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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Capon Bridge, WV

Posts: 2
Capitata on Jan 11, 2007January 11th, 2007, 3:31 am EST
Top of the morning guys,
I am really new to photograhy, especially trying to photograph aquatic insects and I need help.
I have the new Nikon D40 with an 18-55mm lens.
I expect I will need a different lens for trying to photograph insects but I don't know what to look for in a lens or what kind of lens would be most applicable.
Ideally I'd like a lens that would work well for stream side shots as well as for insects taken back to my home to be photographed.
That brings me to my next question. What kind of inexpensive or home-made "booth" have you guys found to work well for photographing in your home?
I'm asking about the booth itself as well as light and backgrounds or type of media.
Any help would be appreciated.
(By the way, I hail from Capon Bridge WV and the Norther VA area.)
Martinsburg, WV

Posts: 15
Brett on Jan 11, 2007January 11th, 2007, 7:30 pm EST
Another bug photographer is born, eh? My congrats on the purchase of a very good camera! There are several outstanding Nikkor macro lenses for Nikon cameras - the 105 mm f/2.8 micro AF(newly redesigned with vibration reduction) is the one I want. (See Sept. 2006 Popular Photography.) On a budget, an older 105/2.8 Micro AF would also be swell. You can sign on to Nikonians.org which is a huge Nikon forum. They have a macro area there with lots of expertise. If you are on a budget, some of the 105 macros from Tokina (ATX-Pro) and Tamron (SP-AF) are also good.

As far as controlled backgrounds in a box, there is a quick description of one in the book "Fishbugs: The Aquatic Insects of an Eastern Fly Fisher" by Thomas Ames, Jr. Some absolutely stunning results can be obtained judging by the quality of his work. He actually uses two "bug boxes." One is made of foam core and used for the winged adults, the other is plexiglass and used for the larval and pupal forms.

I'm still learning about all this too. Hope that helps you some.
Novice entomologist, fly-tyer and photographer
Capon Bridge, WV

Posts: 2
Capitata on Jan 12, 2007January 12th, 2007, 2:34 am EST

Thanks Brett for the help and I'll take any more you guys have.
I'll check in to those lenses and the book.
Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jan 12, 2007January 12th, 2007, 6:52 am EST
I'm glad Brett could help you. I use all Canon stuff, so I know next to nothing about the Nikon system.

I don't use any sort of booth. I've been trying to get around to posting the details of my setup for a while, but I never seem to find the time. I have my camera on a nice tripod with a pan head for bug photography, and I use a specialized macro flash which attaches to the end of the lens for lighting. (It's the Canon MT-24EX, and I don't know if it would work with a Nikon, but there are fairly similar third-party alternatives I think.) I don't worry much about the background, but I might change that eventually... plain gray is a bit boring.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Nov 7, 2009November 7th, 2009, 6:30 am EST
For the camera questions. I think there may be one or two more threads on the site covering this topic or mentioning it in a digression. It's always worth Googling the site. See the box right below your "welcome" notice.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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