Playing with a Cicada

August 04, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Hello, it's John.

I found a cicada in my yard this morning. I thought, "I should try to get a decent photograph of this ugly bug!" It sounded simple enough. Of course, I couldn't be content with simply getting the camera and bringing my equipment out to the bug...no! I had to put him in a container, create some sort of controlled environment, and then place the bug into the environment. I imagine he would be perfectly content with this arrangement and cooperate fully. What could possibly go wrong?

So I set up a table, placed a potted plant on it, pulled out some lighting (and even a reflector). I positioned my camera with macro lens, dialed it in on a sections of leaves, and snapped a few test shots to get my settings close. I even adjusted my white balance! This was going to turn into a pretty sweet shoot! All I needed was my model.

I took the plastic container holding the cicada and gently removed the lid. He was actually clinging to the lid, so I attempted to "slide" him onto the leaves. He wasn't too happy with that, so he tried to fly...but fortunately flew back into the container. On the next attempt I tried to be gentler...and it worked, for about 2 seconds. He "rolled" off the leaves of the plant onto my makeshift plywood table, upside-down. I thought I probably killed him. I now pick him up, gently (of course). He starts buzzing away again! I didn't know cicadas played possum! I try yet again to get him on my plant...and he rolls off again. At least this time he is upright.

I didn't want to push my luck too far, so I decided to take a few photos of him as is, on the plywood. Here is the result:

 

Before I could do more than two positions with the camera he flew off. I did see where he landed, but I figured I'd let him go rather than torture him any longer.

Next time I think I'll bring my equipment to the bugs.

 


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