Write, write, write... I do a lot of it. But no complaints - I enjoy trying to grab up big bunches of words, and make something coherent emerge from the pile. And good writing takes practice. I'm not putting myself into the "good writer" category, but I can try and veer ever closer to some sort of legitimacy :-)
Anyway, in addition to the stuff that I've got going on in my own personal world of writing, I'm in the midst of two large writing projects at work. This means that I'm largely affixed to my desk from 8 to 5, and every now and then a break is in order. Early this afternoon, between our seemingly never-ending storms and showers, I headed outside our building, Canon 5D in tow. Destination: a small planted prairie that's a riot of color from coneflowers, compass-plant, bergamot and other prairie fare.
As soon as the moth darted by, I clicked the camera to shutter priority and notched the control wheel to a speed of 1/1250 - super fast!
Hummingbird Clearwing Photo Tip: If you're out to catch one of these bugs on pixels, use as fast a shutter speed as you can get away with. This'll mean turning the camera off Full Auto, and to Shutter Priority (easiest way). Then, you can easily control the speed at which the camera's shutter opens and closes, and let the camera figure out the other parameters.
Hummingbird Clearwings, when patrolling for nectar, are in perpetual motion. Their wings are a blur, a la hummingbird, and they're nearly always jigging and bobbing. I dare say there are more fuzzy, blurry shots of these moths than the vast majority of insects. A lightning fast shutter speed is essential to freeze them.
The nonstop bustle of this moth brings up another Photo Tip: Put your camera on burst mode. Ever had some bird photographer with a huge tripod-mounted lens standing next to you when something cool came along? All of a sudden his/her camera explodes to life with an Uzi-like rapidfire burst of clicks. That's burst mode. My Canon will pop off about six shots a second, and by employing a photographic blitzkrieg, your odds of getting a decent image of a rapidly moving object go way up.
Should you find yourself near Dayton, Ohio, on Saturday, July 27, stop by the Midwest Native Plant Conference. There'll be vendors galore and scads of valuable native plants for sale. You'll certainly find some flora that will enrich your yard. NOTE: The conference and its various talks and programs is full, but Saturday is open to the public for purposes of visiting our vendors, so feel free to stop by.