macro

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Photography Science

Macro Photographs of Nature’s Tiniest Architects by Nicky Bay

February 29, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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Bagworm moth larva (Psychidae), all images courtesy of Nicky Bay

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Bagworm moth larva (Psychidae)

Nicky Bay (previously here and here) is the master of capturing the exceptionally small, photographing insects typically passed over without acknowledgement or recognition. The Singapore-based photographer stays acutely aware of these tiny creatures, using macro photography to highlight each minuscule detail. While taking a closer look at the micro world found deep in the rainforest, Bay began to notice tiny structures built by his favorite subject. The bug buildings appear manmade—tiny log cabins, gates, tents, and fortresses blocking each insect from the world just beyond their carefully placed twigs and segments of silk.

My favorite microscopic discovery of Bay’s was the Bagworm moth larva’s twisting stack of twigs it builds to protect itself as it grows inside. These stacked structures are almost perfect in their symmetry, each side built with twigs that are equal in length and width. Another favorite is the Arctiinae moth pupa’s cage produced from caterpillar hair and silk, a semi-protective fortress that appears almost like chicken wire.

Ray has collected several other examples of these tiny architects, including a web tower and silk-covered tent which you can see over on his macro photography blog. You can also follow his day-to-day macro photography on Facebook.

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Bagworm moth larva (Psychidae)

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Web tower structure, image by Jeff Cremer

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Arctiine moth pupa (Cyana sp.)

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Arctiine moth pupa (Cyana sp.)

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Arctiine moth pupa (Cyana sp.)

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Arctiine moth pupa (Cyana sp.)

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Bagworm Moth

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Bagworm moth larva (Psychidae)

 

 



Art

Paint, Oil, Milk, and Honey Mix in this Surreal Macro Video of Swirling Liquids by Thomas Blanchard

August 12, 2015

Christopher Jobson

It turns out that watching paint mix is a heck of a lot more interesting than watching paint dry. French director Thomas Blanchard shot this lovely short of colored paints, oil, milk, and honey as they mix and bead under a macro lens. He says the video is intended as “an analogy of feelings such as anger, love, sadness and joy [as they] they mix and eventually ease.” If you liked this also check out similar liquid experiments by Ruslan Khasanov.

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Photography

Joni Niemelä’s Macro Photographs Capture Carnivorous Plants’ Alien-Like Structures

July 27, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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“Drosera” photo series

Joni Niemelä captures the moments within nature often looked over, the extreme details seen best through macro photography and an imaginative eye. One of Niemelä’s photographic obsessions is the carnivorous plant Drosera, more commonly known as the “Sundew,” a nickname which refers to droplets that collect on the plant similar to morning dew.

Sundews belong to the largest genera of carnivorous plants, including more than 194 species that lure, capture, and digest insects by using glands that cover their leaves. Through Niemelä’s macro photography he is able to zoom in on each dew-like drop, adding a mystical feel to the hungry plant.

Niemelä explains, “Sundews have always fascinated me, and I have been photographing these alien-like plants for several years now. My first first photo series ‘Drosera’ was mostly bright and vibrant, so I wanted to have some contrast to that in my second series of Sundews. I think the colors and the mood of ‘Otherworldly Blues’ reflect aptly the true nature of these carnivorous plants.”

You can see more of the Finish artist’s carnivorous plant and nature photography on his Instagram and Facebook page.

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“Drosera” photo series

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“Drosera” photo series

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“Drosera” photo series

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“Drosera” photo series

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“Otherworldly Blues” photo series

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“Otherworldly Blues” photo series

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“Otherworldly Blues” photo serie

 

 



Art

Odyssey: Otherworldly Macro Footage of Ink, Oil and Soap Shot by Ruslan Khasanov

May 11, 2015

Christopher Jobson

Several years ago, Russian graphic designer Ruslan Khasanov was cooking with oil and soy sauce when he stopped to appreciate the strange relationship between the two fluids as the pooled and mixed in unexpected ways. The observation lead to his creation of Pacific Light, a sort of experimental music video meets science project that captures the up-close interactions of ink, oil, and soap. Khasanov just released a follow-up video—now with glitter!—called Odyssey. Music by Ilya Beshevli.

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Photography

Worlds Within Our Worlds: Macro Photos of Everyday Objects

January 26, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Watch this video of beautifully lit macro photos of everyday objects by photographer Pyanek (who also scored the audio) and see how many objects you can guess. I failed miserably. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Photography Science

Macro Photographs of Singapore’s Most Unusual Insects and Arachnids by Nicky Bay

January 8, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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Cicadae Parasite Beetle (Rhipiceridae)

One of my favorite Flickr accounts to follow is Singapore-based photographer Nicky Bay (previously) who ventures into some of the most ecologically diverse (ie. creepiest and crawliest) places in the world to shoot macro photos of insects, arachnids, and fungi. Bay went on 46 different shooting excursions in 2014 and discovered creatures that seem more at home in an Avatar movie than here on Earth. He’s also begun working more with ultraviolet light that he uses to reveal the natural fluorescence of many organisms he encounters. My favorite discovery while scrolling through Bay’s 2014 photos is this species of moth that builds a cage out of its own caterpillar spines to protect itself while in a pupal stage. You can follow his day-to-day adventures on Facebook.

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Archduke larva (Lexias pardalis dirteana)

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Caterpillar

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Freshly molted Jumping Spider

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Harvestman illuminated with 365nm wavelength ultraviolet light; Millipede fluorescence.

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Treehopper (Membracidae)

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Cuckoo Bee

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Caged pupa. The spines of the caterpillar were used to construct this magnificent cage for protection during pupation.

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Bioluminescent fungi

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Longhorn beetle

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Huntsman Spider consuming prey exposed under ultraviolet light for 20 seconds.

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Twig Spider

 

 



Photography

A Spider Fixing a Leaf

October 24, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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OK, so the spider isn’t fixing the leaf, but that doesn’t make it any less amazing (and no, it’s not Photoshop). Paris-based photographer Bertrand Kulik stumbled onto this tiny spider who managed to construct its web inside a leaf with a giant hole and snapped these photos at just the right angle. (thnx, Alex!)