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Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-03-03
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 HZ DG Macro, Digital ISO 100, UV 62mm Kenko
Exposure: f/14.0, 1/125 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Grasshopper & Crickets, Insects and Spiders of Southern Africa, Movietitles, Grasshopper, _Fotos adicionadas por 5 ou mais membros II, 5 favs. and up - PART 3, RARE or SIGNIFICANT contributions to TN 1, A study in Entomology (insects) 1, Macromania [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-03-27 18:37
Viewed: 8757
Favorites: 5 [view]
Points: 90
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Elegant grasshopper - Zonocerus elegans

This stink grasshopper (or foam grasshopper) is a follow-up in a series of postings I will do on this specific species. It was photographed at the Thulasihleka Pan Bird Sanctuary outside Richards Bay. It is a lovely, unspoiled protected conservation area, right in the middle of a major industrial area. The pan has long been earmarked for industrial development, but in 2004 the uMhlathuze Municipality realised the potential conservation and tourism value of the pan and handed the management of the area to Birdlife Zululand as part of the municipalities 'adopt a spot' programme. Funds for the construction of hides, offices, clearing of weeds, signage and other developments have come from the surrounding industries itself.

The pan forms part of the Richards Bay Important Bird Area (IBA). What are IBA's? Birdlife International, the world’s largest coalition on national conservation, has defined IBA's globally. This is an effective system that identifies geographical areas as global or regional IBA's, if they achieve the global set of criteria according to the birds that occur or congregate in these regions. The criteria include Threatened Birds (Red Data species), congregations & large numbers of birds, and the occurrence of species characteristic of biomes. Zululand has a spectacular 605 bird species and a wonderful range of destinations where they occur.

While visiting this pan, to do some birding, I started to notice the abundance of insect life within the surrounding vegetation. I frequently started to visit the pan not just for the birding experience, but also for the insects that can be found. This way I could get the better of two possible worlds. Insects, to exercise some macro photography and to steam up my emotions (as these critters just will not sit still) and then I can go and watch the lovely birds, to provide a therapeutic stress reliever.

Something about the grasshopper

Nature normally uses bright colours as a warning mechanism of some kind and with this grasshopper it is no exception. Their conspicuous colouration acts as a warning device to would be predators and it gives the predator's nature's not-so-subtle message of, "Hands off!" Stink grasshoppers accumulate toxins as they feed on various wild plants, herbs, shrubs and weeds, many of which contain noxious substances. These are stored in special glands and ejected in aversive foamy secretions if the animal is attacked. It has a horrible pungent odour. A monkey would not touch it, nor do poultry or most birds.

An elegant grasshopper female lays up to 300 eggs into the soil. For egg-deposition, mated pairs form large groups on the ground, often hundreds in a dense mass. This results in a mixed assembling of unrelated tiny hatchlings which carry just a small amount of poison. Many of them have to be eaten by an inexperienced predator to teach him the lesson of their conspicuous colouration.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

ljsugarnspice, Fisher, cmarzano, ALIRIZA, AndyB, ellis49, manyee, phlr, sandpiper2, scottevers7, goutham_ramesh, brendon, SkyF, marhowie, wallhalla15, Janice, jeanpaul, livios, coasties, Dee_eS, firelord, Athila, tinman, peter_stoeckl, smirnese, greghume, zeca, Dyker, charedan, Rehanna, Miss_Piggy, betsie has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To wuta: wutawuta 2 03-29 18:59
To goutham_ramesh: Damaged wingsloot 1 03-28 22:49
To scottevers7: Thanksloot 1 03-28 22:46
To Jannie: Die groot bytloot 1 03-28 22:44
To manyee: Nibbled wingsloot 1 03-28 22:42
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2006-03-27 18:52]

Hi Loot,

Beautiful shot and well done on the composition and details. Excellent work.


what a strange and beautiful looking hopper! i love all the colors... and your composition and detail are great, thanks for posting!

Que logrado el color y la nitidez asociado a una magnifica composicion en foto macro.

Great shot Loot.
Incredible colors and sharpness.
excellent composition and love the BG.

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-03-27 21:23]


Cette prise est d'une très grande qualité. Les couleurs sont justes et éclatantes. La pose de l'insecte sur les herbes en diagonale est parfaite. La netteté et les détails sont à couper le soufle. Bravo pour l'éclairage et la faible profondeur qui rehausse le sujet et le met en valeur. Merci pour l'envoie et bonne fin de soirée.

Extra Loot.


Hi Loot,
Great cpature. Looks like the f14 aperature is enough to keep DOF fully yet still give seperation from the background. What a colour palette!

Fantastic capture Loot! This time you got the whole enchilada(Wish had been granted), which to me is more impressive. The colors are very nice right along with the detail. Well done. :)

Hello Loot,
Nice to see the full view of this colourful hopper.
Very good detail,nice diagonal composition and good dof.
The background has a little noise,I've just done a quick workshop.hope you dont mind.
Great shot.


Hi Loot,
this is an excellent close-up.
Lovely colours, well composed, good POV and DOF.
The details and exposure are spot on.
The note is great and informative.
Great work, my friend.

Hi Loot,
WOW! That is all I can say!
This macro is just outstanding. The sharpness of detail is absolutely stunning. The light is perfect, showing off the gorgeous colors and markings on this very "elegant" insect.
It is just beautiful.
Your notes were very thorough and fascinating as usual.
I particularly enjoyed the description of the egg-depositing orgy. What a wild scene that must be.
Thank you for sharing about this amazing species. : )

Did something happen to its wings? They look like they have been broken off or nibbled off.

Lekker Loot.

Lyk my die macro gogga het jou behoorlik gebyt. En ek is bly hy het. Puik foto.

Excellent detail, POV, composition and saturated colours.

Great work.

  • Great 
  • phlr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 130 N: 882] (2821)
  • [2006-03-28 3:46]

Simply Fantasitc!
Full of colour!
Excellent on every detial!
Excellent DOF!
Excellent POV and BG!
5* photo!
Keep on going and TFS!

Hi Loot,
Congratulations...Marvelous macro. Good details, nice colors, POV, sharpness, composition and framing are very well. Well done.
Ali Rıza

Stunning image Loot. Very well exposed and a great pose and POV. An amazingly coloured hopper.
Perhaps the only criticism is maybe it could have used a bitmore room, especially in front, but that's just my taste. Well done.

Hi Loot,
Yes it appears Joseph does have on his coat of many colors.( I always liked that musical) This one rocks! Outstanding colors, clarity, and detail in this shot. For sure this one goes in the WOW! catagory.
Very excellent work my friend!

Hi Loot,
Good picture with diagonal composition, the colors are also very good. But is the wings damaged?just curios to know! Composition wise I would have left little more space after the head just to indicate the directional space!( Just my way of thinking, i'm not suggesting that you should have done it ). a very useful note too.
Enjoy your macro shoot and birding :-)
Goutham R

Hi Loot, You have done it now, These colors and details are so crisp with BG, DOF, POV well composed Just a great Job, TFS Kyle

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-03-28 12:44]

Hi Loot,
this insect is very colorful and full of interesting details. The great diagonal line and POV are great. Nice sharpness and good DOF. Lovely composition.

Hello Loot,
this is a fantastic capture. Excellent colours and very good sharp detail. Composition and DoF/POV are great also. Very well done. TFS.

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-03-28 15:37]
  • [+]

Hallo Loot , A Very great shot ,what a colours i'ts a
beauty , good details and pov sharpnes very good job
tfs Greetings Teunie.

Great capture Loot,
Good clear and sharp detail. Good colours, composition, POV and exposure.
Thanks for posting, enjoy the rest of the week.

Great Shot Loot, Excellant POV. I'd love to know how you get so close to an animal with the word "stink" in its name! I saw AndyB did a slight touch up making the photo a bit softer. I'd love to learn that trick. Anywayu, great shot!!

  • Great 
  • CTP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 644 W: 6 N: 946] (2726)
  • [2006-03-28 21:40]

Hi Loot,
Excellent Grasshopper close-up my friend.
I like your pov,vibrant colors,dof,
sharpness,focus,body details,blurred bg and lighting.Well Done.TFS

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-03-28 23:14]

Ah yes, Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. And it looks like it has a warrior's face mask Loot, as well as its wings ripped off at the ends. What a capture my friend, so bright and sharp. Pretty gruesome character, and as you say it is a warning device to one and all. Well shown, and TFS,

Hi Loot,
Excellent macro shot!
Superb details and very nice colour.
Well done!

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-03-29 3:55]

Hi Loot,
A nice shot, excellent colours. A nice diagonal composition and good detail. An interesting note and interesting follow-up notes, a good post.

bonjour Loot
C'est un superbe insecte que tu nous présente . Belle couleurs et beaux details et tres beau BG
Merci et au revoir....JP

Hi Loot,
This an excellent composition on the diagonal, with just enough space. You have excellent color, detail, DOF and exposure also. Beautiful hopper!

  • Great 
  • osse Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 89] (7805)
  • [2006-03-29 14:59]

Hi Loot,
Great close-up cpature.Beautiful composition lovely colours and details.
Excellent work

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2006-03-29 22:37]

Loot, amazing colors, contrast, saturation and sharpness.

I do enjoy composition too.

A great job indeed.


  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2006-03-31 13:23]

Everything in this shot is impressive, colors, sharpness, composition, etc. Well done Loot. 10/10.


Hi Loot

Wow... is what immediately springs to mind. A truely amazing macro shot. Wonderful array of colours, well saturated, crisp, clear and oh, so sharp!

Super work, well done! :-)

great macro with beautiful colours, details, light, DOF!
Good note!
Thanks ana:)

  • Great 
  • Athila Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 335 W: 239 N: 493] (1982)
  • [2006-04-04 20:20]

Hi Loot!

Impressive close-up. Focus is very sharp and exposure is right on. Le colorfull insect contrast beautifully with the green foliage. Color saturation is excellent. And the diagonal compostion against the blured BG is wonderfull.

Excellent picture and TFS.

  • Great 
  • tinman Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 242 W: 7 N: 458] (2663)
  • [2006-04-05 11:00]

Super shot - I think much better than one I posted some time ago. Well done

Amazing, Loot!
Perfect presentation. Superb!
Thank you! Best regards,

There's nothing I can say that hasn't already been said about this photo. It is really amazing.

Hi Loot,
Excellent close-up having amazing colours,sharp details and good POV. Blurred BG is also a plus for this great composition.
Thank you for sharing.
P.S. I replied to your critique on my picture "dentdelion"

Hello Loot
Wonderful capture of this impossibly colored insect. Focus and tight crop provide interest as well as the strong diagonal. Interesting and informative note. I wonder if the bird and insect diversity are related?

  • Great 
  • zeca Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 373 W: 14 N: 539] (2887)
  • [2006-05-10 0:03]

So amazing creature! So beautiful colours! So nice capture, Loot! Excelent POV! I like your note also!

  • Great 
  • nimou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 148 W: 1 N: 687] (3171)
  • [2006-06-23 11:09]

so nice. really great shot. regards

Great shot, no buts about it. Congrats, TFS Dan

Hello Loot

Wie sou nou kon dink dat so 'n stinkende derduiwel so mooi kan lyk op 'n foto. Hierdie is eintlik niks anders as 'n pes want ek het gesien hoe duisende van hierdie springkane 'n boer tot trane dryf nadat hulle basies sy hele oes opgevreet het in 'n kwessie van 'n paar dae. Hierdie is 'n groot les vir my uit die natuur en vanuit jou kamera lens, dat selfs so 'n vernietigende plaag soos hierdie karnallie in die regte hande kan ontpop in die toonbeeld van prag en praal. Wat 'n wonderlike skepping leef ons nie in nie.


Hallo Loot
WOW the combination of colours of this grasshopper is WOW. I can only but repeat myself and say this whole image is just a big WOW. This image is proof of your excellent talent and capabilities with your camera. Beautifully detailed image, with extraordinary sharp features. Excellent focus and composition. Just dazzling, what more can I say, except WOW. This is indeed a lovely grasshopper (which I luckily did not have to smell) that earned a well deserved smiley. Presented and framed in a splendid manner. Thanks for sharing.

Hi Loot
Pragtige kleure en detail wat jy hier vasgevang het.

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