I’m putting this here because I really wanted to just share the phenomenon and not necessarily have a critique dialog. Being a nature photographer has fueled my curiosity for the natural world and vice versa - I am sort of driven to capture the strange and the unusual as well as the beautiful and majestic.
This tiny thing I call the Wee Crud Monster is a case in point. It was on my deck railing and is ¼ inch long or maybe a bit less. I was trying to photograph some energetic jumping spiders when I noticed it moving deliberately; not being blown by the breeze. Because it just looks like a ball of crud I didn’t pay too much attention, but it moved again and it had me.
My 45mm macro is a true macro lens for m43 and so I could get right up on it and darn did I get a few good images. Basically this tiny thing picks up bits of debris and somehow glues them to itself to form a disguise. Further research proved it is a lacewing larva. Wingless until it finally morphs, it spends its days hunting and devouring anything smaller than it. With those pincers I don’t doubt it’s a pretty scary beast if you’re an aphid or a springtail. The larvae are sold in the garden industry as an organic approach to pest control. The adults are pollinators.
Between bouts of activity it stood quite still and so I could get these images. All handheld while resting the camera and lens hood directly on the deck railing. The only other insects I know of that do this are caddis fly larvae - I see them in the shallow water by the dock just ambling along with all this stuff stuck to them. Nature amazes me almost every day.
Leica 45mm f/2.8 macro
f/5.6 - 6.3 | 1/200 sec | ISO 500
Processed in Lr to bring up shadows quite a bit and some exposure. Contrast & texture. Cropped a little as well.