Jun 11, 2012

Macro Insect Photography by Thomas Shahan

 

Thomas Shahan is one of the most popular macro insect photographers on Flickr. His 250+ gallery has garnered hundreds of thousands of views and he has brought a level of detail and beauty to these insects that is truly astounding. Hailing from Oklahoma, USA, Thomas uses photography as a tool to raise awareness and educate others about arthropods, which he is so deeply passionate about.

Many wonder how Thomas is able to achieve such clarity and detail in his shots. Often it is a ton of patience and trial and error. If he has a still subject, he will also use a technique known as ‘focus stacking’ which allows him to combine several captures (focused on different parts of the insect) into one image so every detail is sharp and crisp (e.g., the eyes, mouth and antennae). For a great summary of Thomas’s photography, there’s a fantastic video interview at the bottom of this post that really delves into his process and thoughts behind his work.

As for equipment, Thomas uses a Pentax K200D with either a vintage 28mm or 50mm prime reversed to the end of extension tubes. If he happens upon a highly cooperative subject, he may use his macro bellows for some really high magnification shots.

For those interested, Thomas will be co-instructing a macrophtography workshop with Alex Wild and John Abbott at the Archbold Biological Station in Lake Placid, Florida – August 23-26, 2012. For more information here: www.bugshot.net

 

Be sure to check out his entire Flickr stream for more incredible macro photography. All hail the arthropod!

 

 

 

1. Face of a Southern Yellowjacket Queen (Vespula squamosa)

 

Face of a Southern Yellowjacket Queen (Vespula squamosa)

 

 

 

2. Adult Female Cardinal Jumper (Phidippus cardinalis)

 

Adult Female Cardinal Jumper (Phidippus cardinalis)

 

 

 

3. Female Striped Horse Fly (Tabanus lineola)

 

Female Striped Horse Fly (Tabanus lineola)

 

 

 

4. Adult Male Phidippus putnami Jumping Spider

 

Adult Male Phidippus putnami Jumping Spider

 

 

 

5. Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca) Eating a Spider

 

Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca) Eating a Spider

 

 

 

6. Adult Male Jumping Spider at Sunset – Phidippus mystaceus

 

Adult Male Jumping Spider at Sunset - Phidippus mystaceus

 

 

 

7. Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis)

 

Female Blue Dasher Dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis)

 

 

 

8. Robber Fly with Prey (Holcocephala fusca)

 

Robber Fly with Prey (Holcocephala fusca)

 

 

 

9. Adult Male Habronattus cognatus Jumping spider

 

Adult Male Habronattus cognatus Jumping spider

 

 

 

10. Robber Fly (Triorla interrupta) with Dragonfly (Plathemis lydia)

 

Robber Fly (Triorla interrupta) with Dragonfly (Plathemis lydia)

 

 

 

11. Portrait of an Adult Male Phidippus putnami Jumping Spider

 

Portrait of an Adult Male Phidippus putnami Jumping Spider

 

 

 

12. Male Praying Mantis Head – (Stagmomantis carolina?)

 

Male Praying Mantis Head  - (Stagmomantis carolina?)

 

 

 

13. Adult Female Jumping Spider – Phidippus mystaceus

 

Adult Female Jumping Spider - Phidippus mystaceus

 

 

 

14. Black Soldier Fly Head – (Hermetia illucens)

 

Black Soldier Fly Head - (Hermetia illucens)

 

 

 

15. Male Walkingstick – Diapheromera

 

Male Walkingstick - Diapheromera

 

 

 

16. Adult Male Phidippus mystaceus feeding on a Chrysopid

 

Adult Male Phidippus mystaceus feeding on a Chrysopid - With Video!

 

 

 

17. “Hanging-Thief” Diogmites Robber Fly

 

"Hanging-Thief" Diogmites Robber Fly

 

 

 

18. Blue-faced Meadowhawk – Sympetrum ambiguum

 

Blue-faced Meadowhawk - Sympetrum ambiguum (With Video!)

 

 

 

19. Female Rabid Wolf Spider – Rabidosa rabida

 

Female Rabid Wolf Spider - Rabidosa rabida

 

 

 

20.

 

Female Ommatius Robber Fly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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