Focus-Stacked Macro Photos of Bugs by Photographer Nicolas Reusens


Photographer Nicolas Reusens has always been interested in insects, so when he purchased his first DSLR three years ago, he immediately dove into the art of macro photography. By using the technique known as focus stacking — combining several images taken at different depths of field — he’s generated some truly eye-popping photos of creepy crawlies from all over the world.

When we say all over the world, we’re not exaggerating. Reusens is half Swedish by birth and lives in Spain, but over the past three years, he has travelled to Costa Rica three times, Malaysia twice, South Africa twice, the Peruvian Amazon, Ecuador, Mexico and more to find and photograph his subjects.

His choice to user focus stacking arose from a need to increase his depth of field without stopping down his aperture. Stopping down the aperture requires longer exposure times, and in some cases leads to diffraction and reduced sharpness.

By combining anywhere from 2 to 200 exposures (no, we didn’t add an extra zero, Reusens actually uses that many exposures for some of his more extreme macro shots) using Zerene Stacker, he creates images that he tells us would be “physically impossible with normal imaging equipment”:














As much as this has been about discovering new species of bugs, Reusens is proud to say that his travels have also led to a better understanding of the world. Malasian macro fans introduced him to the country’s unique culture, Costa Ricans to its less “wild” but more comfortable approach to life, and Peruvians taught him how to deal with many exotic bug bits.

His adventures are still only in their infancy, but he hopes that his travels ultimately make him “a better photographer to offer you the best of what my cameras and I can capture.” To see more of Reusens’ extreme macro and other nature photography, head over to his website, his gallery, or his Facebook page by following the corresponding links.

Image credits: Photographs by Nicolas Reusens and used with permission

  • Jeremy Lawrence

    Some very impressive work there.

  • Oliver

    We live in a fantastic world, way beyond our imagination and size dimensions…

  • Mantis

    Please tell me i’m not the only one that wants to a version of this where the match is fire.

  • Jackson

    Are these insects alive at the time these pictures were taken? Because I wonder how they can hold their position for him to take all these pictures especially with having to change the dof.

  • Sky

    200 exposures with ant holding a bug in it’s mouth… right…. someone’s cheating here.

  • bob cooley

    Gorgeous work.

  • Ian Anderson

    Excellent photos – love the glass frog shot – and the one after it looks like a creepy storm trooper. Also, that’s a frighteningly large beetle or a really small frog…

  • Adam Cross

    apparently it’s more than normal for macro photographers to use dead and/or frozen subjects – I didn’t know until recently, kinda takes the magic of it away but they’re still nice images from a scientific point of view

  • Adam Cross


  • chubbs

    The frog needs a small cowboy hat, that that picture would be perfect.

  • Ivor Wilson

    Proof, Adam?

  • Adam Cross

    I don’t need proof, is a simple fact of macro photography that a lot of people will use dead or frozen subjects – you can google it if you don’t believe me. Also – you trying photography an ant 200 times while it’s alive ;) I doubt you’ll get images like those above

  • Bill Austin Kearns

    “…and Peruvians taught him how to deal with many exotic bug bitEs”. (Not bug bits).

  • Joakim Bidebo

    If you put them for a short time in the freezer, they won’t die but be a lot more still. But I know some killed them but then it’s harder to make them look alive.

  • Yasmine ElShamy

    this is a great work from a great artiest

  • whoopn

    Thank you for confirming my suspicions.

  • Geir Rustung Fr√łyland