June 29, 2009

The Insect Photography Workshop

Last week was National Pollinator Week. Who knew?

The UIUC entomology department held a number of events, including an insect photography workshop. I thought it would be fun to try something a little different so I walked over to the Pollinatarium yesterday for the workshop. The workshop leader is a UIUC post-doc in entomology who studies ants (my sister-in-law Kim is an entomologist who studies fire ants in Texas). He also photographs insects for text books.

Among his tips were:

  1. Know your subject
  2. Use your camera's manual settings
  3. Simplify the background
  4. Place the subject away from the center of the frame
  5. Light is important
  6. There is no single correct way to take photographs

We tried to keep these points (and more) in mind as we walked around the nearby prairie & forest to practice. It was a lot of fun. Here are a few of my favorites.


Japanese Beetles



You can see more of my insect photos from the workshop here.


Anonymous said...

Kimberly will love this!


Scott said...

Very nice work! I'd like to shoot a few Japenese beetles, but not with a camera.

Chris Ⓥ said...

Did you use an SLR or a point & shoot camera? These are nice photos!

Ragfield said...

Scott, I know how you feel. The Japanese beetles decimated the grape vines at our old house. Incidentally, there were dozens Japanese beetles having some sort of orgy when we found them...

Chris, these photos were all taken with my DSLR (Canon 50D). The Flickr pages for the photos have full EXIF data if you're curious. Point & shoot cameras usually have very good macro features, so a P&S should work well in those cases. The dragonfly shots were done with a 70-200mm zoom lens. The rest were done with a 60mm macro lens.