Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Why am i so beautiful...?

©David Sorcher 2013

If you have ever been "fortunate" enough to be out in the countryside during a coincidence of two different cycles of cicada emergences you might answer the title question with a resounding "YOU'RE NOT!" Firstly, the sound is deafening. You have to shout to be heard three feet away. And these lumbering creatures are just the klutziest fliers around, constantly bumping into you and everything else around. But i have been fascinated with these insects since childhood and love finding the remains of their larval stage clinging to the bases of trees, empty ghost shells left behind as the transformed cicadas took wing in order to mate and die. The eerie, high-pitched whine of that mating call has always been the sound of summer to me and simultaneously the sound-track for my youthful imaginary sic-fi alien invasions. I'm sure they are an annoyance for some, especially during large emergences when they truly litter the ground with their spent bodies after fulfilling their obligatory propagating chores and dying. But that's not really a good reason to hate, now is it? I am always told how ugly they are, but i see nothing but beauty here.

©David Sorcher 2013

I have broken my own rules of photography here and my students can rightfully take me to task. I was due at the dentist in 15 minutes when i noticed this guy drying his wings after working himself out of his larval shell. I knew he would not be there when i returned so i quickly grabbed my camera and a 105mm macro and set out trying to capture him. Yes, i really needed a tripod, but i was shooting this on the fly (yes, pun intended) and really didn't have the time for all that. If i wanted the shot i would have to go hand-held. I didn't want to push the ISO too high so in this light i shot ƒ8 @ 1/60 @ ISO 800. With a macro that just doesn't provide enough depth of field. I would have liked a bit more area in focus on both of these shots. But hopefully i at least managed to capture a bit of close-up beauty for all those disbelievers who think cicadas are just the ugliest bugs in the universe....or maybe you still think that. Oh well, i tried.  :-)

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