Tuesday, August 30, 2016

New Molted Cicada Exoskeleton with Wasps

Last month, I published "Closeup of Molted Cicada Exoskeleton (and More Info)". I had taken the accompanying pic of that lifeless shell on July 25. A few days ago, another cicada exuviae showed up on the same porch column, about a foot higher. Oh, boy! Another opportunity for another pic or more! Spotted more subjects than I expected, and got a bit more practice with my Fuji JX665.

I took the pix August 21, 22, and 23. With some of the images, I stood on a stepladder to get a better view of shell interior. Some pix are better focused than others. The pixstrip shows seven images. Click the following links to view very large images, which I saved as jpgs to reduce file sizes.
  1. Wasp perched on the shell (taken 8/21, 8:09 AM)
  2. Two wasps near the shell (taken 8/21, 8:11 AM)
  3. One wasp near the shell (taken 8/21, 8:14 AM)
  4. Wasp perched on the shell (taken 8/21, 8:19 AM)
  5. Shell (taken 8/21, 12:23 PM)
  6. Shell (taken 8/22, 1:40 PM)
  7. Shell (taken 8/23, 12:10 PM)
Part of my autofocus problem might have been cloudiness on those days, as we'd been getting rain several days that week. (The Fuji doesn't have manual focus, and the autofocus feature is ok but not great.) The porch overhang that obscured some ambient light might have also helped make it too dark. Otherwise, the camera would deliver a cheery-sounding autofocus double beep, signaling me to fire away.

Another issue I had was the camera focusing on greenery several feet away instead of my favored subject(s). A couple of times, I tried taping some cereal box cardboard as background, but breeziness kept flapping it, maybe affecting the camera's optimum capability. (Yes! Blame the camera! LOL!)

I think the main reason I didn't get optimal images is from inexperience. Learning for future shots:
  • Keeping subjects inside the rectangular marks, especially with trying to capture shell with nearby wasp(s) or getting too near the shell as I did with the last two shells
  • Avoid zooming in if I use the closeup mode (flower)
  • Increasing lighting so autofocus works better
I mulled over including the last two images because of less than optimal focus. However, details looking inside the shells are unusual to see. Better luck next time for me! And may the next cicada not shimmy so high up the porch column before planting itself for its skeletal strip!

Cicada articles:

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