Wildwater.tv's Blog

Video and Scientific Photography

Posts Tagged ‘Macro Photography’

Hover fly or syrphid fly portrait

Posted by wildwatertv on September 3, 2010

Extreme close up of the head of the syrphid or hover fly, Eupeodes luniger, showing the structure of the compound eyes.  My interest in these creatures seems to be growing, and I’m still struggling to get the absolute maximum detail available with transmitted light. The more I see of insects, the more I admire them. Stacked using 110 images taken with a Nikon 10x DIC objective using flash. Nikon D300. Modified Lomo microscope with a short tube.

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Microscopy as art

Posted by wildwatertv on August 20, 2010

A friend of mine, Julian Barton, suggested that microscopy could be used to produce artistic as well as scientific images.  Sort of landscapes within the miniature world.  There is a good history of this, with Spike Walker being represented by the Wellcome Institute at an exhibition recently of his electron micrographs.  This is my first attempt.  Greenbottles (Lucilla Caesar) have an amazing irridescent quality when you see them, and it is just about possible to reproduce this photographically.  These two pics are of the abdomen and thorax of a greenbottle.  I think I like the first one best, due to its cartoon like quality, but comments are appreciated.  Julian, I hope this is what you meant.  Taken through a light microscope using a Nikon 10xDIC objective with reflected flash light.

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Greenfly giving birth

Posted by wildwatertv on June 15, 2010

Now this is a touching and tender scene for anyone who isn’t a gardener.  It’s a greenfly giving birth to one of many daughters on a rosebud. Within ten minutes there were several of these little beasts running around their mother.  She, meanwhile, just sat there eating throughout.  Taken using a zeiss luminar 25mm lens with the usual flash arrangement which picks up the colours being diffracted by the wings.  When I last looked, mother and daughter were doing well….

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House Fly’s mouth

Posted by wildwatertv on June 8, 2010

This creature is the common house fly, musca domestica. When you see them sitting on a piece of bread they are using that fearsome mouth to scrape and suck food from the bread, cheese, or anything else they might like…  It excretes a sort of liquid enzyme which digests the food on the surface before sucking the pre-digested liquid up though the tube.  These mouth-parts are always a bit grubby.  Pays to keep them off your food in the first place.  Now I’ve seen one up close I think I’ll be more careful.

Taken through a light microscope with a Nikon x10DIC .25 objective and stacked using a stack of thirty-four images.

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More eyes

Posted by wildwatertv on June 3, 2010


Sometimes you take a picture which makes you want to throw everything else you’ve ever done away and just simply admire the majesty of nature.  I’ve posted a blow-up of the central portion of this picture to show the perfection that exists on such a small scale.  Taken through a light microscope using a Nikon DI 10x objective and using a stack of fifty images, this is a different sort of hoverfly to the one below.  This one is called Eupeodes corollae.  One of the most common flies in the garden this time of year.  Wonderful creature!

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Hover Fly eyes

Posted by wildwatertv on May 28, 2010

This beast is the common hoverfly, Melascaeava cinctella.  It has excellent vision, and extremely well developed compound eyes.  This photograph also shows the three small simple eyes, or ocelli, arranged in a triangle between the two enormous compound eyes.  Photographic image stack using a Zeiss Luminar 25mm on a standard light microscope.

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Bryony tendril

Posted by wildwatertv on May 12, 2010

This fscinating thing is one of those little green tendrils that plants extend looking for things to hold on to.  They are tightly coiled and extremely highly developed.  This one is from a white bryony plant, and the coils are so evenly spaced they seem to be man-made.  Nature had the curly telephone line long before we did.

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Shield bug

Posted by wildwatertv on April 20, 2010

This fantastic creature is a Green shieldbug (Palomina Prasina), Order Hemiptera sub order Heteroptera Family Acanthosomidae. They have long sucking mouthparts but they also have a gland in their thorax between the first and second pair of legs which secretes a foul smelling liquid.  This gives them their other common name, stink bugs.

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Hairy footed flower bee

Posted by wildwatertv on April 14, 2010

I spent ages last week setting up the equipment to do high speed photography on bees in flight.  Finally, I got this one to play and it took its own picture.  It looked a little odd when it came to identifying it.  I first thought it was a bee-fly, but on further investigation it IS a bee called the hairy footed flower bee, or to give it its scientific name, Anthophora plumipes. They have very long tongues, which can get to the nectaries of pulmonaria.  They are hole dwellers and our house has holes made by mason bees in which they probably live.  the females are all black, but this is the male.  They are among the earliest of bees, and only fly until about May.

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Nigella seed

Posted by wildwatertv on January 22, 2010

This shows two different magnifications of a single seed, genus Nigella, known as love-in-a-mist.  The seeds are sometimes used in Indian cookery as a spice, and are individually about 1mm long.  they have the most extraordinary texture and a surface almost like crocodile skin. I’m working on a catalogue of microscopic images of seeds and this is so far the most beautiful one I’ve seen.  Zeiss Luminar, light microscope, Nikon 10x/2.5x Objective/photo-eyepiece.

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