How to Photograph Insects: Discover All Its Secret

There was a time when we were very close to them, when it got up just one meter above the ground. Now, years later, it’s time to return to earth to smell up close and re-discover the exciting world of insects.

The wildlife photography is not an easy discipline. We, photographers, we become mere spectators in a theater of incessant behaviors and processes that, if we succeed, it is an essential requirement to remain as inconspicuous as possible. In this article we will give quotes some tips that will help when facing a session with insects, joining us?

Knowing a Insects

With approximately one million described species, insects are the most diverse group of living beings on the planet representing almost 90% of the life forms that inhabit the earth. However, the data is perhaps most important is that they have colonized most available habitats, what does that mean? You can find them wherever we go!

How do you perceive the world? 

For some time I have been receiving questions about which methods to attract and keep photographing these tiny animals are. Attract?? No! If there is something really exciting in this discipline is just “know” sneak into their lives with hardly notice your presence, you give away only moments! And it will be much easier.

Insects, like us, have a range of meanings and bodies for their guidance, advocacy and sexuality you should know if you want to achieve better results. Have not you ever wondered why it is so difficult to catch a fly? Their senses are able to perceive vibrations or movements of tiny air, they can see us through a series of photosensitive “cells” that often include viewing angle of 360 ° and even smell us to great distances.

Come To Them! 

Once sensitized to the idea that we will introduce into an environment and in a way it will alter and notice our presence, how we approach? Even when our protagonists’ activity is high, simply reach your area and try to hide the paralyzed to sense danger. Thus:

  • Check that the chosen area is well populated; you will always have a greater chance of finding models for your photos.
  • Most importantly, they trust you. We accomplish this by entering in the middle of slow and deliberate manner. We can even make small stops as we approach the end, sit down and keep watching, check how life returns to swarm.
  • If we have fixed a certain bug as the star of our session, always get close in a straight line without sudden movements. Doing so minimizes straight feeling that something is coming.
  • If you are not seeking sun shade them, will not give you time to shoot.
  • Their orientation is also important: addressed to its head from the opposite side, it will give them confidence when it comes to be able to escape and they will endure your closeness.
  • Having gained the position, enjoying the moment and if flies before you can shoot, try again!

Important: The Safety and Distance from Focus Features of Our Objectives.

We have gotten bogged down in routine, developed a good position to photograph, but still we are not satisfied or just want more approach, careful! Varies by species to photograph, but, as a rule, there is a safety distance of being exceeded disturb our lead actor. My advice? I usually organize my approach as follows:

Gradually the subject approach: Since relatively long distances and at the large apertures diaphragm (remember that the farther from the smaller insect background blur, hence the start working with large apertures in order to achieve a correct blur) allow us to make “photographs atmosphere” without major approximations.

Once started the session from a safe distance, proceed to closer getting increasingly closed flat. When the distance to the subject is uncomfortable, too short, probably leave the area although they can sometimes surprise!

When we set a subject is advisable to start making “photographs atmosphere” from a safe distance, our complete report providing a variety of plans and, in turn, will our hero giving confidence to proceed with older approaches.

In this regard there is a characteristic of our objectives is crucial for photographing insects: The minimum focusing distance. What does this mean? It’s simple; two goals can achieve exactly the same expansion ratio (e.g. 1:1) from very different distances, sometimes even several tens of centimeters that can creep up on us very well!

Lenses with magnification ratios of 1:1

  • Sigma 150mm f/2.8 – Minimum focusing distance 38 cms
  • Canon 100mm f/2.8 – Minimum focus distance 20 cm
  • Nikkor 60mm f / 2,8 – Minimum Focus Distance 18.5 cms

The technical data are clear: the higher the ratio the same focal length and magnification have a distance of farthest approach, i.e., greater comfort when photographing insects.


Are times and places appropriate?  

If we have come this far and we should have a global concept on how to address the bugs in our field sessions but, undoubtedly, there are certain weather and atmospheric conditions can play for us, did we look?

  • Best in spring: It is well known that during spring an explosion of life occurs.
  • Central Hours: During the middle of the day insects have such high activity that will be difficult to approach them with good results, please take advantage of it in your exercise to photograph subjects in flight!
  • Sunset and sunrise: Lower their activity and thereby increase our chances of “static hunt” in a branch or flower. Maybe, if I had to keep one of these two moments would dawn, and provide an aesthetic plus to find certain insects bathed in dew. In addition, during the morning still have not warmed up fully and remain static until the first rays of sun get activate.
  • Where there are flowers, there is life.
  • Where there is water, there is life.
  • Avoid direct sunlight midday, create unsightly contrasts.
  • To 10:00 am and from 19:00 pm the lighting conditions will be favorable to direct sunlight.
  • Enjoy cloudy days! Is there anything better than having a natural diffuser sized cloud? Volumes thank you.
  • Best work individually: A single individual will have a greater chance of success in a group, remember that we are altering their daily lives. If my group would be wise to keep some distance.

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