Compare and contrast. Zooming in for greater detail: The same fly, the same pose, the same camera settings. All I changed was the background, and the difference in the animal’s appearance between the two photographs is immense.
A while back I wrote a feature for Ars Technica on the dysfunctional online copyright landscape. The piece was personal. My photographs average around $50 each to make, mostly in time, equipment, and travel costs.
Unless you live under a rock, you have likely seen the clean white natural history work of the Meet Your Neighbours project. And even if you do live under a rock, chances are one of the project’s members has found you, removed you to a plastic stage, and snapped a photo.
Symbiartic recently mentioned tagging science artists on Twitter as an easy way to give credit. Tagging the artist is a great idea, of course, but not everyone is on Twitter.
Every once and a while I stumble across a dusty forgotten folder on my hard drive, full of photos so old I don’t even remember taking them.
Compound Eye has been quiet of late. My silence is for a good cause, though! The past few months have been hectic as I transitioned from freelance photography in Illinois to a new job: Curator of Entomology at the University of Texas in Austin.
It’s a marvelous time to be a photographer. The blossoming tech industry has made us all kids in a candy shop, suddenly realizing the whole street is candy shops, on a street with peppermint cobblestones and licorice fountains.
When I lived in Tucson a few years back, I often wondered why a city even existed there. Modern Tucson is completely dry, save a few artificial ponds propped up for the golfing set.
This 2007 photograph of a fire ant brandishing her stinger is among the most heavily circulated images from my collection. Since several people have asked how I managed to coax the animal into such a dramatic pose, I bring you the following recipe.
“Why is it that an animal that is actively trying to kill us, such as a lion, gets more respect than one that is only trying to nibble on us a little, without causing much harm?” -Piotr Naskrecki Biologist Piotr Naskrecki, who traveled with me to Belize last year, returned home to find himself incubating [...]
In honor of January 1st being Public Domain Day, I am releasing a few of my older images from copyright: These images are now available for all uses, including commercial use, without the need for attribution or permission.
2014 was a busy year, and an odd one in terms of subject matter. Usually my stream is full of ants. I am trained as an ant biologist, after all, and these charming social insects typically weigh heavily in my photographs (see 2013, 2012, 2011).
[The following piece is a modified repost from 2013] Every year, on the first of January, copyrights on certain older creative works expire and the works pass into the public domain.
Here is a photograph of a Sydney funnel-web spider, Atrax robustus: I won’t explain the biology of this delightful animal here – you may read about it at Wikipedia in greater arachnological detail. Instead, I want to show the process by which I arrived at this composition.
If you spend time reading online photography fora, which you do because you’re here, you will already know the key to great photos is owning the Canikon Extended 15-1000mm F1.2 Stabilized Howitzer XL III.
When most people think of wasps, they imagine a stereotypically striped stinging insect. Such wasps are part of the family Vespidae, but they are, in fact, a minority of species and unrepresentative of their order.
In the previous post, I listed a couple ways in which photographers digitally alter firefly photographs. How nefarious of them! I admit, however, the post was a wee bit facetious.
Now that firefly season is sparking up our eastern and midwestern summer evenings, I am starting to see not just the insects themselves but the attendant media buzz.
Teachers Pay Teachers is a freewheeling online market where entrepreneurial educators sell lesson plans, powerpoints, and other didactic materials to each other.
You might think an insect with an extra pointy derriere would pack a fearsome sting, but you’d be wrong. The extended rear appendage of the crown-of-thorns wasp is not a stinger but an egg-laying organ, the ovipositor, used to reach beetle grubs chewing through the wood below.