Tom Pickering  

Boxelder by Tom Pickering

January 2020 - Boxelder

January 2020 - Tom Pickering


About the Image(s)

Specs: Nikon D5000, Tamron 60mm Macro + 66mm extender, F11, 1/1.4s, ISO 200, Tripod, Room Light

This focus stack of 18 images is definitely a work in progress. Have most of the cleanup done, but not sure if I should keep going. Suggestions?

7 comments posted

Stuart Ord   Stuart Ord
Hi Tom,

I wonder what you are planning to work on, it looks fine to me. I like the crop, and the angle. The original beastie was a bit scruffy, but your cleanup and black background are great. The rim lighting on the legs and antennae are particularly nice I think. Has it lost the last section of its right antenna, or is it hidden behind the second (third?) section? The folds in the legs give me a great sense of depth. The simple colour scheme has bags of punch! Great result.   Posted: 01/13/2020 15:29:39
Tom Pickering   Tom Pickering
As you surmised about the right antenna, it is angled away from the camera.   Posted: 01/13/2020 23:55:48

Dick States   Dick States
This is a Boxelder Bug. They have great colors. I would rather it would have been taken where they hang out in a natural setting. I get the feeling with the legs drawn in underneath it (that's not natural) and with a foot missing and part of the antennae on the right missing the bug was dead. I may be wrong. If I'm right, I'm not a fan of taking pictures of dead critters. Sorry, there's just something not right about this image. It just does not look natural.   Posted: 01/13/2020 18:54:58
Tom Pickering   Tom Pickering
Yes, alas, this is a deceased boxelder bug. I came upon it while cleaning the windowsill above our bed that always has curtains drawn. I had never captured one, so I thought it a colorful subject to get a macro shot of. Sorry if it offends you, certainly not my intent. I wasn't aware of any rules about insect captures only being live. I don't normally seek out dead things to photograph. d:¬{(   Posted: 01/14/2020 00:03:23
Dick States   Dick States
The image does not offend me at all. That seems to be the buzz word these days. No me. I just know your way better than this. Your work proves that.

The other thing about the Boxelder Bug that's not natural is all the dust and debris covering its body. Insects spend a lot of time every day grooming themselves to stay clean.   Posted: 01/14/2020 12:04:11
Tom Pickering   Tom Pickering
Poor word choice on my part, for which I apologize. I'll admit to feeling chastised for my subject choice and I wasn't expecting that from you.

Ultimately, my goal with this insect was to be able to study it in a manner I cannot with the naked eye and present it as well as possible with the editing skills I possess. I didn't know if there was any value in pursuing this image further, and thus I opened it up for feedback. This is my understanding of the purpose of these study groups. If you prefer that we do not use dead subjects in this group, be assured I won't do that again.   Posted: 01/14/2020 12:20:35

Tom Pickering   Tom Pickering
This is where I've taken this image so far:   Posted: 01/14/2020 13:19:09
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