Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Eastern Tent Caterpillar

The Eastern Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma americanum) is very active at this time of year. I've had to remove several "tents" from my trees and yet every where I turn I find another caterpillar. Most of the time they are moving rather quickly so the other day when I found one on sitting still on one of my roses I thought why not grab a shot.

I went and grabbed the gear. Put the camera on the tripod to make focusing easier, using the 70-300mm and a 20mm extension tube. My Sony HVL-F58AM flash off camera. I started with a small aperture of f14 and the hand holding the flash to the right. Popped off the firsts shot and drew back with a gasp.

The flash overpowered the shot and was on the wrong side of the subject. So I dialed down the flash EV -0.7 stops, switched hands and shot again.

The flash was still overpowering the exposure so I dialed it down to -1.7EV and gave it another go.

This time the exposure looked better but the depth of feild was too deep so I closed the aperture down to f5 and moved off center.

I liked to look but the main subject was supposed to the the caterpillar, not the leaf. So I centered and zoomed in a little more for the final shot.

So after importing the raw image using Ufraw and adjusting the levels, curves, contrast and sharpening for the final image.

This set required 12 shots to get the final image. You can click on an image to see a larger size.