Ants and Aphids, Backlit

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Ants and aphids on a mango tree. These ants are translucent, so tried lighting them from behind.

Tammy 90mm, ISO 200, f/22, 1/200s, manual exposure.

Strobist information: Vivitar 285HV on top-left, a little behind the stem to get the back-lighting effect. Used a paper reflector on the flash. Manual power - 1/4.

Perez de la Garza, Vinay Venugopal, and 32 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. MyArtistSoul 72 months ago | reply

    This is really nice. I started shooting macro nighttime black widow spiders, moths, ants and other bugs only a few months ago and I am learning the difficulty of getting good lighting and good focus with such tiny subjects always in motion. Your backlit ant shot is a very striking image. How'd you get so much DOF?


  2. binux 72 months ago | reply

    Thanks Jim.
    Used an aperture of f/22 for getting the required DOF. Had to crank up the flash power for that kind of aperture. This was shot in broad daylight with the light from the flash completely overpowering the ambient light.
    I use manual focus for these shots, moving the entire rig back and forth. I take multiple shots to make sure at least some come out sharp.

  3. Through my lens.... 72 months ago | reply

    this is awesome binux

  4. MyArtistSoul 72 months ago | reply

    Oooooh, daylight + big flash power!....and a tripod. So THAT's your secret! he, he, he. Actually I can see how that REALLY pays off.

    I've been excited about the amount of detail I could capture in bugs with my Canon 40D + 60mm macro handheld (typically bouncing a Viv 285 off a foamcore card), but your shots not only have amazing detail, but also are artfully done, beautiful photographs. Very inspiring!!!

    I have a lot of experience lighting tabletop product in a studio situation, but outdoors trying to shoot tiny critters (who may want to protect their territory) and being in cramped, awkward positions is WAY more difficult. I really appreciate the energy it must take to get the shots you do.

    I'm looking forward to summer here and the bugs. Bring 'em on!

    Ant kill_0150

  5. Vinay Venugopal 72 months ago | reply

    Wow...splendid work.Your macro photography is very inspiring :-)

  6. binux 72 months ago | reply

    Thanks Anand and Vinay.
    Anil: Yeah, your cropping suggestion will work better. I shouldn't stick to 3:2 crops all the time.
    Jim: I don't use a tripod.

  7. binux 72 months ago | reply

    Thanks Aravind.

  8. MithunR 67 months ago | reply

    very nice capture..

  9. SowmyaVinu 65 months ago | reply

    Your Macros sets are amazing..

  10. Ryan Somma 57 months ago | reply

    Thank you so much for licensing your photos Creative Commons! Your work helped to illustrate the science content on ideonexus, which helps to enlighten and educate our visitors. We greatly appreciate your contributions to the Commons!

  11. Milusa 51 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Spectacular Insects-invited images only//Insectos Espectaculares, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    Hi, The Spectacular Insects Group's contest of the month is "ANTS". This photo would be great for the contest. Please consider posting it at:

  12. Milusa 51 months ago | reply

    Spectacular Insect Contest Ants, Time to vote!
    Please vote for your three (3) favorite photos above. Each vote will count for (1) point. The photo with the most points wins!

    VOTE FOR 3 pics!!!

  13. emjanda 49 months ago | reply

    Anoplolepis gracilipes

  14. brandnewidea 42 months ago | reply

    The best ants detailed pix I've ever seen. Great, awsome, supper - congrats

  15. Techuser 41 months ago | reply

    Good work with the lighting

  16. MaikenVL 23 months ago | reply

    Wow - GREAT shot!

  17. lifeat48 15 months ago | reply

    absolutely beautiful photo; the lighting, the texture, the shadows....the entire mix is truly amazing!!

  18. Pixel-Pusher 8 months ago | reply

    I have long been fascinated by ants that had some transparent body parts, but I have never seen any like this before.
    Your lighting makes them look wonderful.

    I do see some other kind of critters here; but nothing I recognize as aphids.
    I'm not a regular fan of square cropping; but in this case I concur with reachanil's suggestion.

  19. Mantis-photography 4 months ago | reply

    This photo is amazing
    Male mantisI would like to invite you to the
    Scientific photographers group

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