Monday, May 09, 2005

Ants on dandelion

Ants on dandelion
Latin name: Monomorium minimum

Have to find out the species of ant yet and more about what exactly these ants were up to. Something food-oriented for sure [Note: found out this is probably the Little Black Ant]. North America apparantly has about 700 species of ant. Canada has about 100. The safe route may be to avoid identifying by species and stick to class and order or genus when unsure.

Janneke had a good time finding dandelion with ants on them for me. I look forward to getting her a camera when she's old enough. I think she'll take good pictures.

The advantage of having a camera with better focussing, timing and aperture control really shows up in difficult cases like this shot. One needs to be able to control for light intensity variation, focal point, and shutter speed to have any chance of getting a good shot. In this shot the ants are the target but they don't really stand out from the point of view of an autofocus algorithm. The darkness of the ants relative to the brightness and reflectivity of the flower requires good control over exposure time and aperture. With a half-decently still subject I find that I can get more good pictures than before, about one in four or five. With the old camera it was about one in ten or fifteen.