A New Way of Looking at Bugs

Yesterday the Compound Eye blog about insect photography introduced me to the Meet Your Neighbors project and an interesting approach to photographing animals. Of course, I got to work immediately on a variant of the technique that I could use with the materials I had on hand, namely a cardboard box, some tissue paper and one of my macro flash units.

The technique is to use diffused backlighting to take animal portraits in the wild that are backlit and have pure white backgrounds making them more or less like studio portraits done in the field. It’s a bit tricky because you have to position yourself on one side of the subject and the flash on the other. My variation is all handheld, making it easier to maneuver around a moving subject. I still have a lot of practice to really get good at the technique, but with some experimentation with exposure and positioning I was able to get some promising shots the first time out.

Practicing a new technique also seems to be a good way to find new, interesting insects. In this case, my favorites were a couple different immature hemipterans, one of which is an ant-mimic.

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One Response to “A New Way of Looking at Bugs”

  1. Valerie Says:

    Wahou!
    Mark, this pictures are perfect!
    You should make an exposure like Jean Valette…
    And I’m sure that Audrey would like to learn your technique… I send your link for my daughter.
    KisS
    Valérie