On this date 15

unidentified red ant in extreme closeup
Way back in the shady mists of time, called by some, “2013,” we have this image of an unidentified red ant species. Age has ravaged my memory now, so I cannot recall the exact circumstances, but there’s this nagging suspicion that the nights had been fairly cold when I turned over a rock in the morning and revealed a colony of rather large red ants; their sluggishness from the temperature allowed me to draw in very close without having to try and lock focus onto any typical antlike hyperactivity. Now, I said, “rather large,” but that’s as far as ants go in North America, which is a maximum of 10mm or so in length – much better than the tiny red ants I find sometimes, but not exactly massive either. And I must note, this is the entire frame. I believe I was using the 45mm from the Mamiya M645 series bodies, reversed, to get this magnification, and I haven’t done that in a while, having switched over to the reversed 28-105. But that (broken) lens has a fixed aperture, and the Mamiya 45mm has an adjustable one, so perhaps I should start using it again.

Below is a full-resolution crop of the same frame, to show the eye details.

full resolution inset of same frame showing eye ommatidia facets
At this resolution, it could perhaps be sharper, but that’s not too shabby at all, especially for a handheld shot – how often do you get to see the individual ommatidia of an ant? And while the depth of field doesn’t seem huge, it still seems better than the 28-105. I’ll have to run some tests, only not on ants, unless they’re dead. That’s not bigotry – some of my best friends are ants – it’s just a movement and frustration thing.

Another, from the next year.

unidentified pink and yellow flower
Nothing terribly exciting here, and no real accomplishment – I include it for the color and diversity, because the other potential images were more arthropods. But it marks one thing in particular: this is right after I purchased the (used) Canon 30D body, in fact the 28th frame. I have no idea how many frames it had fired off before I got it, but I’ve kept track of what I did, at least. This body had been my workhorse camera until just three months or so back when I got the (used – I almost never buy new) Canon 7D body, but it still comes into play when I need a second camera, like when the 7D is being used for video.

How much use was that, you ask?

unidentifed white wildflowers with unidentified orb weaver spider within
This is also from this date, only now it’s from 2017. I said the flower above was the 28th pic; this was the 40,566th. In three years. At present, I’ve shot 59,924 frames through it, but bear in mind, in there I also got a T2i body to have something that would also do video – it’s extraneous now, and may be sold soon. That one only has 5,600 frames that I’ve run through it.

While I’m at it, the top photo of the ant was done through the original grey bodied Digital Rebel, the DReb as I call it, or the 300D as it’s known in other countries – that reached 61,000 images before I retired it. I suppose that makes it more of a workhorse than the 30D…

One more trivial bit: this post from 2011 actually marks the oldest digital photos that I have from this date, and the first time capturing newborns mantids in detail. Things change (he says tritely.)

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