Monday, November 22, 2010

Monarchs Eat, shot with Canon 7d and 65mm MP-E

Ahhhhhhhhhhh, a new tool for my ever expanding camera bag.
In this case a super cool but really hard to operate lens.

As regular readers of this blog know I love to shoot insects and such.
For about a year I have been using a canon 100 2.8 macro.
The 100 2.8 is a great lens for the money but there comes a point when you want to get closer. That is where the 65mm MP-E comes in, this is a macro lens and only a macro lens. The 100 2.8 can substitute as a sharp telephoto, the 65mm is only useful inside a couple inches.

Did I mention this lens is a grower?
It starts at 4 inches, and the more magnification you get the longer it becomes, maxing out at 9.25 inches. Its focus starts at 4 inches an goes down to 1.6 inches.
Therein lies the problem, the outside lens element is always moving so you need to be able to slide the camera back and forth to compose your shots.
Did I mention shooting really small things is really really hard?
Especially when they are moving?

Well, here is my first attempt shooting
video with this really bad-ass
but challenging piece of glass.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monarch Butterfly Birth

If you search Monarch Butterfly's on the internet you will find Petabytes of information and photos and such. Here is my contribution to the pile.

For the last several years I have actively raised Swallowtail butterfly's.
This year I planted a bunch of milkweed in hopes of adding Florida Monarchs to my garden full time. I think the first milkweed plant actually came with a few eggs on it. See below.

A week later they hatch and start eating.

And eating.

Then the caterpillars hang upside down and turn into a chrysalis.

The pupa or chrysalis of the Monarchs are very cool. Jade green with a gold necklace. A week later the butterfly will emerge.

These are Florida Monarch Butterflys (Danaus plexippus) they do not fly to Mexico, they stay here all year round or fly to the Northeast in the summer.
So, if you live in Florida be nice to Monarchs you may be looking at one of my babies.

Here is a video of the Monarch being born.

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