Sunday, April 06, 2014

Photographing ants

It was a warm day, but not hot. You know the kind where the sun is almost warm, but the car seat totally is? And the concrete. The concrete was one big slab of invitingly warm under the clear sky and the bright sun.

Sometimes when the neighbor leaves I take a pillow and lay out there straight on the concrete and listen to the birds and enjoy the warmth. I so enjoy the peace and quiet, and warmth in a Georgia spring before the oppressive heat sets in

On Saturday I did just that, also taking my camera with me so I could photograph birds. The longer I'm still, the more birds come around to the dogwood tree, the better chance of getting some wildlife photos.

While I was laying there I started watching the ants. They've come out recently, those aggressive tiny biting buggers, busy digging trenches and holes and cracking the concrete. They walk on a trail in one direction then the other, never varying. In this case, they'd chosen a route along the edge of the concrete walkway from the garage to the front door. I lay parallel to them and started watching their business instead of the birds.

Around then, both the next door tenant and the landlord arrived. They stood looking at me laying on the concrete, still and motionless and I realized that this could look weird. Indeed, they both said later that when they pulled in they thought I'd fallen and they were getting ready to cal 911 emergency. But then I sat up with my camera in hand and said hello. The little girl, daughter to the tenant, came running over asking "What are you doing?" the way kids do.

One thing I was doing was practicing macro photography with my extreme zoom lens. It's a challenge to frame shots, to capture fast moving insects, and to be still enough not to blur the shot. I also like it because I can lay down. No crouching, walking hiking, or traveling to get the shot. It is a method I made up called "The Lazy Saturday Afternoon Photographer Method."

1. Go outside
2. Lay down
3. Turn on macro setting.
4. Wait.

LOL. Well there is more to it but that's the gist. In other words a nice past-time for a vacation Saturday afternoon. Here are the fruits of my labors.

Ant #1: Gotta get to the oasis...gotta. get. there.
Ant #2: Hey wait up!

Look, just ahead, SHADE!!

Remember the way, take a left at the clover and down into the dirt.

Where did they go? Here:

It's a jungle in here. Between the huge pollen dots, birds, and the spiky plants, life is pretty rough...

And miles to go before I sleep...

Miles to go before I sleep.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Elizabeth, just wanted you to know that for some reason, I haven't been able to recently comment on your other blog. I keep trying, and my comments don't post.

Oh well, an amen to your posts from Tues 4/29! :)