Thursday, July 21, 2016

What you can do with one cheap lousy camera

National Geographic prides itself in sending photographers armed with tens of thousands of dollars of equipment across vast distances to take great pictures. Big deal! I think it's a bigger challenge to see what you can capture from one spot on planet Earth, with just one cheap lousy camera.

What you see here are pictures all taken from one place, my home. From the meta data you can tell that a cheap Nikon was used before 2007 and a cheap Canon was used after that. Both are below $300 and not SLRs, and if cameras with those specifications are still built today, they would probably cost $50.

In the pictures shown here:

  • All are real living things, except for the thing in the sky and the paper snake, the latter taken by a 5-year old.
  • All are taken in their natural environment except for one, and that is the civet cat which is caged.
  • All living things are live (other than the obviously dead lizard which was not the subject anyway) and in their natural pose except for one.  See if you can pick out which.

#1 Not a living thing.

I Googled and found that the life-span of a kingfisher is seven years or longer. Do you think the following are the exact same bird over the years?  Lest you think that these are just stationary objects, do be reminded that you have only a few seconds when you creep to within two meters of a bird.

#2 Kingfisher in 2008

#3 Kingfisher in 2009

#4 Kingfisher in 2010.

#5 Kingfisher 2011

#6 Kingfisher in 2012
#7 Kingfisher in 2013

#8 Tiger Moth

#9 This worm carries its house with it all the time. It is about a centimeter long. It climbs walls, about one storey a day.  Please help to identify this.

#10 Is this the same worm?

#11 A beetle?

#12 Resting on one leg

#13 It wasn't easy taking a flying bat in the confines of a small room.

#14 Taken from the bedroom window

#15 An eagle?
#16 Female koel just prior to pouncing on a pregnant bulbul

#17 A heron

#18 The same heron in a different pose

#19 The same fixed lens camera that took this from 1cm away also took the next picture.

#20 240,000 miles away using the same camera

#21 What do think the lens settings was?

#22 The civet cat of the species that caused SARS. It was drowned in hot water shortly after, by the authorities.

#23 Looks like a bullet train!

#24 Weighing less than a gram, but can kill a full-grown adult.

#25 One spring, a magpie robin flew more than 100 trips a day to build a nest on top of our cooking gas tank.

#26 A pole-vaulting dragonfly

#27 A sleepy guy that forgot to change its colors

#28 The lizard was transported at high speed.

#29 A sunbird feeding. Picture is right side up, bird is upside down.

The next few pictures record the metamorphosis of the Painted Jezebel butterfly. The pictures were taken over a few seasons without me being aware that they were the same type of butterfly. The oldest and latest pictures were taken more than 14 months apart.

#30 One day, a butterfly came... [2012-Nov-19]

#31 ... and laid twelve eggs. [2012-Nov-19]

#32 Four days later.  The longer side of each egg is about 1mm long. [2012-Nov-23]

#33 Ten days later [2012-Oct-23]

#34 How they grew, without tripping over one another [2012-May-14]

#35 22 days after the eggs were laid [2012-Nov-03]

#36 Finally free! (Eggs+31 days) [2011-Sep-13]

Meanwhile a few feet away:

#37 What can this giant be?  Twelve of them finished up a whole shrub in ten hours.  None survived to pupahood.
Butterflies deserve their own page, see here.  

With some imagination, lots can be done even if locked down within a 1,000 square-foot spot in the middle of a concrete jungle.

Conclusion?  It's not the camera.  It's the operator, smart.

But when the amateurish camera takes 5 seconds to boot and 3 fingers to focus, it requires harder work and much suffering.


Andy Horeb said...

Absolutely gorgeous!

Eddie Foo said...

So, my friend, what camera did you use?

S/360 said...

A pocket Nikon Coolpix 3200 initially, since dead. For the last five years a Canon PowerShot S5IS. Both are toy non-SLR cameras.

Shabnam Banu said...

the worm in the bag is

Rich Shealer said...

Great pictures.

FYI: I came here because of a link from StackOverflow.

When I try to access content from years past there is an error "Content not valid" after flashing the page.