Saturday, August 23, 2008

Experimenting up close with the Digital Camera

A few test shots to determine the digital camera’s ability to resolve detail. A special thanks to Lisa Ford of the By-the-Way Café in Tweed for the loan of her camera, a Canon PowerShot A530.

What looked like a piece of cotton fluff floating in the breeze proved to be a Woolly Aphid. This is the limit of the camera’s resolution, set on auto with the macro enabled.

The focus was adjusted manually to take this photo of a Drone Fly. The wing venation is detailed enough to identify this fly as a Syrphid Fly, the spurious vein between the radius and media and the closed anal cell at the wing margin are clearly visible. In fact the shape of the R5 cell pins down this fly as a member of the genus Eristalis. (Source: Petersons Field Guide to Insects)

Lasius niger, the common black ant found in gardens. The focal distance was set manually to zero. Can’t get any closer than this … I was almost on top of the subject and the nearest and furthest points in the image are out of focus.

A Pine Spittlebug (Aphrophora cribrata), this adult is out of his element. Spittlebugs or froghoppers are normally found in meadows, where the nymphs of this insect produce the spittlelike substance found on plants. The picture was taken in shade from about three inches away.

The Long Jawed Orb Weaver (Tetragnatha sp.) in the following picture was only about an inch long; the photo was taken in the relatively poor light of evening. The focal distance was near zero.

This spider is only an eigth of an inch long. At first I thought it might be a Black and Yellow Argiope spiderling but having done some research on the Internet it looks like this is an adult Mangora gibberosa. The light was good but I’m either getting too close to the subject or the other variables such as film speed were set at a less than optimal value. I had to back off to improve the quality of the image.