Thursday, January 20, 2011

Shrimp feathers, crumpled moth, eye of hermit...

I've been experimenting with settings and lens configurations on the baby Sony. I'm still impressed with what a tiny point-and-shoot can do. These are a few samples from tonight's work.

Through the glass of the aquarium:

Eye of hermit. Big Blue, IIRC.

Carapace of smallest shrimp, with one fuzzy eye. The carapace is transparent. I think the pinkish blob is a stomach. But what are those feathery shapes behind it?*
*Gills. Hugh explains in the comments.

Looking down a hermit's throat.
With this arrangement - camera lens zoomed to its maximum, homemade lens attached in front - I have very little leeway. The field is shallow, and the subject has to be less than 1 1/2 inches away. At least, in this camera, the flash works even nose to nose. That helps.

And I keep a couple of long-dead, dry-land critters to practice on:

Crumpled 1/2 inch long moth.

And a faded, dusty carpet beetle. 1 mm. long. I don't seem to find any live ones these days.

The whole moth, taken with all automatic settings and no extra lens.

Next, I'll take apart my lens, clean it, and rebuild it for a tighter fit. And hope I don't ruin it in the process.


  1. The feathery things within the carapace are the gills, which extend up from the bases of the legs. The respiratory flow enters at the leg bases,flows upward and forward over the gills, and exits at the mouth. It is maintained by the teeter-totter tilting of gill bailer (scaphognathite), which is a leaf-like structure on the second maxillule (one of the mouthparts). Crustaceans are marvelous machines.

  2. Thanks, Hugh!

    I wondered about gills, but didn't see any on the shrimp anatomy sites I looked up. Now with a handy new word to Google, "scaphognathite", I found a few helpful sites.

    In one of them, translated from French, there is this marvellous sentence; "Most crustaceans are capable of prolonged fasting, which may exceed six months for crawfish, lobsters and cake."

    (The original French reads, "et Tourteaux.")

  3. I like the eye of hermit :O)and the feathery things are quite pretty


If your comment is on a post older than a week, it will be held for moderation. Sorry about that, but spammers seem to love old posts!

Also, I have word verification on, because I found out that not only do I get spam without it, but it gets passed on to anyone commenting in that thread. Not cool!