The “best” Eleodes suturalis

Eleodes suturalis - "sutured" clown beetle

Testing with my new diffuser setup¹ continues. I’ve kept this “sutured” clown beetle (Eleodes suturalis) alive since last July as a terrarium-mate with my Great Plains giant tiger beetles (Amblycheila cylindriformis). The first photos I took of it in the terrarium with the old diffusers (Sto-Fen + Puffers) can only be described as “ho-hum.” The next series (with the beetle cleaned up a bit) was taken in a white box with indirect flash and represented a nice improvement over the first shots. Here, the beetle is back in the terrarium on a piece of bark using direct flash and the new diffuser. I think it has the best of both worlds – nicely diffused lighting on a natural substrate (without the need for a white box). Yes, the focus is a bit off in the head area – the beetle was really not very cooperative during the shoot, and I was just interested in seeing how the lighting would look without spending too much time trying to capture the “perfect” shot.

¹ Photos of the diffuser and instructions on how to make it are coming, I promise! I’ve made a few improvements over the prototype by eliminating the tape to hold things together and am just working on the attachment to the MT-24EX flash bracket.

I really hope this diffuser works out for me in the field!

Photo Details: Canon 50D w/ 100mm macro lens (ISO 100, 1/250 sec, f/16), direct Canon MT-24EX flash w/ oversized concave diffuser. Typical post-processing (levels, minor cropping, unsharp mask).

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2010

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About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
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8 Responses to The “best” Eleodes suturalis

  1. Nicholas says:

    Hi Ted,

    it looks like the diffuser really is doing the job. Can’t wait to see what kind of results it will give you in the field.
    Sweet, now get out there :D

    • Annoyingly, I finally come up with a diffuser setup that I think will work for me just as first frosts take out the last insects of the season. I’m afraid you’ll have to live with a steady diet of “old-diffuser” photos still waiting in the queue from this summer.

  2. That looks very good. Looking forward to seeing your set up as I have yet to develop anything for my MT-24EX .

    • Great hammer of Thor – I can’t wait to see what a Canon 5DM2, MP-E65, and MT-24EX in your hands will produce! Did you also get a 100mm?

      BTW, Alex’s tracing paper diffuser and Kurt’s original concave diffuser are as good as it gets for the 65mm.

  3. Alex Wild says:

    Huh. I would have called this beetle Stenomorpha. Shows what I know.

  4. First thing I thought when I saw that picture, was “Wow! What a clean beetle!” Then I read you cleaned him up for his photo shoot. He cleans up nicely.

    “Great hammer of Thor…” – and I thought there was no way you could be even cooler. Love the reference!

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