German wasp

I initially thought this wasp to be a common wasp (Vespula vulgaris) but after a little investigation, was surprised to find that it was a German wasp (Vespula germanica). It is apparently an easy mistake to make, but the German wasp has three dots on its face and the black dots on the abdomen are separate whereas the abdominal markings are merged with the other black abdominal markings on the common wasp. At any rate, this wasp managed to find its way into the house where it suffered the fate most insects in the Joneshouse experience. Namely, they get their picture taken and are then released to the outdoors which is not a bad deal for them and certainly a good deal for me as I get to explore macro photography a bit more.

From a methodological approach, shooting images of insects is not the easiest approach as they tend to do what they are wont to do which is move about in a constant search for food and sex, not necessarily in that order. This of course makes them unwilling photographic subjects, so there is some degree of luck when trying to capture an image of an insect. This is especially true when other inhabitants of the house (those that contribute to paying the bills) tell you that the insect had better not escape again. Ideally, I am planning on building a self contained studio of sorts that will help to both contain the insect and keep them alive so that I can take their picture. To date, I have been using a combination of a cooler and paper backing which provides a uniform reflection from the flash, but this is a temporary solution. The current gear for these macro shots is a Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens with a the MR-14EX ring flash. The ideal insect studio will have ports for multiple flashes, have the ability to enclose the studio to contain insects long enough for photographic purposes, yet still allow the photographs to be taken without imposing additional layers of glass or plastic that will interfere with image quality. I’ll let you know when I find such a solution…

2 Replies to “German wasp”

  1. Cool. Looks like some wasps I had in my yard. I don’t speak German, tho, so our conversation was limited!

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