Eh, lookee, I won a thing!

Well, I won a part of a bigger thing, the macro segment of The 2018 Sigma D-Photo Amateur Photographer of the Year.  I’ve not won anything like this before, possibly because I’ve timidly not entered any infrared macro photos in any competitions. There’s even a nice prize lens coming my way.

So check this months D-Photo magazine, turn to page 42 and, look, it’s my butterfly, among some other darn fine photos all plucked from the 13,000+ entries in the competition overall this year.

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White Knight

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Bee yoga

This little bee’s grooming routine on my hotel balcony was like some kind of impressively athletic workout.

35mm macro lens, IR modified camera, f/9 1/250  iso 320

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And here, a much less elegant pose

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Just looking

This little garden cutie (approx 3mm or so long) kept moving its head from side to side to get a good look at me.   And then, being a baby jumping spider, it would sort of sproink sideways, only to stop and look around at me again.   Bad for the taking of photos, but really rather entertaining to watch.

Look deeply into my maw!

There’s a late summer feeding frenzy in the garden at the moment, as this year’s crop of monarch caterpillars do their competitive best to turn into butterflies.   This is indeed a very hungry caterpillar, and if not quite as adorable a gourmand as the Eric Carle version certainly as ravening.

monarch caterpillar eating

Also, if you’ve ever wondered how a caterpillar manages to cling on while dangling upside down on a windy day  . . . here’s a closeup of the hairy hooks on the bottom of their prolegs (the ones at the back), which I did not know until I just now looked it up are called “crochets”.

sticky feet caterpillar

Admirable admiral

Spike here was about 15mm long, and sitting in the middle of a plank on the deck.  I couldn’t get the camera low enough for a great angle, and hey, I wasn’t going to touch it.  A cautious attempt to encourage it on to a leaf with another leaf just resulted in a small bidibid shaped ball of caterpillar rolling around on the deck.   So, sorry, this is not the best photo composition ever, but it is a view of one of the most interestingly strange minibeasts currently in my garden, the yellow admiral caterpillar, with this one likely a little lost on a trek to find more nettles.  Photo with the 4:1 20mm lens.

spikey caterpillar