The soundtrack of an Australian summer

By AG Staff December 24, 2018
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This week’s reader photo of a red eye cicada was captured by Alex Pike

“You may have noticed that this summer was a big one for cicadas, as they emerged in huge numbers to unleash a wall of sound signalling their desperation to attract a mate. After mating, adult females lay hundreds of eggs in the bark of eucalyptus trees where they then hatch as nymphs, fall to the ground and burrow down to the roots. They then remain underground for years before emerging as adults to continue the cycle again,” says Alex.

“When composing this image, I knew I wanted some stars in the background with cicada shells in the foreground. While I was shooting, this adult cicada settled down in the frame as it was attracted to the light of my phone, creating a far more interesting image. This photo is a blend of two exposures – one for the night sky and another for the cicada and stump with the help of an off camera flash.”