Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A mere shell of his former self

I've been meaning to get to some more insect macro shots, but never really had the inclination or the subject to go to the trouble to set up the mini-studio I had in mind. Last week while setting trash out for pickup at the curb, I noticed a seasonal cicada larva had attached itself to one of the trash bags.

I transferred the larva to an insect cage, where it completed its emerging process. I set up the mini studio (a small sheet of foam board folded to create a small vertical three sided box) in my garage. I chilled the subject for a few minutes to slow it down, then took a series of shots, using an off camera flash aimed at the top of the white foam board box to bounce some soft light onto the subjects.

The larval shell is still caked with mud from having emerged from the damp ground; the adult emerged clean and ready to do the thing that adult cicadas do, which is make a lot of noise in the hopes of attracting a mate. No cicadas were harmed in the making of this picture - after the photo shoot, I let the cicada resume its normal activities.

Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph copyright 2007 James Jordan.


Wanda said...

James you are clever, funny, and your post is delightful!!!
Thanks for the was great!

Sheila said...

Okay, I thought I liked to photograph odd things, but I do like this one. Guess Mr. Cicada appreciated the blast of coolness with this summer heat. Nice.

Ria said...

wow. that's really cool... you're very patient! ;)

Sprittibee said...


Ptelea said...

I happened to run across this and thought you might like to see my cicada images. I took a whole series but only posted two. What a bizarre insect - they were everywhere in the woods when I photographed them.

pao said...

wow, this is so cool! found your blog at spun with tears' thursday challenge. thanks for writing how you took the shot as well, very useful for newbies like me. :)