2007 April 1

It’s spring! I no longer have to find arthropods under junk in the basement! Now the biggest issue in photographing them is speed – most insects, spiders, and centipedes move so quick that it’s hard to get a picture. I tried to get pictures of a ground beetle, a centipede, any of the thousands of flies that were popping out of hibernation, and a moth, and ended up with a lot of pictures either of fast-moving blurs, or of vacant spots where my subjects had been up until just a second ago.

Except for this one. This is a millipede, and based on the image at BugGuide [1], it is a member of the family Parajulidae. It was moving nice and slow, and allowed me to move it somewhere that there was good contrast, decent lighting [2], and nothing to hide behind.

[1] BugGuide was pointed out to me by the folks at the entomology interest group. I expect that my little arthropod identification project is going to mean I use it a lot.

[2] Even so, there were some problems with the shadows. I’m starting to think that the best way to do this might be to come up with a combined capture box/light box setup, so that whatever critter I’m looking at will (a) be kept from getting away; (b) be resting at a suitable focal distance, and (c) uniformly illuminated. Something as simple as a jar with a piece of card-stock in the bottom, a flashlight to fill in the shadows, and a mouth small enough that the camera lens corks it, might just do the trick.

One Response
  1. December 21, 2007

    Thanks for the link to BugGuide! Another way cool story of learning how to photograph these beasties.

Comments are closed.