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The Cicada Rain

The Cicada Rain

Shooting with remote triggers or in-camera timers at low shutter speeds in order to avoid camera shake can definitely be tried on subjects other than landscapes (where you intend to take those long exposure shots of streams or a night sky). Here is an example.

Sharing the smallest subject I shot in Bandhavgarh during a visit last year (and one of the most interesting moments)…

What’s the Cicada Spray all about

Do you always wonder from where do tiny droplets of water fall on your body when you are patiently waiting for a bird shot or a tiger in the forest. You look at the the cloudless sky to check if its drizzling. Here is the reason…

Cicadas are the culprits. Clinging on tree tops, Cicadas apart from making the loud buzzing sounds drink tree sap. Tree sap is the principal food of cicadas. they take the necessary nourishment and water from the sap, with waste matter and fluid accumulating in a rectal pouch. If it is necessary, the waste can be released and disposed of all at once through the anus.

Story behind the picture

Here is a Cicada caught spraying in Bandhavgarh. It took quite some effort to shoot this one as this guy was at some distance and even the biggest lens were not effective enough to get the effect. The subject was near but too far and small for the long telephoto. It was far for a macro lens as well. Experimenting with various combination of equipments, I finally decided to use the cropped sensor of a Canon 7D and mounted a Canon 100-400mm lens along with a 2x converter to shoot this one. The frame was perfect but at 400 ISO the shutter dropped to 1/20 which was not good enough.

Using a remote trigger we tried to time the shot with the timing of the spray but the 10-15 odd attempts were unsuccessful. Finally, we decided to use the interval-meter and let the camera take a shot every second for a minute or so. This was the one spray shot that we got right in the series.

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4 responses

  1. Shovna Upadhyay

    This is so educational Shivang…I have felt the spray and they are yellow in color, if I am not mistaken, but never would have guessed that the culprit is the insect called Cicada. Thank you for sharing. I also read how long it took you to take this pic and missed your lunch in the process. Keep them coming!!

    January 17, 2012 at 2:51 pm

  2. Nice shot and thank you for sharing how you accomplished it.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:15 pm

  3. This is just wonderful! I found you on LinkedIn and this is exquisite. I live in Jamaica, West Indies and am a real nature – and photography – lover myself, although I could never achieve what you have done here! Thanks.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:56 am

  4. Pingback: Field days: of sloth bears, wild dogs, cicadas and a vanishing leopard – EcoLogic: The NCF Blog

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