Ants and Aphids, Backlit

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.


  • jim 7y

    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?

  • Binu K S 7y

    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.
  • Anand S 7y

    this is awesome binux
  • jim 7y

    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
  • Vinay Venugopal 7y

    Wow...splendid work.Your macro photography is very inspiring :-)
  • Binu K S 7y

    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.
  • Aravindan Rajaram 7y

    Excellent shot!
  • Binu K S 7y

    Thanks Aravind.
  • Mithun Raghoothaman 7y

    very nice capture..
  • SowmyaVinu 7y

    Your Macros sets are amazing..
  • Ryan Somma 6y

    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!
  • Ludi 5y

    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:
  • Ludi 5y

    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!!!
  • emjanda PRO 5y

    Anoplolepis gracilipes
  • michael Igagha Williams 5y

    The best ants detailed pix I've ever seen. Great, awsome, supper - congrats
  • João P. Burini PRO 5y

    Good work with the lighting
  • Maiken Vestergaard 3y

    Wow - GREAT shot!
  • JB 3y

    absolutely beautiful photo; the lighting, the texture, the shadows....the entire mix is truly amazing!!
  • Pixel-Pusher 2y

    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.
  • Mantis-photography 2y

    This photo is amazing
    Male mantisI would like to invite you to the
    Scientific photographers group
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Uploaded on May 16, 2008
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