Leafcutter Ant's


snappychappy

Link Posted 05/08/2010 - 18:57
Went to a butterfly house today, once the kit had de-misted I spent about half an hour trying to get a shot of these ants. Dam there fast !!! Here's the only decent one I got, couldn't stand the heat in there any longer.



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thoughton

Link Posted 05/08/2010 - 20:38
Looks pretty damn good to me Snappy. Great bokeh, and that green really sets off the ants nicely. Pity the leaf isn't completely sharp, but having been to a butterfly house I'm amazed you stuck it out for as long as you did!
Tim
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matwhittington

Link Posted 05/08/2010 - 20:49
Nice shot! - and there's a couple of other beauts on your flickr too. The bokeh really draws your attention to the ants, and having seen them before I know what you mean about their speed as they skitter about. There used to be a butterfly house near me but now it's closed... (another photo op bites the dust...)

Regards
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snappychappy

Link Posted 05/08/2010 - 21:16
It was situated in a really difficult position, almost over a small pond area. Nowhere to rest on and indoors, the weather was dull and I think I had ISO up around the 1000 mark was trying to keep the f number around 11 to keep some depth of field with the sigma 105 lens. The heat got to me though and I gave up
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Last Edited by snappychappy on 05/08/2010 - 21:17

bwlchmawr

Link Posted 05/08/2010 - 21:24
Stephen this looks like it's been reproduced from the pages of a natural science magazine. Well worth your effort and patience. Focus (or the lack of it) is crucial here!
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BigJacko

Link Posted 05/08/2010 - 21:31
I recently tried to get some shots of leafcutter ants at Longleat (with a Kodak compact - before I had my Pentax K-x), so I know how impossible these little fellas are to shoot well. Drove me nuts, and I don't think I stood a chance.

However, I think your shot is great. The DOF is almost spot-on (if I was going to be hyper-critical, I'd have loved it more if the two ants in the very centre were slightly sharper too, but that really would've been a miracle). But otherwise, it's sharp in all the right places, nicely composed, and the defocussed green part of the background is the perfect setting for the 'action' part.

Can I ask one question of the other reviewers though, please? Forgive my inexperience, but where exactly is the bokeh you're referring to? I can't see it! I'm probably looking at the wrong place or for the wrong thing, but I thought bokeh were blurred artifacts which hinted at the shape of the aperture itself - points of light, rather than just blur per se. I know bokeh means blur in Japanese, but understood it was more like:




Not trying to be controversial - just genuinely interested in understanding what is really meant by bokeh, and confirming (or not) the photo bibles that have formed the basis of my limited experience of it so far. (and if this constitutes a thread hijack, SnappyChappy, please feel free to say so, and I'll take it to a new thread! )
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thoughton

Link Posted 05/08/2010 - 21:57
Oh that old chestnut again You are correct, of course. Bokeh historically refers to the 'character' of the OOF discs, not the actual shape or size. So OOF discs with brighter edges caused by spherical aberration would be 'bad' bokeh, and discs that are uniformly bright in a lens with no aberration would be 'perfect' bokeh. In practice however we tend to prefer discs that have blurry edges (which seems to be what is happening in Snappy's photo).

However it seems to be pretty much generally accepted these days to use bokeh to refer to the character or smoothness of any OOF background in it's entirety. That's how I use the word anyway, it's a lot quicker than constantly typing out 'oof background discs' or 'circles of confusion'.
Tim
AF - Pentax K5, Sigma 10-20/4-5.6, Tamron 17-50/2.8, Sigma 30/1.4, Sigma 70-200/2.8, Tamron 70-300/4-5.6
MF - Vivitar CF 28/2.8, Tamron AD2 90/2.5, MTO 1000/11
Stuff - Metz 58 AF1, Cactus v4, Nikon SB24, Raynox 150, Sigma 1.4x TC, Sigma 2x TC, Kenko 2x macro TC, Redsnapper 283 tripod, iMac 27”, Macbook Pro 17”, iPad, iPhone 3G
Flickr • Fluidr • PPG • Street • Portfolio site
Feel free to edit any of my posted photos! If I post a photo for critique, I want brutal honesty. If you don't like it, please say so and tell me why!
Last Edited by thoughton on 05/08/2010 - 22:00

davex

Link Posted 05/08/2010 - 22:15
So back to the original post,
good shot snappy, there is a colony in Chester zoo that i have been trying to photo for at least 8 months. Your shot beats all of my efforts .

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Algernon

Link Posted 06/08/2010 - 10:26
cardiff_gareth wrote:

I was thinking of going to a butterfly house soon also, how long did you have to wait for it all to de-mist up? Is there anything you can do in advance to minimise it

Last time I was in a hot butterfly house I don't remember the lens steaming up. If it did it was probably clear after a minute.

Really nice shot Stephen, the colours are perfect.
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i-Berg

Link Posted 06/08/2010 - 11:33
Lovely colours and use of DOF as noted - the only suggestion I'd make is to clone or crop out the bottom RH corner, to eliminate the triangle of grey.
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ReklawyksEkul

Link Posted 06/08/2010 - 12:24
great image! i like the dof and the background colour, lovely!

did you do any PP? the area near the ants seems to glow
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paulyrichard

Link Posted 06/08/2010 - 18:10
snappychappy wrote:



This is a fantastic image of these ants. I really like your aspect in photographing these creatures. The background highlight in the image does just that, highlighting they're placement on the branch. Nice colours, too.

The bottom right corner is extremely distracting though. Not too difficult to deal with though, eh?
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Lowela

Link Posted 06/08/2010 - 18:59
thoughton wrote:
Oh that old chestnut again You are correct, of course. Bokeh historically refers to the 'character' of the OOF discs, not the actual shape or size. So OOF discs with brighter edges caused by spherical aberration would be 'bad' bokeh, and discs that are uniformly bright in a lens with no aberration would be 'perfect' bokeh. In practice however we tend to prefer discs that have blurry edges (which seems to be what is happening in Snappy's photo).

However it seems to be pretty much generally accepted these days to use bokeh to refer to the character or smoothness of any OOF background in it's entirety. That's how I use the word anyway, it's a lot quicker than constantly typing out 'oof background discs' or 'circles of confusion'.

very enlightening Tim! I was confused myself as I was reading through the thread... thank you!!

Lovely capture Snappy! I tried getting a shot like this myself but I just can't do it spot on without a tripod... I wish I had steady hands to hold my camera...

snappychappy

Link Posted 06/08/2010 - 19:21
Cheers for the comments Paul, very useful. The image was evenly lit across the hole frame, a vignette added and dodging around the ants, to focus attention to that area. Should have sorted out that bottom right hand corner, your right. Cheers.
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aliengrove

Link Posted 06/08/2010 - 19:49
Great picture, I love the light on the ants.
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