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Photographing Cicadas.

Discussion in 'Macro, Flowers, Insects, and Greenery' started by camerapapi, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. I have never photographed Cicadas before. I was in my garden photographing flowers when this Cicada landed by my side. I removed the camera from the tripod, set it to aperture priority f5.6 and ISO 400. I moved almost 180 degrees from my original position. I decided to act fast so I hand held the camera, something I do not do often.
    I took several shots and this was probably one of the best. It was interesting for me to see the insect moving its face erratically and jerking the body at times. If that is a normal behaviour this time of year for them, I do not really know. It was cooler than it has been here in South Florida.


    Old D1X
    Old 105 f4 AIS Micro Nikkor.
    Old photographer.

    William Rodriguez
    Miami, Florida.
  2. um..............I dont think thats a cicada.....................in my professional opinion........(I am a crane operator) ..........its a dragonfly.....lol........
    but nice pic!
  3. Chris G

    Chris G

    Sep 12, 2007
    Ohio, USA
    I do like the pic too - but this is what we call a cicada here in ohio

    NIKON D50    ---    98mm    f/8.0    1/500s   
  4. Nice shot of a Dragonfly!

    I really don´t know what you mean by these: "moving its face erratically and jerking the body". But they do move their heads to see what is going on around them. But I have also seen a few times a Dragon whose head trembled like it had an epileptic seazure (which it probably isn´t) and then they are just fine. I don´t know what they are doing...streching their muscles, perhaps? :smile:

    Jerking the body? Hmmm... what I have seen and what I think you maybe meant is basically cleaning themselfs, especially if this "jerking" had something to do with its abdomen (tail). There are some important organs there...

    I think it´s a female Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) you got...
  5. Nice dragonfly :) 

    I'm guessing (no offense to anyone) that camerapapi's native language isn't english (although his post was understandable) so I can see why he could have come up with the mistaken ID. That's not a cigarra, but a Anisoptera :) 
  6. Counter


    Sep 18, 2007

    Wow! How big was that beauty?
  7. Chris G

    Chris G

    Sep 12, 2007
    Ohio, USA
    about 5 or 6cm from nose to wing tip
  8. Counter


    Sep 18, 2007
    Blimey! I had no idea they were quite that size. I've heard them plenty of times when in America but never actually seen one. Are they skittish or can you get usually get as close as your excellent photo suggests?
  9. Chris G

    Chris G

    Sep 12, 2007
    Ohio, USA
    the one pictured was part of a brood (XIV) that came out of the ground after 13 years. They seem more like affectionate cats than skittish bugs, easy to pick up and very cooperative subjects.
  10. Counter


    Sep 18, 2007
    That's it - I'm moving to Ohio :smile:
  11. Thank you all for your comments. No, my original language IS NOT English. I am of Hispanic origin and I have been living in this country for the past 45 years of my life. I do my best to understand and let others understand me.
    Indeed this is not a Cicada, it is a dragonfly. That tells you how much I know about insects. As I said, I found interesting the movements of that insect, magnified through the macro lens. This was actually my first attempt to photograph a dragonfly since I never did photograph one before; I simply confused insects.
    Paul, cigarra happens to be dragonfly in Spanish. I had to go to the dictionary to identify the creature and that tells you how much I know about these insects.
    Jukka, as I said, I have never seen these insects under the power of a macro lens. The face of the insect was been moved erratically with an occasional jerk of the body. I said in my original post that I could not understand why that behaviour and that perhaps the cool weather had something to do with it. Your excellent explanation of the insect has enlightened me and I will continue to search for information so I can learn more about them.
    Thank you all once again. I am sorry I made the mistake but you all have helped me to understand these insects better.
    Not bad after all for a beginner, don't you think so?
    William Rodriguez
    Miami, Florida.
  12. Counter


    Sep 18, 2007
    That's it - I'm staying in London!
  13. Hmmm interesting - I meant no offense William, I hope none was taken....

    I looked up my spanish translations on the internet so I apologize for my incorrect terms as well :) 

    either way - it's a beautiful shot of a dragonfly :) 
  14. aspiringphotos


    Sep 26, 2008
    Cool picture. He sure is colorful!
  15. Ya, no offence intended from myself either............sometimes I like to play the clown......just to make a few people smile! :biggrin:
  16. photofox


    Jun 8, 2008
    Over here
    Lovely shot, with good light and detail. :) 
  17. Nice shots. Actually I think cicadas are mistakenly applied often to the ones that come out every summer. I believe they are called 'dog day harvestfly' and they look very much alike.
  18. Hi William

    I think your dragonfly is a female Blue Dasher.


  19. Growing up in Oklahoma we called them locusts. Congrats on the shot -excellent!! Haven't caught one yet - but their "shells" are all over the place.
  20. Gentlemen: No need to apologize, on the contrary, you all have been very kind to me and have guided me in the right direction to identify the insect. Larry, it is indeed a Blue Datcher.
    Because of my poor entomology I am going to start to learn and understand better the behaviour of these insects besides been able to identify them in the future. John Shaw says that to be a good nature photographer we need to know our subject first.
    Once again, thank you all for correcting my mistake and for helping me to identify the insect.
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