Saturday, August 30, 2008

By Request: More Cicada Shots.

A friend who read my blog was complaining the other day that I haven't posted anything in months except a few "photos of that bug." So, always looking to satisfy my readers, I have more pictures of the same bug. Or more precisely, pictures of a different individual of the same species of bug.


This cicada is emerging as a winged adult from its old, cast-off wingless juvenile skin. I saw it clinging to the underside of one of our garden sheds when I was taking out kitchen scraps to the compost bin.

Thie shot above was taken with a small flashlight held in my left hand and my D40 in my right. I turned off the flash and used center spot metering.

I shot a dozen or more photos and only a few came out properly lit and focused. I was shooting at the close end of my lens's range and, since the flashlight wasn't that bright and I was hand holding the camera, I needed a large aperture which made for a very shallow depth of field. It was difficult to get the whole insect in focus at the same time.

Here's another shot from a slightly different angle.


I don't much like using my on-camera flash. It works fine and gives well iluminated photos but it tends to flatten the subject and make it less interesting. But it does reliably get the shot. Here is a flash photo of the cicada.


It is interesting that you can see that the castoff skin is muddy. Cicadas spend years living underground (up to 17 for some specis) and then molt and become adults almost immediately after they emerge from the ground. This one still had mud stuck to him when he shed his skin.