ADAPT FOR YOUR SUBJECT
One key challenge of insect photography is the inherent skittishness of these organisms. As Mike explains, a pro macro photographer knows to adapt their shooting style to match the behaviour of the current subject. No single approach is compatible with all specimens, since their design and reaction to the photographer is varied. Only when behaviour can be predicted can individual characteristics be accurately captured.
“Years of observing insect behaviour has taught me that each insect has a best time of day to be approached,” says Mike. “I’m fascinated by bees and in the heat of the day they can be found all over flowers. The problem is that they move so fast I can’t compose and focus a shot. I’ve learned to look for them in the early morning, when it is cool and they are asleep or sluggish. Butterflies and dragonflies are very hard to find when it is cool. They are active at midday, but can easily be found resting. Spider webs can last for days or longer, so I make notes of where I find them and return when the light is best for that location.” Researching a subject’s lifestyle will yield more successful results.