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The Nectar Collectors
1st PlaceThe Nectar Collectors

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Free Study 2020-10 (Standard Editing)
Collection: 2020 - CHALLENGES & outtakes etc
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III
Lens: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro
Date: Oct 3, 2020
Aperture: 7.1
ISO: 250
Shutter: 1/160+FL900R flash
Galleries: Macro, Insects, etc
Date Uploaded: Oct 4, 2020

[Nov. 7th, 2020 09:45:35 PM]

i'm gobsmacked that with only two+ hours till rollover I’m over 7 in a free study .. with ants no less .. !! .. ;)
I’ll probaby be out at rollover so I’m putting my thanks for the wonderful comments and votes in now .. THANKYOU .. xx
I’m hoping to get in the top 5 .. that would totally make my day as there are some excellent entries in this challenge ..

here’s a back story for ppl who like them ..
there are heaps of paper daisies around right now and i was looking for spiders or bees or even flies on the paper daisies or in the grass to photograph .. walking back to the house i noticed these two sugar ants wandering around on the paper daisy .. they are a large ant measuring 5 to 15 millimetres (0.2 to 0.6 in)

i took a few photos .. but they were constantly moving .. i got quite a few lucky shots where one was in focus but getting them both was a miracle ..

i was also quite surprised seeing them on the flower and googled it ... and found out that ants love nectar and foraged for it on flowers .. later on i found some extremely small black ants on another paper daisy and entered that in the last extended free study ..

after taking the photos of this paper daisy with the sugar ants i was looking forward to seeing them again and taking more photos .. unfortunately my brother .. thinking he was being kind was mowing my grass and this particular paper daisy was one of the casualties .. i have not seen any other paper daisies with sugar ants on them .. and we have hundreds of paper daisies out now .. I think the ants had a nest near the flower that my brother mowed down ..
oh well .. they say in every supposed negative experience lies opportunity .. ;)

here’s some really interesting info on sugar ants which are native to Australia .. there’d be heaps more if you google them ..
“The sugar ant has a very unusual talent that you may be completely oblivious to.Under the cover of darkness, the Banded Sugar Ant and many other species of sugar ant will take their ‘livestock’ out to pasture. Their livestock is usually in the form of caterpillars or aphids.Sugar ants tend these unusual flocks because the sap-eating bugs produce a sweet, sticky substance called ‘honeydew’ which sugar ants adore.But the caterpillars, aphids and other bugs aren’t harmed in the process and are actually very well looked after. The whole arrangement is mutually beneficial because the little bugs are protected from predators by an entire colony of ants and the sugar ants will get unlimited access to their favourite sweet nectar.”

Place: 1 out of 70
Avg (all users): 7.0217
Avg (participants): 6.9706
Avg (non-participants): 7.1667
Views since voting: 664
Views during voting: 78
Votes: 46
Comments: 15
Favorites: 3 (view)

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02/18/2022 06:44:24 AM
Roz, I have many more images to take in from your portfolio, as it’s prolific and the images deserve time and attention. But, this one TOTALLY blew me away the moment I opened it. Literally, I said “wow!” The technical execution of those perfectly crisp, sharp ants, the composition, and beautiful shallow DOF…and those colors! I took a look at your exposure settings and think I may be using slightly too shallow DOF when I shoot insects. I’m going to take a book out of the master Roz playbook and try around an f/7. Just awesome!!!! xx
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/10/2020 05:31:35 AM
This is mind-blowingly goooood.... awesome clarity, perfect composition and exposure.
Congrats, Roz!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/08/2020 11:51:32 AM
Congrats on the Blue Roz. Lovely image and one of my highest scores in voting. Could only score well and great detail, sharpness, light in an incredibly difficult genre of photography - at least for me, You make it look so easy. well done
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/08/2020 10:30:54 AM
Man, I saw this image and said to myself, this one will be way up there. And it is! Ants are harder to photograph than just about anything, they are always moving. So huge congrats on not only a highly technically appealing image, but one that settles in as a real genuine work as the details of the daily lives of ants carry on. Congrats on the Blue!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/08/2020 09:34:22 AM
The sharpness of the shot is absolutely amazing without focus stacking!! You deserve the blue just for that amazing accomplishment!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/08/2020 09:22:49 AM
Another outstanding macro shot Roz! Big congrats on the blue!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/08/2020 06:30:57 AM
Fantastic! You bring the macro world to life.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/08/2020 05:07:28 AM
WOW! Another amazing shot! Congrats on Blue in FS!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/08/2020 04:04:27 AM
Originally posted by Neat:

You do this sooo well! Congratulations on the blue, and why should you be surprised ;)

thanks Anita .. it always surprises me when something i enter does well .. especially insects as i know many ppl have an aversion to them .. altho i do feel that mine and other ppl's macros here have gone a long way to helping ppl see them in another light ..
i know when i first started taking macros of insects it was like a whole world opened up .. their diversity and incredibly interesting anatomies blew me away .. :)
11/08/2020 01:06:50 AM
You do this sooo well! Congratulations on the blue, and why should you be surprised ;)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
11/07/2020 07:54:32 PM
How do you make the ants look so big ;)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/07/2020 12:01:41 PM
Amazing image!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/05/2020 10:17:32 AM
Such great details.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/03/2020 09:32:23 AM
Nice composition and colors and fantastic detail, especially considering how fast they move. In my top 4.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/01/2020 11:46:39 AM
Phenomenal detail and DOF. The diagonal to the composition with the positioning of the ants is very pleasing to the eye. Nice of them to pose for you :-) Best image in the challenge, IMO.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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