Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright

Sometimes you take a photo and you laugh out loud because it goes beyond even your wildest dreams.  Last spring while traipsing about Ross Hills Park in Lafayette we came across a green tiger beetle.  As Laura and Eric waited patiently for 20 minutes while I chased a beetle around the forest, I was able to snap a few dozen shots.  Since I’m typically averse to immobilizing insects for photography this green guy was a merry and sometimes frustrating chase but the results took my breath away as an inexperienced macro photographer.

Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle
Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle (Click the image to view the whole album)

To me this shot represents the patience it takes to chase a live insect around just to take its picture and also the respect to make sure that it goes on its way unharmed once it’s captured.

What lengths have you gone to for a photo?  Have all your subjects survived the experience?  🙂


  1. Oh, wow! That is a great shot! Definitely worth all that chasing and scrambling. Those colors! And the lesson can translate into other things, too, to never give up, because the right shot or the right turn of phrase or the right brush stroke might just be right around the corner.

  2. Nice. I specialize in photographing tiger beetles, so I know just how evasive and frustrating they can be. Learning their behavior really helps, and sometimes you find some individuals are just a little more cooperative than others.

    I generally shun “calming” techniques (e.g., cooling), but I’m not averse to putting one in an enclosure with a chunk of native soil if they’re just not going to allow me a field shot.

    • Thanks and thanks too for the tips. They do make for a fine chase but when you catch them they’re very grand. Nice, by the way, to see a blogger with such a specific choice of topic!

  3. Love the beetle! I’ve been darting in and out of the warm house into the cold to catch one brave bug that hung around for the beginning of winter. And I made my family wait and wait while I snapped pics in the UK arboretum, which I know you saw already because you very kindly stopped by to “like” it 🙂 A good photo can’t wait. I just missed the Denver foothills shrouded in early morning red because I stopped to put on warm clothes before dashing out. Maybe next time. I’ll have to post my bug pictures sometime soon. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Thanks, Huffygirl! Yes, those photo ops are fleeting. Look down to change the camera settings and suddenly that last sliver of the sun has fallen below the horizon not to be seen for another 24 hours. Fortune favors the fleet! And thank you for stopping by!

  4. That is by far my favorite bug! So iridescent!

    What lengths for a photo? Well, it was for photos. Standing in the hot sun, camera on tripod, patiently clicking the shutter every 15 seconds (usually), trying to decide how many frames I need to make a time lapse video longer than a few seconds vs. how long I’m going to keep sweating for them…

  5. Thanks for visiting my blog! The Tiger Beetle is incredible, and your photobraphic skill/patience awesome, but do you know why I subscribed to your blog? I fell for that incredible spider macro! The shot is inspiring to a would-be macro photographer and full time appreciator of all God’s critters. Thank you for doing what you do, including letting the bugs live for another day!

    • Well thanks, Smiles, and yeah, that spider really speaks to me as well. Just so much giddy detail hiding in there. The closer we look at nature the more surprises she has for us!

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