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Playing with my camera some more...

Ant

Your one and only pest!
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
1,756
Location
massachusetts
Just wanted to share a few pics I took of young queens starting nests this spring. They were taken yesterday, so I might post some new finds I see today.

Here is a Bombus queen (bumble bee) collecting her pollen. Only the ones of her in the air were focused on here though. :crazy:
http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff291/antcatcher/random macro pics/0042.jpg
http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff291/antcatcher/random macro pics/0052.jpg

Here is a young queen Poliste dominula (European paper wasp) starting her first nest. She was a little small for a queen, but that just makes me hope she succeeds more! I will be watching her progress with the other nest.
http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff291/antcatcher/random macro pics/0372.jpg
http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff291/antcatcher/random macro pics/0102.jpg

Here is 3 sister wasps that are starting their nest together. P. dominula has an odd behavior to return to the parent nest to "meet up" with he sisters and nest only inches away. Note that they already filled every cell with an egg.
http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff291/antcatcher/random macro pics/0242.jpg
http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff291/antcatcher/random macro pics/033.jpg

Here is a Vespula or Dolichovespula queen I barely managed to take a shot of. I think she is V. germanica.
http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff291/antcatcher/random macro pics/072.jpg

And this little butterfly.
http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff291/antcatcher/random macro pics/062-1.jpg
 

bluebird

Rub my belly!
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
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Location
Indiana
Nice pictures there I don't mind wasps and bees as long as they don't build their nests on my house. =)
 

DrWurm

Californian in DC
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Messages
1,169
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DC Area
Wow, that second to last shot is an excellent shot photography-wise. I'd say crop it to emphasize the wasp flying towards the eagle and bump up the saturation so the yellow really pops.
 

Trapper7

Loves VFT's!
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Feb 26, 2005
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Slowly drifting out to sea...
Those are great pics. It's funny how only the pics of them flying are the ones in focus. It's usually the other way around for me, lol. How can you tell which ones are the queens?
 

Ant

Your one and only pest!
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
1,756
Location
massachusetts
Trapper, it is extremely easy with yellow jackets if you know the species and they tend to have large sizes and a different color pattern. With this species of paper wasps there is no real way to tell except when a nest has no signs of new workers. (silk caps left on the edge of cells) Bumble bees are much larger then workers and if you see a worker and a queen together in like June, you will see what I mean. Though, a straight answer for every species I posted so far is that it is just the time of year. All workers of hornets, paper wasps, yellow jackets, and bumble bees die in winter and only young new queens live to start new nests.

How would I increase just the yellow on the wasp without changing the background? I assume I increase yellow by lowering the blue and increasing the green right? Also when I crop, the image always looks worse in quality.
 

DrWurm

Californian in DC
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Messages
1,169
Location
DC Area
How would I increase just the yellow on the wasp without changing the background? I assume I increase yellow by lowering the blue and increasing the green right? Also when I crop, the image always looks worse in quality.

Well, cropping will definitely magnify any mistakes you made in the shot, but even with my humble 10MP camera, I can do a lot of cropping while still retaining good image quality. Take this shot as an example:

Precropping: http://img392.imageshack.us/img392/7204/2009022135.jpg

Postcropping: http://www.flickr.com/photos/drwurm/3299916890/in/set-72157612322403233/

As for changing the colors, no photographer should be operating without editing software like photoshop or its free counterpart GIMP. Your photo could be improved by increasing the brightness and contrast a bit, then increasing a the saturation. Besides the wasp, the rest of the photo isn't very colorful, so increasing the saturation will not affect it much. Or you could lasso (select) only the wasp and increase its saturation only.

Are you shooting in RAW format now?
 

Ant

Your one and only pest!
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
1,756
Location
massachusetts
yah, I am shooting in RAW. I was using the editing software that came with the Canon.
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
551
Location
Lawrence, Kansas
Always shoot with RAW, theres no other way to go nowadays :)

anyways, the canon software isnt very good... granted it "works" its just not nearly as good as what adobe's products have to offer...

so go bootleg the adobe CS group, Adobe Bridge is what will open your RAW format photo's, and then it'll export to photoshop.

if you decide to do the bump on saturation on the bee, and you use the lasso tool ( even though I"d prefer a layer mask over that ) if you use the lasso, be sure to 'feather' your selection that way you dont have a hard edge... otherwise people will see your edits pretty easily...

someone calling you out on your edits ... takes away some of the magic :)

so its all about being as secretive with your edits as possible...
unless your specifically trying to go over the top...
 
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