View Full Version : Leafhopper

Steve Maxson
10-21-2010, 10:16 AM
This colorful Red-banded Leafhopper (Graphocephala spp.) was on an elderberry bush along with several of its friends. 40D, MP-E 65 mm, 1/250, f/16, ISO 100, MT-24 twin lites (diffused), tripod. For this image, I used a tripod to steady the camera and then focused by moving the branch slightly back and forth with my hand/forearm braced against a tripod leg. The background is a print of OOF vegetation held in place by a Plamp - to keep the background from going black. RAW file PP in CS5, curves, saturation, selective color, rotate, crop. I removed many tiny bits of debris from the leaf. All comments are welcome and appreciated.

Jim Bridges
10-21-2010, 06:07 PM
Love the color and the detail on the leg too. I captured some of these little critters this year for the first time. I may post one of them later if I can find the files. :o

Mike Moats
10-21-2010, 06:19 PM
Hey Steve, cool looking critter, nice details and colors.

George Zanotti
10-21-2010, 06:45 PM
Very cool little dude!

I am amazed you could nail the DOF and focus this well without resorting to focus stacking.


WIlliam Maroldo
10-22-2010, 01:08 AM
Hi Steve. Subject detail, color, exposure top notch. The background seems problematic, to me at least. The somewhat jagged interface between the leaf, and the green background detracts from the image. Maybe a crop to remove the darker green? Excellent work as usual. regards~Bill

Thomas Herou
10-22-2010, 07:04 AM
Fantastic colored hopper.
Very nice DOF too.

Ken Childs
10-22-2010, 10:56 AM
Hey Steve, I love these little candy-stripers! Last year I saw a bunch but I don't think I've seen any this year. :(

The bug itself looks fantastic although I'd prefer it if it were facing towards us instead of away. Having said that, I'm amazed that you were able to setup your tripod and a BG without chasing it off. These things have never held still for me for very long. The dark stripe at the top isn't working for me so if this were mine, I'd first try cloning some of the leaf over that area and then if it didn't look natural, I'd crop from the top to remove it. Still, it's a lot better than any shot I've been able to get of one of these. :D

Roman Kurywczak
10-22-2010, 11:47 AM
Hey Steve,
What Ken said:D.......I do think if he was facing us more (I'm a Jr. HAP officer).....this would be off the charts! As is a very cool capture and excellent light.....just wishing for the better angle.

Steve Maxson
10-22-2010, 01:46 PM
Thanks for the comments everyone. Ken - When I took this photo it was only about 50 degrees (F) after an even cooler night so these guys were a lot less frisky (and easier to photograph) than they usually are. I agree with Ken and Roman that having the leafhopper facing slightly away is less than ideal - I was trying to get both the front and rear of this guy in focus within the approximately 1.5 mm of DOF that I had to work with. Giving this more thought after the fact, it seems clear that getting both the eye and the protrusion at the rear in sharp focus would automatically bring the rear closer to the lens than the head. Having said all this, I still agree that the image would be stronger if the leafhopper was facing more towards us. :) It also looks like I need to rethink the leaf/background edge at the top. A combo of cropping and cloning would be a fairly easy fix. As usual, it's good to have multiple set of eyes looking at one's photos. :)

Bob Miller
10-22-2010, 08:44 PM
Very cool image as is! What are MT- 24 lights ? for nikon?

Julie Kenward
10-22-2010, 09:24 PM
I agree with Ken on the top of the frame. I also can't believe you got this guy to hang out for you - they run from me! Not to get off topic but any idea what the clear drop is at the end of the bug? Or do I even want to know? :confused:

Steve Maxson
10-23-2010, 02:41 PM
Thanks for the comments Bob and Jules.

Bob - The MT-24 is Canon's double flash unit designed for macro use. Nikon has something similar called the R1C1 Wireless Close-up Speedlight System.

Jules - I'm not an expert on leafhopper anatomy, but if this was an aphid, I think we'd be talking about "honeydew." ;) OK, maybe you don't want to know. :) :)

Patrick Sparkman
10-23-2010, 09:40 PM
Beautiful shot Steve. I like the effort to put the green background in the image. Could you have moved to your right to get the insect facing toward the camera rather than away?

Steve Maxson
10-24-2010, 10:30 AM
Beautiful shot Steve. I like the effort to put the green background in the image. Could you have moved to your right to get the insect facing toward the camera rather than away?
Hi Patrick. Thanks for the comments. The way I had this image set up, it would have been easier to simply twist the stem with my hand to change the leafhopper's orientation to the camera. The result would be a more pleasing viewing angle of the hopper although the tradeoff is that the back portion of the insect would start to go soft due to the very limited DOF. :)