Lighting the Army

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Several of you have asked about how I set up this shot of an army ant raid. Here’s the secret:

I made a simple light tent out of printer paper, tape, and some scaffolding crafted from whatever plant matter was at hand. I mounted the tent on a remote-triggered flash on a little stand, and I set the contraption directly over the myrmecological action. This arrangement showered a small patch of forest floor with diffuse white light.

For the Eciton shot I used a wide-angle lens, the Tamron 11-18mm wide angle zoom. This relatively inexpensive lens has a close focus distance for its class, and being extra wide, the depth of field is pleasingly deep. So it can get close to the action and capture a sense of the dark forest environment. I still cropped the photo somewhat as the close-focus isn’t nearly close enough even for large ants.

2 thoughts on “Lighting the Army”

  1. Pingback: How to Photograph Army Ants – MYRMECOS - Insect Photography - Insect Pictures

  2. Pingback: Ant ant steps off the drawing board – MYRMECOS - Insect Photography - Insect Pictures

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