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Take Off!

Take Off!
Photo Information
Copyright: Vinny Blood (Vinster) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 91 W: 5 N: 185] (789)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-07-01
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk II, Canon EF 100 mm F2.8 Macro USM, SanDisk Ducati 8GB
Exposure: f/14.0, 1/200 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-07-01 15:25
Viewed: 2745
Points: 10
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
A male Stag Beetle (Lucanus cervus) preparing for take off. From what I've seen in my own garden it has been a good year for these spectacular insects. This is at least the sixth one my wife and I have found, and they are considered endangered. As with so many species, all they need to survive is their habitat left alone by us. In this case, it's the tree trunks and stumps their larvae feed on. Taking up to seven years to mature, they need to be left undisturbed in rotting wood and that's something most gardens don't have any more.

After taking shots of some of the others we found earlier in the year (see here) I decided I'd like to try and get one with the wings open if I could. As luck would have it I found this one in the garden tonight about 90 minutes before sunset. I took some shots of it crawling around an old branch in the sun, but it showed no inclination to fly. They avoid day flying as they are picked off by birds.

So popped him in a large tub for an hour until the sun dipped below the horizon, and then I put him on the branch again. After many minutes of patient waiting he finally went for it. I had about 4 seconds where I took some shots and then he put the wing cases back down. A few seconds later he did the same again, only this time he took off into the evening sky. A truly magical moment for me and I'm pretty happy with my first attempt. I would have like to have been a little more head on to show the wings better. Maybe next time...

Kind Regards

Vinny www.vincentblood.com

jlinaresp, jconceicao, uleko has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Vinny,

Dramatic macro!, excellent setting for the camera. great use of flash fill. Good central composition, proper lighting, good balance that generates a fairly impressive.



  • Great 
  • thor68 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 795 W: 138 N: 1319] (5674)
  • [2009-07-02 10:37]

what an amazing take-off! :-) thanks for the effort, this is really great, love the details and pose. sharpness and lighting
is very good. hope to see one of those impressive beetles once too. well done & best wishes, thor.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-07-02 13:04]

Hello Vinny,
How marvellous to have Stag Beetles flying in your garden! I would have to travel 50 km to chance by one and they are rare and protected in Sweden. Perhaps this shot is a little dark but the features of this male taking off are well seen with good sharpness. Its not often one can see the pattern on the inside of the wing cases.
Your patience was well rewarded and thanks for sharing the prize with us.
Kind regards,

Hello Vinny,

Great work.
Light,focus and definition are excellent.
Good note.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-07-03 10:37]

Hello Vinny,
You must have a fabulous garden with Oaks and with these magnificent beetles flying about!! This one looks quite dramatic in the dark showing interesting details and colours and I like your composition. I've only seen this species once - in Slovenia!
Many thanks and cheers, Ulla

Hi Vinny,
Great timing to capture this moment. We have logs and buried woodchip buckets in our garden and usually see a few Stag Beetles emerge and fly away in the early summer. That is always a great moment.

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