Newly Emerged Atlas Moth

From time to time we are treated with something a bit special when we are out with our cameras. Such was the case during a recent visit to the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory. I had the opportunity to capture some images of a newly emerged Atlas Moth.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro with STF-8 Twin Macro Flash, f/11, 1/250 ISO-200, subject distance 295 mm

I arrived just as the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory opened, finding the parking lot almost empty. Since my visit was during the Christmas school break period this surprised me. I suspected that it wouldn’t be too long before the parking lot would fill with cars.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro with STF-8 Twin Macro Flash, f/11, 1/250 ISO-200, subject distance 300 mm

Within the first few minutes of my arrival I spotted a newly emerged Atlas Moth. Unfortunately the moth was partially buried in some foliage in a dark area of the conservatory. This made achieving a good shooting angle challenging.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro with STF-8 Twin Macro Flash, f/11, 1/250 ISO-200, subject distance 295 mm

I did the best that I could given the situation, but I wasn’t that happy with my initial results. I was unable to get a good, head-on view of the moth.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro with STF-8 Twin Macro Flash, f/11, 1/250 ISO-200, subject distance 280 mm

After quickly composing about a half a dozen images I was approached by one of the workers at the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory. She asked me if I was finished photographing the newly emerged Atlas Moth.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro with STF-8 Twin Macro Flash, f/11, 1/250 ISO-200, subject distance 270 mm

Explaining that these moths are reasonably fragile when in this state, she told me that she needed to move it to a more secure position. Since many families with small children were now streaming in, the newly emerged Atlas Moth needed to be out-of-reach of inquisitive hands.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro with STF-8 Twin Macro Flash, f/11, 1/250 ISO-200, subject distance 270 mm

I asked her if she would mind pausing with the newly emerged Atlas Moth on her fingertip so I could compose one final image. She was more than happy to oblige. The resulting photograph was my favourite one of the morning.

Technical Note:
Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.

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2 thoughts on “Newly Emerged Atlas Moth”

  1. Hi Tom,

    I see you’re continuing your f/11 “experiment”, this time with a newly-emerged Atlas moth. The details are interesting — the hairy brown legs that look like they belong on an arachnid; the spine like details of the antennae (most likely a male moth). Interesting to dig up facts about it being of Asian origin (the nearest habitat is our neighbor to the west, Malaysia, high up Mount Kota Kinabalu) and that its silk used to be woven in small, non-commercial quantities in the olden days.

    Wishing you a new year filled with creativity and transformation ahead!

    Oggie
    http://www.lagalog.com

    1. Hi Oggie,

      Thanks for adding some interesting details about the Atlas Moth in your comment! My f/11 experiment has resulted in me deciding that I will be using that aperture as my standard when doing macro photography of butterflies. I think it produces a good balance of depth-of-field and image detail.

      Best of the New Year to you as well!

      Tom

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