The Joy of Macro: Thomas Shahan is the Bob Ross of Bug Photography

Bob Ross became a household name a couple of decades ago through his show The Joy of Painting on PBS. His friendly personality, soothing voice, and artistic talent got countless people hooked on oil painting, beating the devil out of paintbrushes, and creating happy little trees and clouds. He’s the kind of guy who could (and did) talk about watching paint dry and make it enjoyable.

Thomas Shahan is the closest thing we’ve found so far to a photographic Bob Ross. In the video above, he introduces us to the art of high-magnification macro photography, which he employs to create vibrant images of all kinds of tiny critters.

Shahan uses equipment that isn’t inaccessibly expensive: a Pentax K-x DSLR with an old 28mm or 50mm prime lens that’s flipped around at the end of extension tubes (AKA reverse lens macro photography).

As he states in the video, one of the main things anyone can learn about this time of work is patience. The vast majority of his subjects fly away before he is able to snap a single photograph, so it usually takes a good deal of time and energy before anything useable is captured.

You can check out Shahan’s work over on his website or through his Flickr account.

Thomas Shahan on Flickr (via Reddit)

  • Cochese

    This is my kind of photography! And mostly what I do. Though, as he said, it takes patience and time. And sometimes, a lot of photos and luck.

  • JaneƅndDoug Howell

    Wow that guy is soothing like Bob Ross, thanks Peta Pixel.

  • pryere

    Mr. Shahan is soothing and informative. A great combo and some brilliant results.

  • 2432424

    who cares waht you do? you have no barber?

  • sierrarobba

    I do a same just no oversaturate my images.

  • Roy

    Where can we find your gallery?

  • moan

    who cares?

  • Guest

    It takes some kind of magic to the those ‘creepy crawlies’ into something cute. Kudos.

  • Cbeian

    The saturation might be cranked up, but it looks natural

  • Pixel r0n1n

    He said he uses a Pentax K-200D, which is weather sealed and houses a 10mp CCD, and not a K-x. An even older cam than the K-x. Further testament that gear alone does not make a great photographer.