Saturday, July 3, 2010
EXOTIC INSECT PHOTOGRAPHY
You can buy dried and packaged exotic insects from all over the world, like this cicada from Thailand, and then photograph them in natural looking situations. Online insect suppliers have a huge number of species, listed usually by Latin name, and even though you may not know what the insects look like, you can do a search by the scientific nomenclature and see whether or not you'd like to purchase the dead specimen.
The picture you see here isn't biologically correct because cicadas don't rest with their wings outstretched. However, I preferred to shoot it this way simply because its wings are so beautiful.
The technique is to put the packaged insects in Tupperware (with the lid) with a wet paper towel. The moisture relaxes the insect parts, and then with very tiny pins (available online through insect supply companies), you can put the legs and antennae into a natural looking position. In a day the insect dries, and it will then maintain the position established when the pins held the body parts exactly as you wanted. Then it can be placed on a natural background and photographed.
The photo you see here was taken with a Canon ringflash and a 50mm macro lens. I used the camera on manual exposure mode, the flash was set to ETTL, and the lens aperture was f/32. The green background is a 13 x 19 inch print of out of focus foliage.