Dynastes tityus under natural light

After rearing several of these Hercules beetles from eggs to adults, a process the I started in 2006 and finally culminated in mid-2009, I finally got around to photographing a couple of the adults. Due to their size, I decided to try and photograph the these beetles under natural light rather than setup a complex flash and diffuser array.

The photos were taken with a 100mm macro lens under natural light using an improvised setup made of tracing paper for a diffuser and a piece of white posterboard to reflect some of the ambient light. I used a Wimberly Plamp clamped on my tripod to hold several stiffened sheets of the tracing paper in place  a short distance above the beetles. 

I photographed the beetles one at a time on a fallen log; my tripod was set so it would not cast any shadows on the scene and close enough so the Plamp would hold the improvised diffuser above the beetles. The settings used for both images are 1/200 sec at  f/8 and ISO 400.

Overall I am pleased with the results but less so with the photo of the male – at the least the lighting is too overwhelming due to the male’s darker coloration. The image of the female is definitely better; the lighting looks more natural and the reflections are not to obvious. Any thoughts?

  1. Yes, the female is better. Did you hold tracing paper between the beetles and the sun?

    I’m experimenting with some of the diffusion techniques discussed by dalantech at “No Cropping Zone” – I’m pretty happy with the initial attempts.

    Nice to see you blogging again – I’ve reactivated your link in my blogroll.


  2. Thanks – I used a flexible arm/clamp to hold several sheets of tracing paper a short distance above the beetles.

    It’s good to be back – school and work kept me rather busy and I did not have much time to blog

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