Over at CE I mentioned the trouble of useful natural history photographs that are technically mediocre:

…the blurry capture is my only photograph of [an] animal. Do I upload it to my professional galleries anyway? It won’t look great printed, and I’d feel embarrassed to sell it onwards for, say, a display at a natural history museum.

The question isn’t trivial, as it burrows right to the heart of why I photograph insects. Am I making pretty images? Or am I documenting real natural history?

I’ve rustled up another example. In Kansas last week I shot a colony of the common acrobat ant Crematogaster lineolata with several queens in the brood nest:


A pair of queens in a nest of Crematogaster lineolata. Konza Prairie, Manhattan, Kansas. 4/30/2013

The photographic documentation of polygyny is a small yet potentially useful tidbit about the biology of a population. Yet, the photo is aesthetically crowded, the lower queen is out of focus, and it is not the quality of image I want included in my professional portfolio. So it goes here instead.

I should probably upload these to Wikimedia.