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"head to tail"

Photo Information
Copyright: patrick neuberg (pat) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 87 W: 0 N: 125] (414)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-09-24
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D70, Sigma EX 50mm F2.8 DG Macro
Exposure: f/11, 1/25 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-09-28 17:38
Viewed: 5680
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Sawfly larvae, most probably Croesus septentrionalis (Linnaeus).

Despite their large resemblance with butterfly caterpillars these larvae don’t share the same precise morphology. Caterpillars have only four pairs of abdominal prolegs in addition to their three pairs of thoracic legs (characteristic of all insects) separated by two legless segments. The sawfly larvae have higher numbers of prolegs, which are separated from the real legs only by one segment. Here I most like their aggregative behaviour, feeding on the same leaf, all aligned, head to tail.

I started experimenting with images taken in camera-raw format (NEF), which I converted with the wonderful, most versatile, and above all free (!!!) UFRaw program, which allows fine-tuning of colour contrast taking full advantage of 16 bit raw-colours before converting them to standard photo format (marvellous histogram, no brush feathering any more!).

Here is the link to this powerful program, which also acts as a plug-in for “The Gimp”, the free analogue of professional image editing programs :

see also :


Photo taken with the Nikon D70 and Sigma 50mm macro lens. Plastic diffuser used for softening the flash. I used sturdy Manfrotto tripod, going down to 1/25 sec exposure.

Postprocessing :
UFRaw for colour space, curves, contrast
The Gimp : Unsharp mask, selective Gaussian blur, stamp tool (dust removal), slight crop, frame setting (gradient tool), resize for site, jpeg conversion

Thanks for looking and for your interest,


taba, greenpinkorange, Matt-Bird, TAZ, horia, marhowie, cicindela has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Patrick,
Great moment you captured! Amazing and funny post:-)
Thank you,

  • Great 
  • taba Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 466 W: 124 N: 312] (1847)
  • [2006-09-28 20:55]

Hi Patrick
very good capture
Good POV, sharpness and colours.
very funny position of the larvaes.
well done.

Wow.. looks more like dancing larvaes! a VERY nice capture. Very interesting to just stare and ponder what exactly they are thinking!
Wonderful colours and POV. I do wonder if it's a little soft. Nonetheless, a great and funny picture. :) Thanks for sharing. GREAT!

very nice macro photo:-)

Hey Patrick,
This is a cool photo and well captured.

Good capture!

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2006-09-29 2:35]

Géniale cette macro pour ce groupe de chenilles avec leurs poses amusantes. La netteté est correcte et la profondeur de champ est bonne. Jolies couleurs et fond agréable.
Compliments Patrick.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-09-29 4:09]

Hi Patrick

:)) This is excellent! I really like it :)
Such a display of military strategy is rarely seen among animals :)
Seriously, very well seen and captured!
I like the colors, the excellent POV, the very nice DOF and the sharp details.
Great work!

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • nimou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 148 W: 1 N: 687] (3171)
  • [2006-09-29 8:37]

Wonderful composition. Great expose and very nice colours. Well done
Regards from Spain

Hi Pat,
Interesting macro with 4 in 1 and rears in the air :)
Great detail, colors, and DOF. Well exposed, nice BG also. Good to see you're using raw format..
Well done & Thank You!

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