Advances In Insect Photography

beetle

Malagasy jewel beetle
Photo: KAZUO UNNO

Small animals such as insects pose many problems for photographers. To see detail, the insect must be magnified, but magnification comes with loss of depth of field. To magnify one part of the insect is to blur those parts that are not in the plane of focus. Motion becomes  important because magnification will magnify the motion and cause the photo to blur. New technology attempts to solve this problem.

Focus bracketing allows a photographer to select a focus depth and have the camera rapidly record a series of images at slightly different focal lengths. The “stacked” images are then used to create a composite image from the parts of each image that is in focus. This technique allows a photography to take detailed photos of insects that are relatively still. The speed that the images are acquired is important for living insects because the process must be completed while the insect is not moving.  So far, the technique works for stationary but not moving insects.

Professional photographer Kazoo Unno has tested focus bracketing with results that are greatly improved over an unstacked photo. Stacking techniques are powerful and the details that are provided can make the study of insect features more widely accessible.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in Art, by jjneal. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Advances In Insect Photography

  1. Pingback: Advances In Insect Photography – Entomo Planet

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