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Inside a Wasp Nest.

By paulbroad  
Back to some discussion stuff. Had a wasp nest in a bird box in the garden. Had to go. dealt with it after dark with killer spray, then dissected next day. Shot a lot with the 7D and 105 Sigma, but thought I would try the Fuji XE1 with 60mm macro and 16mm tube. so this available light.

Depth of field is always going to be the issue. tried focus stacking with helicon software, but not impressed. Need more practice but the grubs were moving for a series of shots.


Tags: Macro Wasp Nest Larvae Close-up and macro Grub

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TanyaH Plus
18 1.3k 411 United Kingdom
5 Jul 2016 12:11PM
My first thought is why did you need to kill them, but then I doubt you'd want discussion on that so I'm not going there! Grin

Depth of field wise, I've never tried the focus stacking technique so I can't comment with any kind of authority on that subject. Having said that, I do like what IS in sharp focus here. Those holes (I know there's a technical name for them, but can't think of it at the moment) and the little eggs (?) are beautifully sharp. Would it have been good to have that wasp itself in sharp focus too? Probably, but then again as you rightly say, unless you go the whole route through the stacking process then it would be a sod to do.

Apart from that, who the heck wants to spend that much time in front of a wasp nest trying to get the perfect focus! Not me, that's for sure. I do admire you for doing this, 'cos you're a braver man than me.

One thing though - nature never ceases to amaze me with just how intricate it is, and your macro shot here illustrates that beautifully.

Handheld or tripod? And, I suppose, the inevitable question ... did you get stung?

paulbroad Plus
14 131 1293 United Kingdom
5 Jul 2016 2:39PM
I will answer your question, Tanya. I believe in live and let live within reason. Foxes, for example, should not be torn to pieces by dogs, but should be culled by the gun. A gamekeeper I know shot 120 foxes 2 years ago. He could tell little difference. Magpies are not being culled and they decimate small birds nests and young. There needs to be a balance. Cormorants in fish ponds, pass the gun! Do the fish not also have some right to live?

The wasp nest was in a bird box on our patio where my grand children play. In a house, shed or home environment, you simply cannot have them. In extreme cases they can kill a human or pet. Out in the countryside or fields, no problem.

They do a lot of good killing garden pests, but control is necessary.

Do you kill rats? Mice? Mosquitoes?

Common sense is the issue and culling is not a bad thing if done for the right reasons and correctly.

The shot. Yes, what to get sharp. The 7D images are at f18 with macro flash and even then depth is an issue. I cannot seem to get the stacking software to work well. Several tries with this using a rack driven focus slide, half mill increments for 25 images and a good tripod with remote release. Still not the results I expected.

Need to practice.

TanyaH Plus
18 1.3k 411 United Kingdom
5 Jul 2016 3:42PM
Thanks Paul, I appreciate that dialogue. Having been brought up in the countryside myself I have both a healthy respect and love for all wildlife, but also appreciate the need to control it in certain circumstances, but in humane ways. As you point out, a wasp nest out in a field is no bother to anyone; near where kids play or where they become a problem en masse is a different matter entirely. I'm not stupidly soft-hearted where it comes to things like that, but I'll also not take any action unless I absolutely have to. I abhor senseless killing, whether that's of humans or animals or insects of any kind.

I've even been known to move snails and slugs off paths so they don't get trodden on! Okay, it annoys the crap out of me when they munch my dahlias, but hey ...

Is Helicon the only focus stacking software out there? I hold my hands up to no knowledge whatsoever of the process, other than knowing that there's 'stuff' out there (racks) in order to make it easier at the taking stages.

Is it just one of those 'practice makes perfect' scenarios? I'm not sure I'd have the patience, but then again it's not the sort of photography that floats my boat Smile


banehawi Plus
17 2.7k 4282 Canada
5 Jul 2016 4:09PM
Nice shot. Its great to see the different stages of development.

I have painful memories of trying a shot like this using flash. A serious mistake, as I was attacked a stung numerous times. The shot was decent though

Paper wasps, as they are called here, I would always dispose of if attached to a house or very near where kids play.

dudler Plus
18 1.8k 1895 England
5 Jul 2016 6:32PM
Beautifully illustrative: I once got hold of a disused wasps nest, but failed to shoot it much. It was an engineering marvel.

And if it was really close to where I sit, I'd deal with it, too. Live and let live is great - but too close is too close.
paulbroad Plus
14 131 1293 United Kingdom
6 Jul 2016 7:02AM
Interesting stuff and a bit more than just photography. I am against any senseless killing, but needs must. Creatures such as mosquitos are the obvious thing. eradicating them totally has to be a good idea. What single good use do they have?

TanyaH Plus
18 1.3k 411 United Kingdom
6 Jul 2016 2:09PM

Quote:mosquitos ... What single good use do they have?

Easy ... exercise Grin When there's one in the room that you can hear and it occasionally buzzes past your face, grab the zapper bat and wap it round the room a few times. Get's the blood flowing (the mozzy will sense that and come closer so you'll be able to see it better), the wapping motion is great for bingo wings (ladies only) and once you actually tw*t the bugger, and hear the sizzle, it's an immense feeling of satisfaction.

So rather than being useless, they can actually contribute to (eventual) peace of mind and enhanced harmony in one's home ...

Bet you wish you'd never asked now, doncha?! Grin
paulbroad Plus
14 131 1293 United Kingdom
6 Jul 2016 4:14PM
Yes. female logic. My wife practices the same skills and I come second every time! Got used to it!

paulbroad Plus
14 131 1293 United Kingdom
6 Jul 2016 4:17PM
No, no sting. They were all dead other than those still in the breeding cells. I sprayed the nest box through the entry hole after dark when they were dormant with strong insect killer. Still need to be careful as a dead wasp can still cause damage.

Setup the comb in bright sun and have some shots and video of young emerging. Will b going to the libraries.

TanyaH Plus
18 1.3k 411 United Kingdom
6 Jul 2016 4:27PM
Paul, you've got a fabulously dry sense of humour - love it! Smile

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