Water Boatman Leg (from 11 images stacks)

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Charles Krebs
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Location: Issaquah, WA USA

Water Boatman Leg (from 11 images stacks)

Post by Charles Krebs »

Last spring I became interested in the structure of the leg of the Water Boatman (Hemiptera:Corixidae). They have a surprising number of specailized features, including one section that has flattened hairs that function and pivot like many oars. (Seeing this, it becomes obvious why they are such powerful swimmers).

Depth of field was frustrating with such a subject, so I decided to take another look now that image stacking software is readily available. (Last year I laboriously combined images manually in Photoshop)


The above image was taken with a 40X objective, and 11 frames were combined using Helicon Focus. I'm not sure of the purpose of these rounded hairs... I think they might be used to hold air bubbles against the leg... need to observe some active specimens more closely!


This image was taken with a 100X objective and is also combined from a stack of 11 images. In this image, the specialized, flat "oar" hairs and their interesting moving joint are clearly seen.

(Some of the shots I took last year can be found here:http://micropix.home.comcast.net/waterb/index.html These were more colorful, since I used Rheinberg filters. I think I'll dig out the Rheinberg filters again, and together with Helicon Focus, see what I can do with both techniques combined)

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Post by Gyrosigma »

I have not enough English vocabulary to say what feeling I have Charles....

Very impressive....

best regards


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Post by gpmatthews »

Charlie - breathtakingly wonderful images!
Absolutely great!

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Post by Dembowski »

Great images, Charlie. There's more going on here than just the use of HF. You do good stuff.
Bill Dembowski
"It's alive .... It's alive !!!!

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Post by piotr »

Absolutely stunning. I like the first image very much, exposure is perfect. It has this 'real thing' feel. All other pictures are wonderful, too.

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Post by nephiliim »

That's it, I'm gonna ask if I can borrow a microscope from my school this summer!!!!

Wow!!!! This (and the the external site images) are just wonderfull charles, The detail is great.

Do you fixate the focus on your camera? What kind of camera did you use? How much zoom does one need to get past the tubus of the microscope?

All the best,

Sometimes smaller is better!
*nodge nodge :D*

Comments and advice always welcome
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Charles Krebs
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 10:50 am
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

Post by Charles Krebs »

Thanks all!

Tom... I use a Canon 10D DSLR. You can get a pretty good idea of how I am set up here.

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Post by lacerta »

Incredible images. Also interesting web page article on your set up. I really appreciated the description. It gives me some food for thought as I began to get things set up here. Thanks Charles.

Wim van Egmond
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Post by Wim van Egmond »

It is beautiful Charlie!

About teh function of these hairs. Years ago I made a little article about what can be found on a spider's leg. www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artjan00/spileg.html

Some of these hairs are quite similar and have sensory functions.