Candy-striped Leafhoppers

I have never seen the Candy-striped Leafhoppers before, but apparently they are quite common. They are also called scarlet and green, red-banded, red and blue leafhoppers. They are in the same order as cicadas and aphids. They seem to be quite active and move around quite a bit. Candy-striped Leafhoppers at rest cock their hind legs so as to be able to hop away from danger. They are likely to turn up on any plant in your yard, garden or in the wild. They are about 1/4″ to maybe a half inch or so in length, so they are a small subject to photograph.

Most of the following images are stacked for focus from 2 to 7 images, combined, aligned and image stacked in Photoshop. With 150mm macro lenses it is hard to get different areas in the frame in focus. Even stopping down to f/32 would not get everything in focus plus you have to deal with image diffraction lowering sharpness plus getting a more distracting background. Also it lowers your shutter speed so your subjects tend to have a little image blur from movement. Photoshop automatically aligns and blends them together. You might have to touch up and an edge or a slight cloning here or there, but does a pretty good job overall. Most of my image stacks are shot at f/8 and are handheld. These were shot with a 150mm f/2.8 macro with a 2x teleconverter yielding a 300mm f/5.6 to get close enough to the subjects. Fill flash, set to -1 stop exposure compensation, with a flexible bounce reflector, to help fill in the shadows and stop the action.

 

yard bugs v4 2015_43G0151

bugs yard v2_43G0177

 

bugs yard v2_43G0164

yard bugs v2_43G0166

yard bugs v1_43G0173

yard stk bug v3_43G0188

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