Sunday, 3 August 2008

Panning for Gold

Photographing moths has various difficulties, some of which are hard to overcome. They are often small, so it is necessary to use a macro lens and also to get very close to the subject. The subject is not always cooperative and walks or flies out of view just when you are ready to press the shutter. Cooling the moth in a refrigerator is often a good way to get it quiet and still, and being cold blooded animals they are quite OK when they warm up. Some only take a few seconds to become lively again, so you don't get long to take the photo.

This moth, the very attractive Gold Spot was quite settled but presented a different problem. The pale markings are shiny gold in colour. reflecting the light as the moth moves. But there is now way I have found to capture this metallic reflectivity in a picture.

This small moth, Ypsolopha scabrella was lively and I wanted to get a picture from the side to show the tufts of scales that give it its characteristic shape. It completely refused to pose on the nice set I had prepared for it, but it decided to sit on the rim of the specimen tube and that was the only opportunity I got for this angle of this 1cm long moth, not aesthetically pleasing, but it does show off its shape.

This peach Blossom was easy to photograph but it is difficult to convey just how beautiful the pattern is. It was just the third I've caught of this species, the other two were in 2003, so I was quite surprised to find it this morning.

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