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Compound Eye

Compound Eye


The many facets of science photography
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    Alex Wild Alex Wild is Curator of Entomology at the University of Texas at Austin, where he 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.
  • Photo Tip: Help The World See Your Hairy Fly By Using A Black Background

    Cecidomyiidae

    Compare and contrast. Zooming in for greater detail: The same fly, the same pose, the same camera settings. All I changed was the background, and the difference in the animal’s appearance between the two photographs is immense.  

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    Announcing Insects Unlocked

    papilio1f

    A while back I wrote a feature for Ars Technica on the dysfunctional online copyright landscape. The piece was personal. My photographs average around $50 each to make, mostly in time, equipment, and travel costs. These costs have traditionally been covered by commercial users who buy permissions, as copyright law requires. Yet fewer than 10% [...]

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    Meet Gil Wizen’s Neighbors

    Wizen2f

    Unless you live under a rock, you have likely seen the clean white natural history work of the Meet Your Neighbours project. And even if you do live under a rock, chances are one of the project’s members has found you, removed you to a plastic stage, and snapped a photo. Meet Your Neighbours is [...]

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    Another Quick Tip For Crediting Photos and Visual Art on Twitter

    CC2f

    Symbiartic recently mentioned tagging science artists on Twitter as an easy way to give credit. Tagging the artist is a great idea, of course, but not everyone is on Twitter. Is there a more general method for social media attribition? Why yes, there is! Twitter’s tidy 140 characters do not leave much space for even [...]

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    Then and Now: A Decade Later, A Decade Better

    Colombia1f

    Every once and a while I stumble across a dusty forgotten folder on my hard drive, full of photos so old I don’t even remember taking them. Like this 2002 shot of an Azteca adrepens ant from Paraguay: I was terrible at photography. I mean, I still make impressive numbers of truly bad photographs, but [...]

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    Build a World-Class Insect Imaging System for under $6,000

    papilio1f

    Compound Eye has been quiet of late. My silence is for a good cause, though! The past few months have been hectic as I transitioned from freelance photography in Illinois to a new job: Curator of Entomology at the University of Texas in Austin. The move has meant a blogging hiatus. My new academic digs [...]

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    The Ethics of our Brave New Drone Photography World

    drone2f

    It’s a marvelous time to be a photographer. The blossoming tech industry has made us all kids in a candy shop, suddenly realizing the whole street is candy shops, on a street with peppermint cobblestones and licorice fountains. And if that weren’t enough, flying robots are now dropping candy from the sky. With the advent [...]

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    Window To A Wetter Past In Tucson

    blend

    When I lived in Tucson a few years back, I often wondered why a city even existed there. Modern Tucson is completely dry, save a few artificial ponds propped up for the golfing set. The few desert washes that pass through town are bare sand most of the time, filling only briefly during the heaviest [...]

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    Recipe For A Photograph #5: The Angry Ant

    Solenopsis invicta 1

    This 2007 photograph of a fire ant brandishing her stinger is among the most heavily circulated images from my collection. Since several people have asked how I managed to coax the animal into such a dramatic pose, I bring you the following recipe. But first, a digression into fire ant biology. Everyone knows fire ants [...]

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    Giving Birth To A Tropical Parasite [Video; Not For The Squeamish]

    naskrecki

    “Why is it that an animal that is actively trying to kill us, such as a lion, gets more respect than one that is only trying to nibble on us a little, without causing much harm?” -Piotr Naskrecki Biologist Piotr Naskrecki, who traveled with me to Belize last year, returned home to find himself incubating [...]

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