Here are my first successful slow-motion 3D catadioptric videos, taken with this homemade rig! In the first video, watch this bumblebee take flight, and be sure to listen to the slowed-down sound of its wings beating…
The camera in my catadioptric rig is an old iPhone, which here was shooting at 240fps, so the slow-motion is 1/8th speed. As with most catadioptric shots, I had to align the left and right, so this was a LOT of processing of frames.
The second video here is of a cicada killer wasp. In my neighborhood, the annual cicadas are now out and about, though maybe before their peak. But it was a week or two before I heard any cicadas that I started seeing these wasps around. They have been busy defending their territories, looking for mates, and digging their burrows, all to prepare for their big life mission, which is to find an adult cicada, sting and paralyze it, somehow carry it back to their burrow (even though it can weigh up to 3X as much as them), lay their eggs on it, and seal it up underground. Sometimes people are scared because these large wasps will fly right up to you, but it’s because they’re investigating whether you’re A) an adult cicada, or B) another cicada killer (maybe their eyesight is poor? haha), and if you’re not, they don’t care about you / won’t bother you. Compared with the bumblebee video, you can see the wasp is MUCH faster. At actual speed, these zoom around in the air. They have to be strong flyers to be able to fly while carrying a cicada that is much larger than themselves.
Finally, the third video is of what I believe is a katydid nymph on hydrangea, but is NOT slow-motion—I wasn’t expecting any fast movement, but turns out I should’ve!
If you have the Instagram app, you can check out another, longer slow-motion bumblebee video on my IGTV, that really shows the mid-air maneuverability of these insects.
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