Monday, May 02, 2005

Eastern Redback Salamander in leaf litter

I was St. John's conservation area with the kids again yesterday. We had a great time and found a relatively exotic creature, a salamander! Apparantly, these salamanders can live ten years or more. We looked under logs on the slope of hills and eventually fount two. When we were finished looking we let them go.

For this shot I used my new Raynox DCR 250 closeup lens. It's a 10x achromatic (meaning it produces white light across the lens) closeup lens designed especially for getting good shots of a small area. When the camera's lens is zoomed out to full focal length it can focus on an area about 3 cm square. For this shot I had to zoom out less. You can see the reduce depth of field which is the partial result of the increased aperture I needed to use in this shaded area of the woods on a heavily overcast day. What I did really appreciate is that the Canon A95 allows you to set where to focus by moving a little focus square around the lcd viewscreen. I set it to focus on the salamander's head and it worked great.