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Cotton Harlequin

Cotton Harlequin
Photo Information
Copyright: Sue Thomson (SueThomson) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 116 W: 0 N: 192] (603)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-06-07
Categories: Insects
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/60 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-06-07 4:51
Viewed: 4496
Points: 27
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hi all
This is my first insect post with my new macro lens. I was hoping that the smaller bugs might be a bit easier to photograph than the birds, but looks like I have a bit to learn here.

This Cotton Harlequin Bus was located in a tree at Strathpine Shopping Centre in the north of Brisbane. Despite using a tripod, I can see that his legs aren't quite sharp. I did try to sharpen in PS3 but I guess there is only so much you can do!

I used an Aperture priority of f7.1, ISO400 and shutter speed was 1/60. I welcome your comments....some of the bugs on TN are amazingly sharp so hopefully I can learn from you all and improve my shots.

The Cotton Harlequin Bug is a member of the Jewel bug family (Scutelleridae) named for their bright metallic colouration. The males and females are different colours, with the females mostly orange and the males mostly blue-red.

The Cotton Harlequin Bug feeds on many species belonging to the hibiscus plant family (Malvaceae), including ornamental hibiscus species and cotton. It feeds mostly on young shoots, piercing the stems and sucking the sugar-rich juices intended for shoot growth.

They are sometimes a minor pest of cotton and have been known to cause the introduction of a fungus, which rots the cotton boll. In gardens, they cause flower buds to drop prematurely.

This species is found throughout Eastern Australia in gardens and among ornamental trees in parks. The females tend their eggs to ward off the hungry eyes of wasp parasites.

ellis49, cataclysta, darwin, uleko, Art_R, gracious, jusninasirun, LordPotty has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Art_R: Cotton HarlequinSueThomson 1 06-08 02:19
To gracious: Cotton HarlequinSueThomson 1 06-08 02:16
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Sue,
it was a beautiful bug. the colours are lovely.
Pity it is a bit soft, 1/60sec is to long for macros and handheld. You need a support of any kind, tripod is the best
but even a monopod can be good or elbows and knees.
It's often the towards/forwards movement who is the problem, not the camera-shaking's.
I like the POV and the composition.
Well done.

Have a grea WE.

Hi Sue
Great composition. The blues & reds are absolutely stunning.
Good luck with your new macro lens.

Hi Sue
What can I say. It is nicely composed and framed. Nice vivid bug on peaceful background. Unfortunately sharpness is poor and it is spoiling nice image
Best wishes

Hi Sue
Brilliant colored bug and fine composition
shame the focus is a bit soft
Maybe the bug moved as you took the shot
With the tripod image should of been sharp
Only suggestion if possible take a few shots at different settings and pick the best one
tfs jon

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-06-07 8:39]

Hello Sue,
What a start with your new lens!! This is a great capture of this lovely and colourfull bug! It is a great composition and colours are excellent, a little soft on focus but still, I like it!! Well done!
TFS and cheers, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Art_R Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 244 W: 20 N: 839] (3892)
  • [2008-06-07 20:25]
  • [+]

Hi Sue , great to here that you have decided to shoot some macro , it is so much fun and a great challenge . I have not owned my macro lens for all that long myself and also have much to learn :-)

this is a very beautiful looking bug to start with but very hard circumstances , by your listed data , very low light and perched on that leaf as well , I don't suppose that leaf did the favor of staying still for you :-) and the insect is so reflective looking that the flash was likely not an option. all of your exposure numbers look ok for a tripod shot too , if any thing I could say that may have helped this shot would be to perhaps settle for a smaller image , take it from a bit further back and get a deeper field which is easier to focus and sometimes speeds the shutter too by changing the center weight average. using a 2 second timer or remote shutter release is very helpful to not accidentally jiggle the tripod.

one thing I did to learn my f numbers and field depth on the macro lens was to take some experimental shots at home using the flash and shooting at a piece of paper full of text at an angel from different distances, it is easy to see your effective focus area at different f stops / distances that way. my camera has limited depth of field preview.

I am sure with a bit of practice you will be taking great images :-) FYI , I get tons of blurry images too

thanks for your kind compliments to my photos , I appreciate them .

hope that you enjoy your new lens as much as I do mine.


Hello Sue,
The colour of the bug is really beautiful!
may be just a little soft on the focus, if you can try on several mode and select the best one you can! just a thought, hope you do not mind!
but the image is still pleasant!
many thanks

Hi Sue, splendid bug with fantastic metallic colors, good details and great sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

Hello Sue. Congratulations on the new lens. You have handled the optics brilliantly with this fine capture. Good focus with well executed depth in muting the background. I like the color and the perch at the tip of the leaf. Thanks for sharing and keep shooting. Tips from Art is very useful. Best regards. Jusni

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-06-11 8:30]

Hi Sue,
hope you're having fun with your new lens, looks like it! As it's been mentioned, the focus is a little soft, but you definitely have the eye for it! Composition is great and the colours are really nice too, keep snapping!

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-06-13 21:21]

Hello Sue

This insect stands out.
The colours are vibrant and rich.
Well composed in the frame.
The pov is good.
A little soft on focus but a wonderful ,and unique capture.


It certainly is a spectacular species Sue.
I'm sure you'll soon get the hang of macro work.
As Gert says,a tripod is pretty essential,and using the timer will also help avoid movement when you press the shutter.
Its definitely worth posting for its amazing colour.
Good luck with your new lens.

  • Great 
  • Helio Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 44 W: 0 N: 16] (533)
  • [2008-07-01 17:17]

Fantastic one. Nice colors, good picture

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2008-08-23 7:37]

Hello Sue,
a nice and lovely shot of this cute insect. Exciting bright colour and shining armour too.
Nice composition.


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