White Anglo Saxon Protestant

OK, well not really! This is a wasp of the insect kind, of course. This guy (or more likely, gal) was crawling up our living room window. I caught her using a glass and a paper plate, while the kids gawked and wanted to look (but were a bit scared).

Unlike my last wasp photo session, where the wasp seemed to be almost sedated, this wasp was alive and (it seemed) pretty upset. I got everything setup, with the camera plus 200mm macro lens plus extension tubes on a tripod and the Nikon macro flash rig.

I positioned the two SB-200 strobe units off camera at 180 degrees to the camera (one aimed towards the head and the other the tail of the wasp), set the aperture to as small as it would go (f/40) for maximum depth-of-field, and focused with the wasp still under the glass. (Focusing is no joke when one is this close: it can be very hard to get in the initial ballpark because landmarks are absent.) The plate seemed to make a good background.

At first, I got Phyllis to lift the glass off and put it back on before the wasp could get away. Firing the strobes really seemed to agitate the insect, and Phyllis didn’t have much stomach for being a “wasp assistant.” (Picture the kids gawking and making comments in the background.) So after Phyllis resigned, I did all parts of the job myself for a couple more shots (this was one of them). I checked them out on the computer, and decided I could release Ms. Wasp (outside, of course). This really excited the kids, but they wanted to make sure all our windows were shut so the wasp couldn’t get back in.

I sort of wonder why people are so squeamish about wasps, but looking at this photo I understand. But for the scale, a truly terrible monster. Beautiful creation of nature, even so.

This entry was posted in Bemusements, Photography.

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