Sleeping cuckoo wasp

scottburgess

Canonical Canon
Jun 20, 2013
209
0
Drainpipe said:
I love cuckoo wasps. Found sleeping on a foxtail in a hay field.

1/200, ISO200, f/14, flash heads each set at 1/4
Thanks for sharing this, I love it! I wondered how the colors were produced, and this photo clearly shows it is surface iridescence. That still doesn't give me a complete explanation (looks like semi-parabolic cells, but is there a thin film which causes reflection interference?...) but it is a start.

100mm lens? Have you ever managed a close face shot of a cuckoo wasp? Have you tried a snoot on a single flash to narrow the incident light?
 

Drainpipe

It's all about the little things.
Aug 30, 2014
85
14
www.instagram.com
scottburgess said:
Drainpipe said:
I love cuckoo wasps. Found sleeping on a foxtail in a hay field.

1/200, ISO200, f/14, flash heads each set at 1/4
Thanks for sharing this, I love it! I wondered how the colors were produced, and this photo clearly shows it is surface iridescence. That still doesn't give me a complete explanation (looks like semi-parabolic cells, but is there a thin film which causes reflection interference?...) but it is a start.

100mm lens? Have you ever managed a close face shot of a cuckoo wasp? Have you tried a snoot on a single flash to narrow the incident light?
I'll make it easy! I shoot with the MP-E 65mm, and the light is from the MT-24EX. I use a concave diffuser that is made up of Lee gels, specifically the Lux and another that I cannot remember. I prefer the MT-24EX because it moves with the lens as it moves in and out. Other options would need me to move the flash every time I adjusted magnification.

This is a photo of the setup. Ignore the GoPro, that was just for fun :)




I have gotten the face of a similar wasp, though not a cuckoo.



sulla said:
WOW, thanks!
No, thank you!
 

scottburgess

Canonical Canon
Jun 20, 2013
209
0
Drainpipe said:
I'll make it easy! I shoot with the MP-E 65mm, and the light is from the MT-24EX. I use a concave diffuser that is made up of Lee gels, specifically the Lux and another that I cannot remember. I prefer the MT-24EX because it moves with the lens as it moves in and out. Other options would need me to move the flash every time I adjusted magnification.

This is a photo of the setup. Ignore the GoPro, that was just for fun :)
Thanks for the images (I like the wasp face). One reason I was asking about a snoot was curiosity about how a narrow beam of light affected the iridescence of the surface. I did find a research note that explained how it functions ("light refracting through open spaces between six layers of cuticle"), so now I am wondering if I could illustrate that mechanism by controlling the light. It might require a tight beam of polarized light and 10X or higher magnification to reveal the patterns. Not sure at this point.
 

Drainpipe

It's all about the little things.
Aug 30, 2014
85
14
www.instagram.com
scottburgess said:
Drainpipe said:
I'll make it easy! I shoot with the MP-E 65mm, and the light is from the MT-24EX. I use a concave diffuser that is made up of Lee gels, specifically the Lux and another that I cannot remember. I prefer the MT-24EX because it moves with the lens as it moves in and out. Other options would need me to move the flash every time I adjusted magnification.

This is a photo of the setup. Ignore the GoPro, that was just for fun :)
Thanks for the images (I like the wasp face). One reason I was asking about a snoot was curiosity about how a narrow beam of light affected the iridescence of the surface. I did find a research note that explained how it functions ("light refracting through open spaces between six layers of cuticle"), so now I am wondering if I could illustrate that mechanism by controlling the light. It might require a tight beam of polarized light and 10X or higher magnification to reveal the patterns. Not sure at this point.
I understand now. This would be very hard to do in the field, so a desk/table top setup would be preferable (if it were me).
 

scottburgess

Canonical Canon
Jun 20, 2013
209
0
Drainpipe said:
I understand now. This would be very hard to do in the field, so a desk/table top setup would be preferable (if it were me).
I sometimes use the MP-E 65mm in the field, like you do. But I also have a table top platform with a Cognisys StackShot, and will probably soon get a 10X objective to do higher magnification work. It's fun learning new things and meeting new challenges!
 

Drainpipe

It's all about the little things.
Aug 30, 2014
85
14
www.instagram.com
scottburgess said:
I sometimes use the MP-E 65mm in the field, like you do. But I also have a table top platform with a Cognisys StackShot, and will probably soon get a 10X objective to do higher magnification work. It's fun learning new things and meeting new challenges!
I have a tabletop setup with a 10x Nikon plan B. So you're saying with concentrated and polarized light you should be able to see what pattern actually makes up the iridescence? What portion of the wasp would be ideal to photograph? I think focusing on one of the dimples in the thorax may be interesting, and doing a stack of it.

Great! Now you've reminded me that I need to buy Zerene ::)
 

scottburgess

Canonical Canon
Jun 20, 2013
209
0
Drainpipe said:
I have a tabletop setup with a 10x Nikon plan B. So you're saying with concentrated and polarized light you should be able to see what pattern actually makes up the iridescence? What portion of the wasp would be ideal to photograph? I think focusing on one of the dimples in the thorax may be interesting, and doing a stack of it.

Great! Now you've reminded me that I need to buy Zerene ::)
"Should be able to?" I really don't know--my goal is to experiment and see if I can reveal some interesting details about the structure. Whether or not that is possible I can't say for certain. There are several tools (magnification, type of light, color of light, polarization, etc...) that I can bring to bear on the problem. I'll probably think of some more after I do some reading. More than likely, I will get some pretty photos regardless of whether I can illustrate the patterns in the cuticle structures. Writing this has also made me curious how the composite eye of another insect would see the iridescent cells, which could be another avenue for exploration (might require a computer model).

As for target areas, I was thinking of the abdomen or thorax--perhaps an area with minimal curvature to start. But I might do a straight-on face too, or top-down on the head.

Zerene Stacker is a great tool. Not familiar with a Nikon Plan B. Though if the Mitutoyo objective I want doesn't work out, I may be looking for a plan b. :)