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Compound Eye

Compound Eye

The many facets of science photography
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    Alex Wild 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 World’s Most Viewed Landscape, A Decade Later


    Anyone who booted up a Windows computer in the early 2000′s is likely familiar with the grassy hillsides and brilliant sky of “Bliss”, a 1996 photograph by California wine country photographer Charles O’Rear. The image is precisely what a basic background should be: clean, bright, airy, inviting. Fittingly, “Bliss” lacks an immediate point of interest, [...]

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    Elsevier’s Latest Journal Is Just For Bros

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    2013-2014 Winter Honey Bee Losses Are Likely To Be Large

    Apis mellifera

    Over the next few months we will hear news of this winter’s honey bee losses in North America. The news won’t be good. Although official loss tallies have yet to be released, persistently cold weather across the northern part of the continent has made the 2013-2014 winter an unusually difficult one. Beekeepers relying on standard [...]

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    Photographing Uncooperative Insects: The Time-Out Trick


    And now, the technique I find most useful in the studio for calming an overly active insect. I call it the time-out trick. It goes like this: Place the insect on a flat surface, confine it with an upside-down petri dish (you can buy them here) or a small glass, and wait. In a pinch, [...]

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    Photographing Uncooperative Insects: The Nest Entrance Trick


    Earlier, I mentioned that chilling active insects to more easily photograph them can give unnatural results. How is the intrepid photographer to work with animals that do not sit still? A strategy that works well with species that build nests- especially, bees, wasps, and ants- is to find and stake out their nest entrances. The [...]

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    Getty Images Confronts Online Copyright Infringement With A Carrot – And A Stick


    Stock photography giant Getty Images took a gamble yesterday, releasing 35 million files for free non-commercial and editorial uses. Images are served in a YouTube-style embedder that displays a credit and links back to the licensing page at Getty. How does it work? Look around. I have used the embedder to display a few of [...]

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    Freezing Insects To Slow Them Makes Terrible Photographs


    I often find myself in discussions over how to photograph uncooperative insects, and these invariably descend into the technique of slowing the animals by chilling. I don’t approve. Having fridged a lot of insects in the line of nature photography, my experience with chilling is largely negative. Insects out of the freezer just look… bad. [...]

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    What Aperture Does, In Two Photos


    Curious about why you’d want to pay attention to that f/number on your camera settings? Consider: Same subject, same lens, same camera, very different image.

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    Public Domain Treasures: The CDC’s Electron Micrographs Are Free To Use


    You may know about the vital public health services performed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But did you know that the CDC is also a fount of free images? Media produced by federal employees in the line of their official duties are usually destined for the public domain. As a [...]

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    40 years ago: our sister planet revealed


    On February 5, 1974, NASA’s Mariner 10 returned this surprising image of Venus. The photograph was the first to record our neighboring planet’s clouds in such detail, polar vortex and all. NASA isn’t above a little bit of image manipulation, though. In real color, Venus looks like this: To generate the sharp, contrasty visage, Mariner’s [...]

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