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Thrifty Thursday: The Ant and the Watery Lens

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Thrifty Thursdays feature photographs taken with equipment costing less than $500.

Odontomachus brunneus trap-jaw ant.

[iPhone 4S - $336; water droplet - free]

One year ago I posted a short note describing how to turn your cell phone into a microscope using a droplet of water.

I haven’t used the technique much since, but this afternoon I turned on the faucet, grabbed an ant, and captured this macro shot of the insect as she rested on a backlit leaf. It’s not the crispest photo in the world, but hey. It’s a drinkable lens.


Alex Wild About the Author: Alex Wild is an Illinois-based entomologist who studies the evolutionary history of ants. In 2003 he founded a photography business as an aesthetic complement to his scientific work, and his natural history photographs appear in numerous museums, books, and media outlets. Follow on Twitter @myrmecos.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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