Most annoying species/group to photograph?

I only post dragonflies when I do the “net and photograph in fingers” approach and then release. This lets you get most of the characters you need to sex and ID. Of course netting a dragonfly is often a challenge and seeing a rare one means you probably wont catch it.

Probably either grasshoppers or fishes. Both are fast and flighty, and fish are usually concealed by water glare. I still try though :)

The fungi are so small that I can’t get a non blurred photo when I try to zoom😅 could you help with how to focus better on them?

I was walking in a local park yesterday. There was a naturalist doing a pond-dipping event for some high school students. I got some decent photos of some dragonfly nymphs and what I think is a giant water bug nymph. If you zoom in on the dragonfly nymphs, you can see the wings developing. It was bright sunlight. The water was very shallow. I put my finger on the tip of my lens to feel for the surface of the water and then held the camera right over the water.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/182348808

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/182348798

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/182348796

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Tbh there comes a point where you need to either get a camera with a macro lens or photograph through a magnifying glass. I definitely struggle with super tiny ascomycetes and slime molda sometimes

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Hummingbirds

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Swallows and swifts

Furthermore I don’t use a DSLR, I use one of those point-and-shoot superzooms that don’t focus that quickly

Even on holiday, faced with a new type of swallow or swift on my bird list, I don’t bother with the camera EXCEPT if it is gracefully perched on a wire - then I snap away happily

Seems like the annoying factor comes down to two different things — the behavior of the organism (too fast, elusive, small) and the camera equipment one has. Even with the best camera gear some animals are just tough, regardless. But that’s the one thing that a photographer can control to some extent if you’re able to invest in gear.

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I would add a third factor, personally: how cool or enticing the organism is. I definitely get more annoyed if it’s a really rare/cool/beautiful organism.

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Yeah, and I fail to get a good picture (or any picture) because I fumbled my camera.

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I have a developing passion for micro-organisms; all the life we can’t readily see. Trying to get photographs of ciliates is driving me mad. I even go through videos I have captured looking for just one perfectly focused frame but often have no joy. After barely two years of doing this, I’m very much in the early days of learning the craft. Patience has never been one of my virtues!

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Another taxon for me would probably be tiny shells like this one: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/182534099.
Even with a magnifying glass and an okay camera, it took me a little more than an hour to take a clear shot. It might not be a problem for those with better equipment as mentioned above.
IMG_3916

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Have you tried a jeweler’s loupe? For something like this it might be a little easier to manipulate than a microscope

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That would be a good idea! I have figured out that someone else used a loupe to take their photos too: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/178078598

I know a fair bit of fungi folk that carry them around to both get pictures of tiny ascos and slime molds, and to better asses things like gill attachment, tiny hairs, etc etc.

And they’re cheap too, which is nice.

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Ants in the genus Formica, they run too fast to use manual focus, but they are ants, so too small not to use a macro lens (mine is manual only) and they have really tiny identifying features in many cases

I find you have to get them while they are eating, like this one https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/183751329

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Lately I’ve discovered that if I use my bridge camera’s 4K video mode to record short video clips instead of shooting stills, I have dramatically increased the success rate of good quality captures.

Mind you, it requires you to plow through thousands of frames to get the best shots, but in general, those big numbers mean much better odds.

Especially for things that only pause momentarily, or fleetingly. I shoot mostly macro so that includes a LOT of bugs. But also for stuff that maybe isn’t moving but on a swaying leaf, web, or other shaky environment.

Also, video tends to be almost all auto exposure and focus and with my camera at least, gives much better results in lower-lit situations. That means no flash or diffuser hoods. It also is so much easier to engage and not think of settings. One red button, and you’re shooting!

You can also even do a steady, gentle ‘depth scan’ clip and work with captured frames to do focus stacking.

For me, this means I can just carry one camera, and cover birds down to aphids (with a Raynox clip-on). Heck, I’ve even used 4K with a small clip-on cellphone microscope to get really tiny shots.

If you have a 4k camera, try giving it a go for shooting your difficult observations. It’s literally, worth a shot — or lots!

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SPIDERS, I cannot for the life of me photograph a spider with my phone.
With my camera… no problem at all. Phone → 0% focus… urghhh. I have given up on them a while ago. Sometimes I still try, bcs they look like they’re in a nice spot. Guess what…? Blurry ofc.

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I swear by my oversized 10x loupe (like this one, but a different brand). I’ve got a couple of traditional (small) loupes from my days as a bench jeweler / silversmith / goldsmith, but the lens size on those is small enough that getting a decent image might be troublesome. The big bois still qualify as pocket loupes, but a 2" / 50mm lens size makes a huge difference for usability, and I haven’t noticed any difference in optical quality.

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If you’re referring to a spider on a web, sometimes it helps to put your hand behind the web so your phone has something to focus on. I’m not entirely certain, but I believe there are also apps that you can install that allow you to control the manual focus on your phone as well. Don’t quote me on that though.

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