Tag Archives: insects

Alien Images

Laurie says:

I know I said that my next photo blog would be my photos from Estonia, but then I saw these remarkable insect photos on the Atlantic’s In Focus really struck me.

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They are from ….The USGS Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program is a program run by biologists with the U.S. Geological Survey in Maryland. Part of their work is to develop identification tools and keys for native bee species by creating accurate and detailed pictures of native bees and the plants and insects they interact with. The biologists set up a mini studio surrounded by a styrofoam cooler with a black background to make their macro shots, stacking anywhere from 30 to 300 photos to get an image in focus. They have shared their collection of more than 1,200 photos online.
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Alan Taylor chose 20 of them for In Focus. What struck me is how many of the images I looked at on the site were both beautiful and alien. Many of the close ups of the insect faces feel very science fiction to me. It’s definitively worth the time to check out the collection.
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Photos: Glorious Bugs

Laurie says:

I was amazed and delighted by these  photos of dew-encrusted insects by photographer Miroslaw Swietek. His images for me have both the beauty of microphotography and the aesthetics of Faberge.
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Images and text are from the Daily Mail in England.

Glistening in the early morning, these insects look like creatures from another planet as dew gathers on their sleeping bodies.  Captured in extreme close-up, one moth appears to be totally encrusted in diamonds as it rests on a twig.  Dragonflies, flies and beetles also take on an unearthly quality as the water droplets form on them.  These remarkable photographs were taken by physiotherapist Miroslaw Swietek at around 3am in the forest next to his home.  Using a torch, the 37-year-old amateur photographer hunts out the motionless bugs in the darkness before setting up his camera and flash just millimetres from them.

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Mr Swietek said: ‘I took up photography as a relaxing hobby two and a half years ago and I particularly like taking pictures of insects and lizards.  I photograph them in their natural environment in the forest next to my village.  They all are covered in dew because I go to the forest in the morning at around 3am.  At 3am to 4am insects are sleepy and taking photos of them is easy, but it is very difficult to find them.  You must be very fast taking the photos because the dew quickly disappears.  It is very satisfying getting a good shot of an insect which I have had to hunt out.  I have books which help my identify insects but because they are all covered in dew I find it almost impossible to know which types they are.’

Although insects do not ‘sleep’ in the same sense as humans, they enter a state of torpor where they are virtually immobile and much less sensitive to external stimuli.

Mr Swietek lives with his wife and teenage son in Jaroszow, a village in Poland around 30 miles from the city of Wroclaw.

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Thanks to Carol Squires for pointing me to the glorious bugs.