Most people who see Africa’s “sausage flies” wouldn’t pick that they are actually ants. In fact, these monstrous insects are males of the common Dorylus driver ants. They fly at night to gain a chance to mate with a queen from another colony.
The standard field-guide photo at the top illustrates the ant nicely, but the image doesn’t convey the animal’s impressive size. So I had myrmecologist Jack Longino pick one up for a sense of scale.
I don’t include people in my images nearly enough- that’s one aspect of my photography I’m hoping to improve this year. People add not only a sense of scale but a more accessible emotional point of entry to the photo, especially for more obscure subjects like insects.
photo details: Canon EOS 7D camera
top photo: Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens
ISO 400, f/14, 1/250 sec, off-camera strobe
Bottom photo: Canon 17-40mm f/4.0 L wide angle lens on a 12mm extension tube
ISO 250, f/13, 1/100 sec, , off-camera strobe