ADAPT FOR YOUR SUB­JECT

Digital Photograper - - Interview -

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.

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