Bugs

I don’t believe in fate, destiny, predestiny… 

But sometimes there will be a string of coincidences that are just fantastic and I like to just get in the moment and pretend there is just a thing. Just to see what else happens. 

I got a new lens for my camera last week and while researching it, I read about how I could buy a reverse mount ring adapter and turn it into a macro lens (for photographing tiny things such as bugs). So for less than $10, why not? I ordered it.

A few days ago, the thing came in the mail and as I walked up the sidewalk I thought, won’t be using this for a while, there are no bugs in winter.

Get in the house, the kitchen, look over at the stovetop, and there is a ladybug crawling around on it. Out of all the places in my house, the stovetop is the best spot for a photo of a bug (yes, I get it, a bug on the stove, gross). I’ve got two recessed halogen lights directly above it and the stovetop surface is a highly reflective stainless steel.

I thought for a second, this could be a sign or signal that I should get my camera out and set that thing up and maybe I’ll take the most amazing photo I’ve ever taken. Ever.

I got a tiny jar and put her in there while I set up the camera.

bug1 

One thing about using this type of lens setup is that it is all manual focusing and the aperture can’t be set, so what that means is there is a very tiny spot in there that is in focus.

Also, every little bit of camera shake is magnified.

Here’s a good example of how tiny the focal plane is.

bug2

See the edge of that paper, how only one part of it is in focus?

See the writing on the paper, how only the top part of the “t” is in focus?

You know how fast ladybugs crawl?

So what I did was wait until she stepped into focus to hit the shutter. This was handheld and I was also holding the paper she was on, so really, now that I think about it, this photo’s almost impossible to take.

Everything was lined up just right and I had a lot of good luck. 

So did she. I flipped her over so I could photograph her underside. 

She thrashed about helplessly, so her arms and legs were all blurry in all but one photo. I thought about Gregor Samsa in that story “Metamorphosis”. Then I thought about how I didn’t like it that it was all up to me whether this bug lived or died.

I brought her outside where she can enjoy the woodpile for the rest of her life.

And I can’t for the life of me post a photo of her underside, because, you know, she is a lady.

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21 thoughts on “Bugs

  1. Toni, it is a company in India named “Sonia.”
    I’m really happy with it, for $8.99 the thing is made of metal. I thought it would be made out of plastic since it was so cheap.

  2. Very cool photo. They must like shiny bright places. They are often found here in the silver colored metal bathroom window. How can you tell the sex of a bug? Love that you found her a nice home.

  3. Okay, first, I want that lens and ring adapter!
    Second, God sent the ladybug. She is a reincarnated messenger of predestined photographic genius, bringing you the gift you were brought to Earth to practice.
    Third, I might want your stove too. It sounds groovy.
    Nice shots!

  4. Voodoo, this is the first time I have ever seen a ladybug in the house. The kitchen is in the middle of the house so she traveled far to get there. I’m just calling her female because it is a “lady” bug.

    Lea, you might be able to use an adapter on a lens you already have. Mine is a 50mm lens f1.4. I haven’t tried it on the kit lens, but it will fit it because it has the same filter threads (58 mm). If you need help finding an reverse lens adapter ring, let me know and I’ll help you find one.

  5. For clarification, ladybugs are any of the species of Coccinellidae, and the wiki in the link explains their name. So not all “lady” bugs are ladies. If I had to have a bug on my stove, a ladybug is the one I would prefer, as they are believed to be good luck. They are useful for controlling agricultural pests like aphids. Unfortunately, one species brought over from Asia likes to overwinter en masse inside houses, and is itself considered a pest. So look out if you find more of her friends around, Kitty.

    Great pic, BTW. Now I have macro envy.

  6. That is very neat Kitty and the weirder thing is that I came into my bathroom two days before you posted this and saw a ladybug crawling on my bathroom mirror. I went to get my camera immediately and had to mess about quite a bit to even get any shots because I have no manual focus but I did… Plus, she’s on a mirror so I cannot hide her underside…. I will have to post those at some point… (and I still owe you snow on mossy trees from Van… hmmmm… I am a lazy biatch these days…)

    Really – those are awesome shots and I’m so glad you are enjoying the new lens!!!

    YEY!

  7. Silverstar, thanks for the link. I never knew ladybugs were thought to bring good luck. That makes this whole thing even more amazing.

    Kym, I almost deleted the last line. I called Spanky over to ask her if she thought it was corny and she said, “Yeah, but leave it in because it’s so like you to write that.”

    Yeah, Sulya, you owe me some mossy snow photos. I have never seen that before, cant even imagine it, so hurry before I get curious and so a Flickr search. Kidding, I’ll wait for your pics, my friend.

  8. Cool photo. I once heard that if a ladybug had black dots on its outter red shell then its a male. The solid red shell is said to be a female.

  9. Thanks for the link, Bunk, that first video is amazing.

    Holly, I got a lot of little things in the last week, got a wireless flash trigger for my Speedlight and some new software.
    We’re having an ice storm right now so I should be having a great time getting some photos today.

    Hey Debra, I love photographing little things, especially lightening bugs. My new lens should be able to capture them. Crossing my fingers for some good luck.

  10. Pingback: Monkey See, Monkey… Sea-monkeys! « The Show Must Go On

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