.. the colors and contrast are great. The butterfly looks a little worn, I bet his oranges have faded. I have been known to try a little color work on some of these faded glories. But only if you take a notion, they’re already beautiful.
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Charles Haacker
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Post by Charles Haacker » Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:59 pm

mikec wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:16 am
Looking good Chuck and pretty good at hand holding.
Thanks Mike. I also confess to shooting short bursts to compensate for movement, a real spray'n'pray approach that ought to disgust me. (N) (...but doesn't)
minniev wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:03 am
What a great set Chuck! They’d be ebeeèyêautiful even without the bugs but those detailed critters make the set exceptional.. the colors and contrast are great. The butterfly looks a little worn, I bet his oranges have faded. I have been known to try a little color work on some of these faded glories. But only if you take a notion, they’re already beautiful.
Thanks Min. I wondered if that flutterby was fading. I thought it might be the light, though. S/he landed in pretty much full over-my-right-shoulder sun (when we started there had been thin overcast but it burned off). I may tinker with the HSL or take her into Photoshop, select her and punch her up to see. :)

EDIT: I'm adding a reworked version. I tried her in Photoshop but felt I did better in Lightroom just using the adjustment brush, twice. HSL didn't work well because it's global and this needed to be targeted. The first pass I masked the wings, reduced the exposure about 2/3 stop and raised the dehaze about 45 (I've noticed that dehaze also increases contrast). Then I duplicated the mask and went over it to erase all but the wingtips since they seemed still faded. And I think it is fade, but I'm still not sure because generally old butterflies have their trailing edges chewed up some and this one does not. Maybe it's old but lucky, like me. (N)
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This version the butterfly was masked with the adjustment brush in Lightroom only.
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
(I prefer to present pictures in albums because I can put them in specific order.)

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Post by St3v3M » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:11 am

Hand held? Wow! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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Post by Ceropegia » Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:48 am

All wonderful! Especially glad to see a monarch. Haven't seen any monarchs in several years, but the efforts underway to help them recover, I hope I will start seeing them again.

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