Macro Insects Photography

Nature is an endless inspiration for designers, photographers and artists alike. After all, nature has managed to create a complex self-sustaining system of life supporting millions of species over billions of years that has given rise to some of the most beautiful and elegant living beings that we have ever gazed our eyes upon. Evolution has resulted in transforming these living beings over the course of several millions of years. Today, there are literally millions of species of plants, animals and insects that inhabit the blue planet. And it is beyond the scope of our comprehension about how each one of these species are so unique in terms of its appearance and behavior. They are unique in terms of their organization, the way they protect their own species and also by trying to survive using complex defensive tactics that we are yet to fathom completely.

Despite their reputation as pests, the trillions of insects, bugs, and spiders that inhabit the Earth can make some of the most fascinating and dramatic close-up photography subjects.  Insects and their tiny environments offer the macro photographer an unlimited amount of color, texture, and physical architecture to explore.  They are as unique as we are, and they are obviously much more plentiful.

Macro photography is a very daunting task to achieve. It requires a lot of patience and attention to detail. To achieve a very good looking macro shot, one needs to balance the magnification factor along with the depth of field(DoF). Sadly, both of these lie on the opposite sides of the balancing scales. Depth-of-field is “how much” of the picture is in sharp focus. As i said, there is an inverse relationship between magnification and DOF…the more magnification you get, the less DOF you get. Lighting the environment around the subject is also very tricky. The usage of the light and any external flashes must be carefully organized to highlight the most fascinating detail of the subject. Care must be taken to avoid unnecessary reflections and glares as well.

As you try to magnify further, there is another limitation that begins to surface and it is the ‘camera shake’ factor. To get a perfect macro shot, there must be virtually no movement at all(both from the camera equipment and the subject). The latter is not under out control(for the most part) so the key is to stabilize the equipment as much as possible.

Apart from all these factors, there is also the factor of mental focus and patience. Bugs and insects are incredibly restless(most of them) and it needs a great amount of patience and trials to get the right shot. The time of the day and the weather also plays a role in determining whether the insects are going to oblige with you or not.

Here some of the best macro(portrait) photography of common insects that I’ve seen. Some of the them are so terrifyingly beautiful that it gives me goosebumps. It is so fascinating to see and understand how much detail such tiny insects have. It feels as if they have been so “intelligently designed”, it makes me want to rethink the definition of perfection.

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