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Meeting eye to eye

Meeting eye to eye
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-06-13
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 15x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 200
Exposure: f/3.2, 1/80 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Animals from my garden [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-06-14 19:51
Viewed: 4462
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 64
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Unidentified grasshopper / Order Orthoptera

Today I am interrupting the series on the birds of the Kruger with a macro of a grasshopper's eyes which I was fortunate to photograph yesterday while strolling through the garden. This guy was really co-operative and sat still for quite a long time for me to take a number of images of it.

Maybe it went into a freeze frame position after it saw this grey haired lady come crawling along on her hands and knees, camera in the hand, in order to take a photo or two. I am sure it thought in its insect’s mind that humans would do a number of bizarre things to take images, and even look more ridiculous in doing so.

After I photographed this hopper, everything was covered with sand, my knees, elbows, feet and even some places on my stomach as I really pulled out all stops to capture this guy who was posing so willingly for me.

Grasshoppers have been featured many times on the site and therefore I am not going to give you information about the insect itself but instead I'll give some interesting information regarding the compound eye, which I know has also been featured before

General overview
The arthropod (e.g., insects, crustaceans) eye is built quite differently from the vertebrate eye (and mollusc eye). Arthropod eyes are called compound eyes because they are made up of repeating units, the ommatidia, each of which functions as a separate visual receptor.

Each ommatidium consists of:
- A lens (the front surface of which makes up a single facet).
- A transparent crystalline cone.
- Light-sensitive visual cells arranged in a radial pattern like the sections of orange pigment cells which separate the ommatidium from its neighbours. The pigment cells ensure that only light entering the ommatidium parallel (or almost so) to its long axis reaches the visual cells and triggers nerve impulses. Thus each ommatidium is pointed at just a single area in space and contributes information about only one small area in the field of view.

There may be thousands of ommatidia in a compound eye with their facets spread over most of the surface of a hemisphere. The composite of all their responses is a mosaic image-a pattern of light and dark dots rather like the halftone illustrations in a newspaper or magazine. And just as in those media, the finer the pattern of dots, the better the quality of the image.

Grasshopper eyes, with relatively few ommatidia must produce a coarse, grainy image. The honeybee and dragonfly have many more ommatidia and a corresponding improvement in their ability to discriminate ("resolve") detail. Even so, the resolving ability of the honeybee eye is poor in comparison with that of most vertebrate eyes and only 1/60 as good as that of the human eye; that is, two objects that we could distinguish between at 60 feet could only be discriminated by the bee at a distance of one foot.

Flicker effect
The compound eye is excellent at detecting motion. As an object moves across the visual field, ommatidia are progressively turned on and off. Because of the resulting "flicker effect", insects respond far better to moving objects than stationary ones. Honeybees, for example, will visit wind-blown flowers more readily than still ones.

Resolution and Sensitivity
Arthropods that are apt to be active in dim light (e.g., crayfish, praying mantis) concentrate the screening pigments of their ommatidia into the lower ends of the pigment cells. This shift enables light entering a single ommatidium at an angle to pass into adjacent ommatidia and stimulate them also. With many ommatidia responding to a single area in the visual field, the image becomes coarser. The praying mantis probably can do little more than distinguish light and dark in the evening. The shift in pigments does, however, make it more sensitive to light than it is in the daytime as more ommatidia can detect a given area of light.

Colour vision
Some insects are able to distinguish colours. This requires two or more pigments, each of which absorbs best at a different wavelength. In the honeybee, four of the visual cells in each ommatidium respond best to yellow-green light, two respond maximally to blue light and the remaining two respond best to ultraviolet light. This system should enable the honeybee to distinguish colours, except red.


I hope you enjoyed looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

bedri, boreocypriensis, Argus, mwmod99, maurydv, KOMSIS, smitha, vanda, caspian, jlinaresp, uleko, horias, Alex99, Dis. Ac., Noisette, alikox has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To smitha: 10 000 milestoneMiss_Piggy 2 06-17 07:24
To ingridshaul: 10 000 milestoneMiss_Piggy 3 06-17 06:38
To rommel: 10 000 milestoneMiss_Piggy 1 06-17 00:08
To Silvio2006: 10 000 milestoneMiss_Piggy 1 06-17 00:07
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To KOMSIS: 10 000 milestoneMiss_Piggy 1 06-17 00:00
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To PeterZ: 10 000 milestoneMiss_Piggy 1 06-16 23:58
To mwmod99: 10 000 milestoneMiss_Piggy 1 06-16 23:58
To Argus: 10 000 milestoneMiss_Piggy 1 06-16 23:58
To boreocypriensis: 10 000 milestoneMiss_Piggy 1 06-16 23:57
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ants in your pantsingridshaul 1 06-15 14:37
Animal Behaviouringridshaul 1 06-15 14:02
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • bedri Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 111 W: 0 N: 237] (1284)
  • [2010-06-14 21:29]
  • [+]

Hi Anna,
Excellent macro, great details and POV, DOF. Very good, conratulations..
Best regards,

Good Morning Anna,

Incredible macro capture of this pretty faced grasshoper taken from a great frontal POV while looking at you:).
The DOF, exposure, colours and composition are all wonderful.
TFS and have a nice day MF!


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-06-14 22:51]
  • [+]

Hello Anna,
The ID of this grasshopper is totaly beyond me!
But the details of the eyes and rest of the head are fascinating from this the frontal POV. This view of the antennae make it look like it is about to charge!
The technical aspects, composition and blurred natural green Bg add to the appeal of this image.
Thanks and best regards,

The most dramatic point of view (I can almost imaging you lying on the grass) lovely controversial dept of field in my opinion and truly valuable notes friend Anna.Focus right on the eyes. Not a bad attempt from a tiny point and shot camera indeed! Bravo!
George Veltchev

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-06-14 23:54]
  • [+]

Hello Anna,
Fantastic photo taken from a ideal POV. Impressive sharpness and details. Beautiful natural colours. Great DOF. You were very lucky to get this opportunity.

Hallo Anne,
superb macro shot of this Grasshopper, incredible detail, i like very much this "aggressive" POV, splendid natural colours, nice composition
Best regards

Wow, great macro shot! Do I have those in my garden? Eeeeek! Thank goodness I am not two centimeters tall!
What a great upclose shot of a grasshopper.Sharp focus and great POV, well done! You are now officially the Macro Queen!

Hi Anna,
Excellent macro ...
Composition, color and detail are wonderful.
Best wishes,

Well, well! See who has come to take a good look at us.:)
Tell me Anna dear, not even once were you afraid of it pouncing on you? :)
I am sure it might have felt honoured and pleased to see this lovely lady in grey taking so many beautiful pictures of it with such dedication and perfection.
Excellent macro work with fantastic sharpness and details.
Thanks for the share,

Ciao Anna, amazing portrait of beautiful grasshopper with fantastic eyes, good natural colors, wonderful details and splendid sharpness, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • vanda Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 338 W: 25 N: 754] (3673)
  • [2010-06-15 7:47]
  • [+]

Hi Anna!
Impressive macro shot! Nice POV...e nice title too:))
The sharpness is excellent and the details are amazing!!
Splendid light and colours.
Ciao! Vanda

Hallo Anna,

To face a very impressive shots.
Against it seems to say something important.
Who knows, maybe if the language to talk:)
In fact, they act collectively they are very harmful to people we know, this is the only person in the picture looks pretty harmless and cute.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful shot and.

Best Regards,

Hello Anna,
IMPRESSIVE visual result whith f/3.2 and macro focus!... well done, a nice picture, with awesome POV and deligthful composition. Also a complete an useful note! TFS, regards, Jesús

Hola Anna

Has conseguido una fantastica imagen de esta especie de saltamontes, con esos ojos rayados y su cuerpo punteado, muy original y agradable imagen.

Un saludo Antonio

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2010-06-15 11:59]
  • [+]

Hello Anna,
Oh, dear, not exactly beautiful but very fascinating! I love the stripy eyes and the fine sharp details of the face. Excellent sharpness and well composed. Very well done!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Dearest Friend,

May be, it is the famous Maharajah Pearl Hopper :-)) !?! Just kidding!! This was my first thought when I saw this pearl-like detail in the middle of the face...

I hope you do not mind my peculiar sense of humour.

All the bits in his mouth/on his lips do suggest, you interrupted his lunch.

I also notice, that he has not had a shave - which is fashionable nowadays...

I definately will scour my Insect Books to find his REAL name.

He is - your image - is a beauty and I add it to my favorites.

Greetings and Love

Enjoy your evening

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2010-06-16 12:13]
  • [+]

Hello Anna
Wonderful shot and great macro of this great grasshopper!
Colors are perfect! Great POV and light!

Hellow Anna,
Sounds like you really got down and dirty to grab this one before it hopped off.None the less this is an amazing macro image with a unique perspective and pinsharp.The shallow depth has given the feeling that it is about to hop out of the photo.Superb details such as the colouration and designs of its eyes,antennas and face.He missed his morning shave as well.Full points for this one.
PS. The pan is really dissappointing of late, although I have spotted numerous crocs on my last few visits.Take care and regards to all.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-06-17 1:40]

Hello Anna.
Wow. What nice details in this macro. Great perspective to really show off the interesting eye. Excellent exposure, but the details are amazing. Nice DOF.Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2010-06-17 3:24]

Hi dear Anna.
I am very pleased to come back here even for few days. Only I am afflicted that have passed so much your superb pictures. I am impressed with this extreme macro. Simply great magnification and amazing portrait of the grasshopper. Subject is also wonderful. Surrounding leaves create a nice scenery for your charming photo model. As usual, Bravo. Great work.

Love the perspective here and its a very dynamic and daring composition which is seldom tried :-) I like this a lot.
Goutham R

Juest a superb impressive face to face. Stuning detaisl and great light. well done Anne!


Hello Anna,

Exellent picture for point and shoot camera.
Yes I am lying all times for my fungi, flower pictures and sometimes even in the water till my knees.
Good pov and dof and straight to the eyes.
Well done.


Hola Anna, siempre es necesario que me votes para que me acuerde de tí jeje. Gracias por tus comentarios a mi fotografía.
Tu toma interesante como siempre, por un motivo o por otro; en esta ocasión por un acercamiento cuidado y realista. La toma es dinámica y el ángulo de disparo magnifica al insecto.
Un abrazo y hasta pronto: Josep Ignasi.

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-06-18 0:37]

Hello Anna,
thanks for the critique and also a very motivating correspondence.
This is a very special face to face adventure with an alien.
Very sharp and very clear indeed. The antenna is quite short.
Very excellent frontal challenging view.
The spots are very detailed.
well done.


Hello Anna
What a great eye to eye with this strange face, superb POV and lovely environment,
his head is well detailed, very good light an d colors
Have a great sunday

  • Great 
  • briGG Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 195 W: 2 N: 344] (1823)
  • [2010-06-21 13:19]

Oui oui, Anne!
the title is well chosen. Nice heads up! :)
Have a good day!


Hello Anna
davvero di grande effetto questo faccia a faccia con questa particolare cavalletta. Incredibile il dettaglio, l'esposizione e ben gestita la profonditŕ di campo. Le note sono davvero molto interessanti.

Hi Anna,

Very nice capture of this grasshopper, it looks like it will jump out of the screen. Excellent POV. Thanks. Ali.

Hi Anna
Wow, this macro is just excellent. The detail is super sharp which shows off his amazing body, color and big eyes so well. Excellent DOF and POV. Excellent notes.
TFS Janice

  • Great 
  • jlynx Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 87 W: 7 N: 46] (455)
  • [2010-07-20 14:26]

Hello Anna.
I admire the patience of all those whose passion for macro photography. I used to think that this is not a difficult task at all. Today I know that it requires nadludzkiejzdolno¶ci assessment of the situation, great reflexes and incredible efficiency in the use of photographic equipment. I understood it then, when I started to try their capacity in this field.
Of course, I admire your ability Anna. Achieving focus in the plane of Eye grasshopper is a great feat. Personally, I do not have such achievements, so happy to look into the collections of other photographers, and to your portfolio.
Great shot.

I like very much frontal POV's with insects, and this is not a exception. Nice composition.
You managed a very precise DOF to get all head into focus with F:3,2. Nice picture.
Have you tryed to lower a bit green saturation with "color balance" or Hue/saturation adjust? I think it would lower the green lighting, cleaning the photo and making more emphasis in the colour of the insect. Of course colour is always the taste of the viewer...
Best regards, Felipe.

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