Two years ago we dubbed photographer Thomas Shahan ‘the Bob Ross of bug photography.’ Today, we’re back with a video from the macro master in which he dives into his workflow in the field, dropping bits and pieces of useful knowledge as he goes through a daily shoot.
Posts Tagged ‘insect’
Mimicking animal and bug vision to create unique and interesting cameras is nothing new. Bug vision cameras with, for example, infinite depth of field, have been made in the lab before. But researchers at University of Queensland in Australia are developing a camera that can do something pretty unique: it can see cancer.
The idea came after the scientists discovered that mantis shrimp have this incredibly useful ability. Read more…
There are DIY projects that just about anybody can do — for example, turning an old film canister into a flashlight — and there are DIY projects that have a very specific “Y” in mind.
The ArnoSync High-Speed photography rig falls into the latter category. But even if you don’t have the engineering prowess to build it yourself, it’s still worth taking a look at what this home-brew rig can do. Read more…
So you want to create stirring nature documentaries. You could go the National Geographic way and risk trench-foot, snakebite and more in pursuit of the scenic wild. Or you could take the Boris Godfroid route: Schlep a few hundred pounds of bricks into a spare room, cover it with moss and other forgiving plant life, and let nature run wild in miniature.
Back in 2010, we featured the beautiful macro bug photographs of a Belgian photographer named Frans, who uses a custom laser camera rig to capture insects mid-flight. Inspired by fotoopa’s work, biochemist and photography enthusiast Linden Gledhill decided to pursue the same photographic subject.
Brothers Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas, the same UK-based duo who created a remote-control BeetleCam to photograph wildlife in Africa, decided to get up-close and personal with some of nature’s less desirable creatures. The two originally noticed mosquito larvae in stagnant water sitting in the backyard of their home, and decided they’d found their next photo subjects. They patiently set up the photo shoot, waiting for key moment when the adult mosquitoes emerged from their larval state. It’s fascinating how delicate and alien the pesky critter is up-close:
Their patience and planning went a long way, Will tells us:
We did a bit of research into their development and discovered that it takes about 1-2 weeks (depending on the temperature) for them to develop into the adult form. This gave us a good amount of time to devise a set up to photograph them as they emerged.
Over the course of about 14 days, we kept a keen eye on their development. We kept the larvae in a glass of distilled water indoors and covered it with perforated cling film – we didn’t want to suffer any bites during the night! Once the larvae had turned into pupae, we knew they were close to hatching. We soon discovered that when one straightened out, we had about 5 minutes until they hatched.
Belgian photographer fotoopa (“photo grandpa” in Dutch) shoots ultra-high speed photographs with laser rigs he builds himself. He tells us:
I’m retired, and work inside in the winter making high-speed pictures of water figures. In the springtime and summer I’m outside to capturing insects in-flight. I have a mechanics (15 years experience) and electronics (26 years) background, but photography was always my hobby.
All of my equipment is do-it-yourself. Macro photography has always been one of my favorite types of photography.
To capture insects in flight, his rig detects the insects using two crossed laser beams. This causes a “superfast electro magnet” to trigger the shutter, which opens and closes in less than 5 milliseconds. Shooting at f/22 and ISO 100, he uses 2 or 3 external flashes at minimum power to obtain sufficient light at so short a shutter speed. He adds,
For insects in-flight, a special second shutter system provides the short shutter-lag of ~7 msec necessary. There is also a high-tech IR laser system with an extra third macro-lens and internal AVR controller. In 40 microseconds, this system sees (via the reflected IR light into the detector lens) if an object comes in focus, and give the information to the central CPLD hardware controller that drive the whole system. In this manner even very fast moving insects are in perfect focus in the picture frame.
In the winter, the water figures are done indoors. First done in 2004, I covered a speaker with a membrane, and put a digital wave through it to move the fine colored droplets on the membrane. This provides wonderful images and an unlimited number of possibilities.
For 2010 I built a 3D stereo setup to capture all the high-speed macro pictures in 3D. The setup uses 2 DSLR Nikon cameras, the D200 and D300
Image credit: Photographs by fotoopa and used with permission.