Ants Dragging Dinner Home

It is amazing what we can find to photograph right at our feet. I was out just before dinner today trying to photograph some ants. Not having any extension tubes or a macro lens with me made this a bit of a creative challenge. After experimenting for a little while, I noticed some ants dragging dinner home across my cement walk. I was intrigued. As is often said… small things amuse small minds.

I happened to have a 1.4X teleconverter with me. So, I attached my zoom lens to it, then turned on my camera’s digital zoom function. Many cameras have a digital zoom function, and although the image quality often isn’t great, it can be serviceable in a pinch. Given the significant cropping I did with the photographs, I was pleasantly surprised with my results.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Here are a couple of ant photographs I was able to capture as they scurried about.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko 1.4X teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/5.6, 1/3200, ISO-6400, digital zoom mode, subject distance 930 mm
Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko 1.4X teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-2500, digital zoom mode, subject distance 1 metre

At first blush I thought the ants had captured a bee. I’m still not entirely sure if that’s what they had… or if it was a bee mimic. From time to time robber flies, hoverflies, parasitic flies and other insects can be mistaken for bees. The insect below was slowly crawling on my sidewalk as the ants were transporting their catch.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko 1.4X teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-2000, digital zoom mode, subject distance 945 mm

Two or three ants worked diligently to drag their catch over the cement pavement.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko 1.4X teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-2000, digital zoom mode, subject distance 1.1 metres

At one point they had turned the insect over. As I examined it… I began to think it was a bee mimic of some sort.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko 1.4X teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-1600, digital zoom mode, subject distance 900 mm

Once the ants dragged their catch over to one of our mulch covered flower beds, things got a bit harder for them.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko 1.4X teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000, ISO-3200, digital zoom mode, subject distance 860 mm

The strength of individual ants was pretty amazing to witness.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko 1.4X teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/8, 1/1250, ISO-6400, digital zoom mode, subject distance 725 mm

Since the light was beginning to fade I didn’t have the opportunity to photograph this event to its ultimate conclusion.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko 1.4X teleconverter @ 210 mm, efov 420 mm, f/8, 1/1250, ISO-6400, digital zoom mode, subject distance 700 mm

It’s always a good idea to check out all of the various features of your camera. While we may seldom use some things like a digital zoom… it can come in handy in a pinch!

Technical Note:
All photographs in this article were captured using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All of the photographs displayed in this article were produced from RAW files using my standard process. All images were severely cropped.

Use of Olympus Loaner Equipment
All of the photographs in this article were captured using Olympus Loaner Gear which was supplied by Olympus Americas Inc. on a no-charge basis. We are under no obligation what-so-ever to Olympus Americas Inc. in terms of our use of this loaner Olympus camera equipment. There is no expectation or agreement of any kind with Olympus Americas Inc. that we will create and share with readers any images, articles or videos, or on what that content may be.

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4 thoughts on “Ants Dragging Dinner Home”

  1. Tom,

    I have to disagree with what you said about “small things amuse small minds”; I would like to think it takes a big, open mind to appreciate the small things because these are often overlooked or taken for granted. I see you having so much fun with the Olympus. Why do I get the feeling one of these days there’s going to be an “Olympus ambassador” attached to your eminent name?

    Oggie
    http://www.lagalog.com

    1. Hi Oggie,

      Just a wee bit of self-deprecating humour… 🙂

      You’re right that I’ve been having quite a bit of fun with the Olympus Loaner Gear. I think the last time I had this much fun was when I began experimenting with my Nikon 1 kit. Different types of fun… but enjoyable nonetheless! It intrigues me that I’m only scratching the surface of the E-M1X capabilities. I still have another client video test to do… we’ll see what happens after that in terms of a gear decision.

      Tom

      1. Tom,

        Just kidding! I know your brand of humor LOL. Reminded of experimenting, I ought to one of these days, bring out the camera again and have fun learning new things instead of being holed up at home and playing guessing game with the fickle weather.

        Oggie
        http://www.lagalog.com

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