2022—Ladybug, Ladybug

Ladybug, ladybug
Fly away home!
Your house is on fire,
Your children shall burn.

I have never understood this nursery rhyme but I have recited it since I was very young whenever I see a ladybug. Yesterday while I was in my backyard photographing small birds hiding in the shrubs, I had to go inside for something. I noticed a ladybug on the edge of the window by the patio door. Of course this nursery rhyme began to play over in my head. I’ve always wanted to photograph a ladybug and have never been successful so I took advantage of their somewhat docile nature and scooped it onto a business card and deposited it on a succulent on the patio table. I would have had it crawl onto my finger but it was too close to a spider web and I opted for the business card in case a spider was lurking nearby ready to pounce on me. I had the Z100-400mm lens on the Z9 so I exchanged it for the ZMC105mm macro lens and grabbed my tripod. I discovered that the extremely shallow depth of focus of the macro lens made it a challenge to acquire focus on the eyes. The auto focus immediately jumped to the black spots on the orange shell so I manually focused. I also changed the aperture from wide open to f/11 which expanded the focus area just enough so that I was more successful getting the eyes in focus. Because of the angle of my shot, I was relying on the LCD screen to compose and focus instead of looking through the viewfinder. I really needed some reading glasses to see it perfectly but before I went inside again to get them, I remembered that I could just increase the size of the image on the LCD using the plus sign and then easily manually adjust focus on the much larger image. The ladybug seemed content to stay on the succulent and never did fly away. I hope there wasn’t a fire at home.