Butterflies, Moths and Assorted Insects...

Nemorino

EOS R5
Aug 29, 2020
228
407
Fryday is fly-day!:cool:

Common scorpionfly (Panorpa communis) eating the remains of a snail:
Eos R5 with a Sigma 105mm macro & MT24 @ f/14, Iso3200, 1/160s
scorpionfly.jpg


And a GIF with the same settings but slightly cropped
nf3hh4kc.gif
 
Jul 12, 2013
365
678
...so my next-door neighbors have a 'butterfly bush', which serves as the staging area for much of what I post in this category. I've learned a lot.

A nice bonus is the neighbors like the images, too.

After more than one season watching the butterfly bush and its immediate surroundings, you begin to get a feel for what's 'normal' butterfly and moth behavior; the creatures that frequent this bush are rather relaxed and not all that energized.

A couple of days ago there was more activity than usual...at least a couple of small moths (Peck's Skippers, I think) seemed to be chasing each other all around the bush.

I stepped back a bit and was able to see one moth in fast pursuit of another, four or five steps removed from the bush.

Then the two moths sort of crash-landed on the yard--and I began pressing the shutter button (5DIII +100-400II).

Here's some of the images that resulted ( :( :( :( :( :(, one frown per out-of-focus image):

5D3_6480 cs - Copy.JPG 5D3_6481 cs - Copy.JPG 5D3_6482 cs - Copy.JPG 5D3_6483 cs - Copy.JPG 5D3_6484 cs - Copy.JPG

...almost as if the racy parts are blurred on purpose!

Thankfully...the 'cigarette moment' followed by the departure of the female or the male (?)...these images are more 'in focus' :):):):

5D3_6512 cs - Copy.JPG
5D3_6516 cs - Copy.JPG
5D3_6517cs - Copy.JPG


While putting this collection together, a bit of searching revealed (from How Do Moths Mate?):

"In most species of moths, after the male has located a potential mate he chases the female until she falls to the ground. Depending on the moth species, the male may flap his wings, move his antennae and release pheromones from tufts of hair on his thorax, legs, abdomen or wings. The male moth then mounts the female to mate. Mating is often very brief."

That's what I saw.

=====

Back to photography: all help and advice appreciated with the OOF images...
 
Last edited:

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
3,617
2,753
Germany
Thankfully...the 'cigarette moment' followed by the departure of the female or the male (?)...these images are more 'in focus' :):):):
Male and female skippers are quite easy to distinguish. The males have the longer antennae.
Simple to remember: the antennae helps to "smell" the female pheromones. So the males need the longer ones ;)
By the way: yours maybe could be a large skipper. (ochlodes sylvanus). Take a closer look at the pattern on the wings.

Back to photography: all help and advice appreciated with the OOF images...
Knowing the 5D3 and its AF, I'd say: Quite difficult.
I'm sure you were working with servo AF. Maybe select 9 spot or 5 spot center AF points.
Keep the MFD (98 cm) of the 100-400 II in mind, and leave some space for the AF if they move towards you.
Insects are so small and sometimes so fast that the AF simply fails.
Hope my advice helps a little bit.
 
  • Like
Reactions: josephandrews222
Jul 12, 2013
365
678
Male and female skippers are quite easy to distinguish. The males have the longer antennae.
Simple to remember: the antennae helps to "smell" the female pheromones. So the males need the longer ones ;)
By the way: yours maybe could be a large skipper. (ochlodes sylvanus). Take a closer look at the pattern on the wings.


Knowing the 5D3 and its AF, I'd say: Quite difficult.
I'm sure you were working with servo AF. Maybe select 9 spot or 5 spot center AF points.
Keep the MFD (98 cm) of the 100-400 II in mind, and leave some space for the AF if they move towards you.
Insects are so small and sometimes so fast that the AF simply fails.
Hope my advice helps a little bit.

It does help a bit.

...and I think the moth that flew away was the female (based on a comparison of antennae).

I almost always learn something from the experts here.

Thanks.
 

koenkooi

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Feb 25, 2015
1,857
1,785
Same here. Better focus, more detail.
I just like the second one for the camouflage effect.
When I put the small 'spot AF' box on a grasshopper eye, the R5 really likes to ignore the eye and only focus on the cheek around it. Even when the eye covers >90% of the box. I shouldn't complain too loudly about that, the eye almost always was waaaaaaay outside the AF coverage on my 7D, so having AF at all is a win :)

You managed to get the interesting bits on focus, my 3/4 profile shot had all the interesting bits out of focus :)
 

Nemorino

EOS R5
Aug 29, 2020
228
407
When I put the small 'spot AF' box on a grasshopper eye, the R5 really likes to ignore the eye and only focus on the cheek around it.
Use the animal eye tracking mode!
A grasshopper was the first insect I shot with the R5 and of cause I tried the eye focus. ;)
 

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
3,617
2,753
Germany
When I put the small 'spot AF' box on a grasshopper eye, the R5 really likes to ignore the eye and only focus on the cheek around it. Even when the eye covers >90% of the box. I shouldn't complain too loudly about that, the eye almost always was waaaaaaay outside the AF coverage on my 7D, so having AF at all is a win :)

You managed to get the interesting bits on focus, my 3/4 profile shot had all the interesting bits out of focus :)
Thanks for that R5 info. Sometimes - when the subject isn't moving - an old "manual" AF system spot selection of my 5D4 still works. Luck me :ROFLMAO:

Use the animal eye tracking mode!
koenkooi, please let me know if that works. I'm still collecting data of R5% AF experience.
 

koenkooi

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Feb 25, 2015
1,857
1,785
Thanks for that R5 info. Sometimes - when the subject isn't moving - an old "manual" AF system spot selection of my 5D4 still works. Luck me :ROFLMAO:


koenkooi, please let me know if that works. I'm still collecting data of R5% AF experience.
The R5 was in animal eye mode the whole time, it didn't trigger on the eye in this situation. It has triggered on grasshopper eyes in the past, so I know it's possible. Here's a screenshot of Lightroom to show the situation:

Schermafbeelding 2021-09-06 om 18.10.50.png

I'm a bit behind on processing, I blame the 20fps e-shutter :)
 

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
3,617
2,753
Germany
The R5 was in animal eye mode the whole time, it didn't trigger on the eye in this situation. It has triggered on grasshopper eyes in the past, so I know it's possible. Here's a screenshot of Lightroom to show the situation:
Thanks for that detail! I suppose that those grasshopper compound eyes are still a bit too difficult and a task for the FW updates after letting AI find a pattern.
 

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
3,617
2,753
Germany
Last weekend I finally managed to get some decent shots of a hummingbird hawk-moth (macroglossum stellatarum).
It appeared just for a short time, so I didn't get the chance to check the camera settings. Afterwards I found that f/8 was not good enough for adequate DOF.
So you can decide if you prefer a sharp eye, back or wing ;)

humming_moth_01.JPG


humming_moth_02.JPG


humming_moth_03.JPG
 

Maximilian

The dark side - I've been there
CR Pro
Nov 7, 2013
3,617
2,753
Germany
Several years ago the short-tailed blue (cupido argiades) thought to be extincted in Bavaria.
I wasn't the one to rediscover it. But I am one of the few ones to document it in my neighborhood.

Luckily it is not even threatened anymore. A good example how nature can recover if you give it some space.

short_tailed_blue_01.JPG