Welcome to Melbourne Macro with CygnusTech! I’m honoured to be a part of this new macro dedicated website. I’m going to devote the subject of this article to my time in quarantine lockdown. As most of you may know, Melbourne has had one of the strictest Covid lockdowns in the world. I was only allowed to leave my house for 1 hour per day. With a mask, and only to either go shopping alone or walk the dog within a 5km radius. There was Police checkpoints blocking off the main highway exit. This severely limited my macro photography options as my usual nature spot is far beyond that boundary.
This limitation forced me to focus solely on my small front garden as well as a bike path that runs behind my house leading to a small lake. I was quite surprised with the amount of insects I found within this small perimeter and especially for a dreary Melbourne winter where wildlife is very scarce.
Here are some highlights from those macro outings.
First up is a very common bug in my area named Dindymus versicolour or commonly called Harlequin bug. I generally don’t like calling insects by their common name because there are at least 3 others also called Harlequins which look nothing like this one. Such as the Harlequin beetle in Peru which is a massive longhorn beetle. I remember seeing these little bugs everywhere when I grew up. They’re often seen mating and connected in opposite directions just as I found this pair on the base of a large gumtree.
Here we have a beastly female wolf spider ( Lycosidae ) which presented herself at my back door! She was one of the biggest I have seen. I laid down on my stomach and stared eye to eye for the photo but she was quite relaxed and didn’t move at all despite my bright flash bursts.
A very common Earwig ( Dermaptera. ) I usually avoid taking photos of Earwigs because I see them every day and I only enjoy documenting things I haven’t seen before. When you have taken as many shots as I have, you become a bit more selective with your subjects. However I couldn’t resist this one because it was chilling on top of a garden fence picket in the middle of the night. The shot was just too tempting and easy to execute. It just lent forward fired my shot and was on my merry way.
A common garden Mantis ( Pseudomantis ) perched in my garden. This is one of my favourite shots of the year! What makes this shot unique is that I used off camera back lighting with a hand held flash, bringing light in through the leaf and cascading across the insect. This gives a slightly different aesthetic to my usual approach.
Olympus E-M1II. 60mm M.Zuiko 2.8 lens. Godox tt350o Flash acting as a master @ 1/128th. Viltrox JY610 II as a slave: ISO200 1/200 F11
Last up is an absolutely stunning Araneus talipedatus (Slender green orb-weaver) perched on a small sapling in the sun right behind my house. This was my second encounter with this species ever!
That wraps it up for this installment. I hope you’ve enjoyed a little glimpse into the insects from my local habitat. Now that restrictions have eased I can venture back to my favourite spots and continue photographing rare insects! If you would like to follow my work or purchase my custom macro diffuser you can message me on Instagram @cygnustech or email me firstname.lastname@example.org