October 26, 2009

Hey. Look at...

... these.

Before they look at you.

(Via Instapundit.)

And remember: "They're very brutal. No compassion.... no compromise."


Kensington said...


Thank God he made us bigger.

Anonymous said...

Pity the poor Ugly Fly at the end.

Great shots. I can't wait to show them to my kids at home tonight.

Tibore said...



Synova said...

The preying mantis are awesome because they really *do* look at you. They turn their head so you know they are looking at you. Other bugs don't.

Mantises are way too cool.

traditionalguy said...

What hath evolution wrought? That first picture does resemble a Georgia Tech Cheerleader from back when female Engineering students were very rare.

Chip Ahoy said...

The photograph of the photographer buried in there somewhere in Shahan's Flickr profile shows him splayed on the ground using a Pentax with cabled flash box heavily duct taped. Within descriptions on several of his Flickr images he describes using 28mm usually at F8 reversed on a set of extension tubes. I find that fascinating. He also says things like a particular photo is five stacked focus, which I take to mean a set of five separate photos of the same shot at slightly varying focal lengths combined in post processing to increase the total focal length of apparently miniscule lengths so that the front of a bugs head can be in focus along with the back of the bugs head but not its body, the focal lengths being just that shallow.

After all of that, the ring needed to reverse a lens and the stacked lensless extensions, would't it be worth investing in a great micro lens? (Nikon calls them micro not macro like everybody else) This confounds me. Without having actually tried it, but still very interested, it seems this can be done less problematically and with lenses that could allow for greater distance from the subject so not to scare off the poor little things, which move and jump and have wings, after all.

His videos are enthralling. In one, he feeds a live cricket to a spider that in turn is seized upon and eaten by a larger (female) spider that just happened by at that moment.

All this makes me want to try to reverse my own lens, before investing in a super-duper lens specific to macro photography. I have a 50mm F1.4 that I think would work well. The thing is, it's nearly impossible to get straightforward information on any of this. Every time I explore it, I end up more confused than when I started out. For instance, today I roamed all over Thomas Shahan's pages on Flickr that lead to his off-Flickr articles that lead to reviews of lenses on Amazon that lead to lenses being offered on Craigslist that led back to Amazon to read more reviews of lenses that led to pages and pages on reversing rings and extension tubes that lead back to dedicated lenses. It's all so overwhelming.

rhhardin said...

Title The Joy of Insects.

blogging cockroach said...

ugh you just had to put up all those
photos of spiders and flies not to
mention a praying mantis or two
i m going to have nightmares
i tell you beetles are bad enough
they re just like mobsters but spiders
really how would you like it if i put
up pictures on my blog if i had one
of a horrible man eating tiger
oh i forgot that s a good thing
to people these days because

1 tigers eating people helps solve the
population problem and who cares
there are too many people anyway

2 tigers are so endangered and need
food too

well speaking as your basic insect i may
be pretty intent on what i want which is
mostly food and not much sex unlike my
last life when i was a human well sort of
but i am content with the stuff in your
compost bag if mom doesn t drop any
meatballs behindbthe stove so you see
i m in the recycling business and wouldn t
hurt a fly and so am not on any particular
karmic wheel this time around which is
more than i can say for the aptly named
ugly fly

John Burgess said...

Chip Ahoy: Using reversed lens with adapter rings has the advantage of being cheaper than dedicated macro lenses.

They're not as convenient to use, though, as you're always fussing to get the right depth of field and not all macro shots are conducive to lengthy set-up.

Dedicated lenses work just as any ordinary lens and, if you're using digital or later-generation, all-electronic 35mm, they're about your only bet.

Then, too, there are the macro lenses with a built-in light ring that takes care of any illumination problems one might have.

The downside is that these lenses are very pricey and you want the widest apertures you can afford (of course).

If you're just getting interested in macro, then do look for the adapter rings suitable to your camera. If you find you love it, maybe it'll be worth the few $K it will cost.

WV: adamsho... well, Ensel decided that he shouldn't shoot macro.

Matt Brown said...

I think that Male Striped Horse Fly stole some shades from Bono.