Monday, May 29, 2006

Insects are Pretty Cool, but Photographing them is Hard

It's not easy to take good pictures of insects: they're small, fast, uncooperative or actively hostile, and most people instinctively shy away from them. I admit, I have a jump reflex, but I also have a real fascination for the beauty of small, complex things. I don't love insects, but I think they are visually intense and functionally interesting. And it's a great way to explore the limits of your camera.... Sorry if you're squirmy about these things: go read Glenn Greenwald or Anne Zook or something....

That is my skin the bug is sitting on, but I blew it off immediately after. Still, it wasn't easy holding that hand still and getting the camera out, set to macro and in position with the other one.... No idea what it is, but my bug books are pretty primitive.

Ant colonies are almost infinitely fascinating. I have no idea what these ants are doing, but as near as I can tell they are protein scavengers, not sweet eaters and not stinging ants. So, as long as they're not in the house, I don't care too much.
This mosquito is dead, yes. I have no patience for anything which tries to eat me. But when I saw that it had landed pretty much intact, it was time to whip out the dinky tripod and get a close-up. This was the best shot I got, I'm afraid. I love the long proboscis, though.

2 comments:

elementaryhistoryteacher said...

Interesting pictures. I could make a joke about size matters with your proboscis comment, but I won't. I did notice, however, you didn't photograph the ants on your arm. Good choice.

Ahistoricality said...

The ants don't seem that interested in people: they'll walk on your foot, if it's in their way, but that's about it. They're fast, too: the only way I could get a decent picture was to find a place with a lot of them.

Yeah, I thought about the proboscis thing, too. But it is the most salient feature of the beast....