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Author Topic:   Decisions, decisions......
Tanypteryx
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Posts: 1578
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 6.1


(3)
Message 31 of 56 (792455)
10-09-2016 11:41 PM


A couple shots from this week
This first shot is of five segments or tarsomeres of a beetle foot. I made the image to illustrate the long spines on the 3rd tarsomere. This a beetle in the family Buprestidae or Jewel Beetles, Actenodes arizonicus.

Another Jewel Beetle, Agaeocera scintillans showing the coxae or basal segment of the hind leg. You can also see light colored debris stuck on the exoskeleton next to the hind femur. Many Buprestids are wood borers so they often have fine particles stuck to them with tree resins.

I really enjoy photographing these metallic colored insects. They often present real challenges to image them in ways to show surface topography as well as color and shinyness. The colors may be combinations of pigment and mechanical optical diffraction and sometimes the colors will change depending the angle they are viewed from or the angle that light is striking them.

Enjoy


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy


    
Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 1578
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 6.1


(6)
Message 32 of 56 (795073)
12-05-2016 7:53 PM


The Beetles, but not those Beatles
My job has kept me busy the last couple of months. I have been shooting a wide variety of subjects and enjoying every minute of it.

These beetles belong to the family Carabidae. Carabids are all predators and this group in the photos all prey on snails, including some invasive species. They are all between 0.5 and 1 inch long.

Cychrus hemphilii rickreckeri

Scaphinotus mannii

Scaphinotus merkelii

Scaphinotus regularis

Scaphinotus relictus

I added one more image because I just re-located my original focus stack and I have been wanting to rework it, because I have learned a lot since I originally shot it in 2009.

This species is in the family Cerambycidae or the long-horned beetles. They are all woodborers as larvae may eat flowers or many other plant parts. There are some generalists but most species are specialists.

Rhagium inquisitor, male

Enjoy

Edited by Tanypteryx, : Added a final image.


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy


    
Taq
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Posts: 7140
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 33 of 56 (795107)
12-06-2016 11:09 AM


Out of curiosity, what do you do to preserve these species? I assume that you are not using live subjects, but perhaps you are. The preservation of the small setae, especially in and near the mandible, are amazing.

Great work!!


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Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 1578
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 6.1


Message 34 of 56 (795141)
12-06-2016 6:52 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Taq
12-06-2016 11:09 AM


Out of curiosity, what do you do to preserve these species?

These are pinned specimens that are air dried. They had an insect pin forced through the right elytra (wing cover) and the legs and antennae are positioned as desired and then held in place by other pins until the specimen is thoroughly dry. They kind of look like a pin cushion during this process. I sometimes have to clean and reposition old specimens before I can shoot them.

Some entomologists just shove a pin through and call it good. Those make horrible photo subjects. These were mounted by my boss, who is very meticulous and especially so if they are going to be photographed. The setae are often fairly tough and flexible, but I have a reputation for breaking them and also legs off.

Of course, all the specimens also have labels associated with them that lists the exact location, date, collector, plant they were found on, etc.

I assume that you are not using live subjects, but perhaps you are.

We do shoot live specimens too. It can be fun trying to control bees and wasps in the lab while you shoot them.

The preservation of the small setae, especially in and near the mandible, are amazing.

I have some closeup shots of the mouths that I can post tomorrow.


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy


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Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 1578
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 6.1


(1)
Message 35 of 56 (796865)
01-05-2017 8:45 PM


Cannabis sample in the insect lab
Several weeks ago I was busy shooting images and started noticing a pungent skunky odor permeating the lab. One of the other entomologists had just made a pot of coffee and I commented that it had a strong odor. He replied that it was the first time anyone had brought him flowers and I'm going what????

Then It dawned on me what he meant. We fairly routinely have commercial cannabis growers bring samples into our lab because they are worried about pests, but there usually is not much discernable odor.

When I went to investigate there were some really amazing pot flowers that I just had to photograph. The flowers were covered with resin as you can see.

This is a variety called Christmas Cookies.

These are all female flowers and the orange tentacle-like structures are the pistils. Plants produce alkaloids like the THC in this resin as protection against plant-eating insects. Selective breeding has been able to enhance that production in modern strains of cannabis to levels that were unknown until recently.

No pests were found on these samples, but sadly we had to destroy them when we finished checking them.

Enjoy.

Edited by Tanypteryx, : spelling


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy


Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by Coyote, posted 01-05-2017 8:59 PM Tanypteryx has responded
 Message 44 by 1.61803, posted 04-11-2017 10:28 AM Tanypteryx has not yet responded
 Message 45 by NosyNed, posted 05-12-2017 10:09 PM Tanypteryx has responded

    
Coyote
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Posts: 5989
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 3.5


(1)
Message 36 of 56 (796866)
01-05-2017 8:59 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by Tanypteryx
01-05-2017 8:45 PM


Re: Cannabis sample in the insect lab
Ummmm.

What method did you use to destroy those samples?

The sheriffs and DEA folks in this area usually burn their harvests. Did you use a similar method?


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

Belief gets in the way of learning--Robert A. Heinlein

In the name of diversity, college student demands to be kept in ignorance of the culture that made diversity a value--StultisTheFool

It's not what we don't know that hurts, it's what we know that ain't so--Will Rogers

If I am entitled to something, someone else is obliged to pay--Jerry Pournelle

If a religion's teachings are true, then it should have nothing to fear from science...--dwise1

"Multiculturalism" demands that the US be tolerant of everything except its own past, culture, traditions, and identity.


This message is a reply to:
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Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 1578
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 6.1


Message 37 of 56 (796868)
01-05-2017 9:22 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by Coyote
01-05-2017 8:59 PM


Re: Cannabis sample in the insect lab
Our plant pathology lab has a little furnace they use to destroy plant samples, so we took them over to them. They need to destroy samples that may have plant disease spores, so it works fine for cannabis samples too.

What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 29363
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


(2)
Message 38 of 56 (796875)
01-06-2017 7:17 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by Tanypteryx
01-05-2017 9:22 PM


Re: Cannabis sample in the insect lab
I always rolled before burning.

My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Tanypteryx, posted 01-05-2017 9:22 PM Tanypteryx has responded

Replies to this message:
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Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 1578
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 6.1


Message 39 of 56 (796888)
01-06-2017 8:37 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by jar
01-06-2017 7:17 AM


Re: Cannabis sample in the insect lab
This was very fresh, though. To be good for smoking it needs to be dried and cured. I am going to see if this variety is available in the local stores. Almost everything being grown in Oregon is from clones rather than seeds.

Some of the pests, primarily mites, are too small to be seen without a microscope and the majority of the growers don't want to lay out the cash for a good one.

Some simple dips in baths would get rid of the pests on the clones before they are planted or brought into close proximity with clean plants.

There is an amazing amount of BS mythology about growing pot that a lot of these guys believe. The majority of them have never studied anything about agriculture. Eventually, I expect that we will see a few large growers that know what they are doing and that use sound practices dominate the market.

Some of the folks who bring plants into the lab talk to them as if they were sentient. Neo-hippies.


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by jar, posted 01-06-2017 7:17 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by jar, posted 01-06-2017 9:21 PM Tanypteryx has acknowledged this reply

    
jar
Member
Posts: 29363
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.2


(1)
Message 40 of 56 (796891)
01-06-2017 9:21 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Tanypteryx
01-06-2017 8:37 PM


Re: Cannabis sample in the insect lab
Some of the folks who bring plants into the lab talk to them as if they were sentient. Neo-hippies.

Careful now, I don't remember any hippies talking to their plants. Talking about plants or to things they see most often unrelated to plants maybe; but not talking to the plants.


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

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Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 1578
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 6.1


(3)
Message 41 of 56 (803195)
03-26-2017 9:22 PM


New realms to explore
I have 2 weeks to go until I am retiring for the 3rd time. It has been a rewarding few months that provided enough cash to upgrade to a new camera body and get 3 new microscope objectives. I still have a fair amount of work building my own personal high-resolution system for photographing things that are right at the edge of unaided human vision, but I am seeing progress.

Today I was at the point where I could actually test it out on a couple specimens. The 1st image is a dorsal view of a dragonfly head, so not super small. Shot with just a 5X objective using the technique called focus stacking, where a series of images are shot as the camera is incrementally moved a small distance closer to the subject. The focused parts of the image are then combined to create a composite with greatly expanded depth of focus.

Click to see a higher resolution view.

As you can see in this next image the depth of focus is extremely shallow and it shrinks as magnification is increased. This is a single layer out of a stack of 150 images.


The composite gives us a much better view of what this moth look eye and head look like. It was shot using a 20X objective. The software I am using to control the camera with my computer is a bit glitchy so it screwed up a couple shots in this stack. I can see a narrow ring of out-of-focus facets in the eye where I did not have overlapping depth of focus with the stack layers adjacent the missing one.

I still have a way to go on the system, but this morning I was able to machine rounded corners on a large metal plate that will be the base that the camera support column and flash brackets will be mounted on. I still need to work out some kinks in the electronics and computer controls, but now I know that it will work.

Part of the fun in this sort of work is that almost any subject becomes a new unknown realm to explore.

Enjoy


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy


Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11706
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.3


(1)
Message 42 of 56 (803206)
03-27-2017 11:02 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by Tanypteryx
03-26-2017 9:22 PM


Re: New realms to explore
The 1st image is a dorsal view of a dragonfly head, so not super small. Shot with just a 5X objective using the technique called focus stacking, where a series of images are shot as the camera is incrementally moved a small distance closer to the subject. The focused parts of the image are then combined to create a composite with greatly expanded depth of focus.

OOOoooohhhhhh, I see!

As you can see in this next image the depth of focus is extremely shallow and it shrinks as magnification is increased. This is a single layer out of a stack of 150 images.

...

The composite gives us a much better view of what this moth look eye and head look like.

Thanks a lot for showing us that! That's really cool, I had no idea.

TIL Thanks again.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Tanypteryx, posted 03-26-2017 9:22 PM Tanypteryx has not yet responded

  
Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 1578
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 6.1


(1)
Message 43 of 56 (804540)
04-10-2017 10:31 PM


4 days to go
I am in my last week at work and looking forward to being in charge of my own time again.

I have been busy after work and on weekends setting up my new imaging system and trying to iron out the kinks. Lost my system hard drive on a relatively new computer (only about 200 hours run time)......irritating. I still have quite a way to go before it is completely finished and I want to get the base powder coated, but I am actually starting to shoot some subjects.

This is an over view with my phone camera.

And this is a close-up of the stage. It is just sitting on a box right now but soon it will be mounted on a metal stand that will also allow me to shoot with transmitted light from below the subject and to also utilize a technique called darkfield lighting.

Enjoy


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy


    
1.61803
Member
Posts: 2714
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 44 of 56 (804577)
04-11-2017 10:28 AM
Reply to: Message 35 by Tanypteryx
01-05-2017 8:45 PM


Re: Cannabis sample in the insect lab
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How lovely are thy branches
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How lovely are thy branches

"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

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 Message 35 by Tanypteryx, posted 01-05-2017 8:45 PM Tanypteryx has not yet responded

  
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8799
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 8.7


Message 45 of 56 (808776)
05-12-2017 10:09 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by Tanypteryx
01-05-2017 8:45 PM


Focus Stacking
A query for you:
I am under the impression that you use some sort of rail to little tiny bit by little tiny bit move the camera to change the plane of focus.

But it seems to me that would change the magnification of some part of the subject as you moved closer to it. If that is the case how can software assemble that into a correct image?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by Tanypteryx, posted 01-05-2017 8:45 PM Tanypteryx has responded

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