Sunday, April 15, 2007

Studio macro

Ants with an MPE-65 series 1-5
Originally uploaded by Dalantech.
Ants drive me insane! They will stop moving just long enough for me to get them in focus -and then move as soon as I press the shutter release...

But like most insects if they have something to do then they might just slow down long enough for me to get a shot or two. Since ants are constantly looking for something to eat all I had to do was put a little sugar water on a leaf, anchor it so the wind doesn’t blow it around, and presto I’ve got a macro studio.

It takes about five minutes for the “models” to show up for the shoot.

Select a leaf that has a good texture to it. Flat leaves are not only boring, but you’ll run into problems with reflections from the flash. Also choose a large leaf since you’ll need room to anchor it and still have plenty of space to move around with the camera. For the image included with this post I used a fig leaf. On hot days put your “studio” in the shade –most species of black ants don’t like direct mid day sun if the weather is hot (and it’s not good for you either).

Once the ants start feeding you can move them to new area if the one you’re in doesn’t let you get the angles that you want –just move slowly. I placed my leaf on a low stone wall that surrounds my patio and sat in a chair next to it to shoot –some of the easiest macro work I’ve ever done.

Have fun with your studio :)


Daniel said...

Thanks for the suggestion. I've also tried numerous times to get a good macro of an ant, I'll try the sugar water idea.


Dalantech said...

Please let me know how it turns out!

Daniel said...

It's funny how the ants will be a nuisance the whole year and when you finally want some, they are nowhere to be found.

I put CocaCola on some leaves and flowers outside hoping for the ants to come, but all I got were bees, lots of bees. I managed to get quite a nice macro of one in the flowers. It can be found at

Thanks again for the Suggestion. It was the first time that a bee has been still enough for me to photograph.

I'll keep you updated if I ever get a good photo of an ant.


Dalantech said...

Cool -thanks!! :)