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Thread: Red Velvet Mite (Not for the particularly bug squeamish)

  1. #1
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    Bill S

    Red Velvet Mite (Not for the particularly bug squeamish)

    Alright, so I've been asked (Nasseem are you reading this?) to share my macros with my new flash. So here's a cool one I took this weekend.

    I went out this weekend on a Meetup trip to a local trail known for its trilliums (I promise I'll share those soon!). As I was walking along, I was also on the lookout for any bugs. At one point, I looked at this decaying log and saw this absolutely tiny bright red dot crawling about. I got down closer and noticed it was a bug of some sort - it had eight legs but didn't look like a spider.

    I took maybe half a dozen shots, and ended up only keeping one (others were in focus and decent shots, but the subject was not facing the right way or didn't line up as well as this shot).

    It turns out, this is probably a Red Velvet Mite (though I'm open to being corrected if anyone else knows for certain). When I say it was tiny, I mean it. If my measurements and math are correct (using the Exit data saying that my subject distance was 0.29m which would be 1:1 magnification on my 100 f/2.8L lens), it was about 2.5-3mm long.

    Below are the original and a cropped version for review. If you look closely (or use the full-size versions also linked), you can see an additional even tinier arthropod a small distance above the mite's front right leg (in the cropped version, it is just below the top edge of the frame).

    Original (full size):
    Red Velvet Mite (Not for the particularly bug squeamish)

    Cropped (full size)
    Red Velvet Mite (Not for the particularly bug squeamish)

    Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, 1/200 sec at f/11. Canon Speedlight 580EX II flash in ETTL mode and wireless control. Image Stabilization on. ISO 200. RAW processing and cropped in Adobe Camera Raw.

    If you've gotten this far and disregarded the warning in the title, I'm sorry if you're all creeped out now and your skin is crawling... but you can't say I didn't warn you!

    Everyone else, C&C is welcome - especially if you see anything that I could improve from a technical standpoint.

    Thanks for looking.

    - Bill

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Chris

    Re: Red Velvet Mite (Not for the particularly bug squeamish)

    These are a very close kin to what we call "bed bugs."

  3. #3
    Jim B.'s Avatar
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    Jim

    Re: Red Velvet Mite (Not for the particularly bug squeamish)

    Very nice! Great first go with using flash.I did a slight edit to the 2nd shot.
    Dropped exposure,small levels adjustment and sharpened it a bit.

    Red Velvet Mite (Not for the particularly bug squeamish)

  4. #4

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    Re: Red Velvet Mite (Not for the particularly bug squeamish)

    I think you are probably correct with the Velvet Mite identification. My other thought was a sheep tick but that is definitely a second choice option.

    This photo has worked well.

    I'm not sure how you edited this but I normally use a little selective sharpening on just the subject to make it stand out from the background.

  5. #5
    rob marshall

    Re: Red Velvet Mite (Not for the particularly bug squeamish)

    He's a handsome little chap. I think that when I am reincarnated I will come back as one of these. Nice colours and well captured.

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