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Compound Eye

Compound Eye

The many facets of science photography

  • Photo Tip: Help The World See Your Hairy Fly By Using A Black Background

    Photo Tip: Help The World See Your Hairy Fly By Using A Black Background

    By Alex Wild | April 9, 2015 |

    Compare and contrast. A wood midge (Cecidomyiidae) in Austin, Texas, photographed on white. The same midge against a black backdrop. 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

    By Alex Wild | March 18, 2015 |

    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. […]

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  • Meet Gil Wizen’s Neighbors

    Meet Gil Wizen’s Neighbors

    By Alex Wild | March 6, 2015 |

    Female Israeli sand cockroach (Heterogamodes hebraica). Left: ventral view; Right: dorsal view. Central Coastal Plain, Israel Unless you live under a rock, you have likely seen the clean white natural history work of the Meet Your Neighbours project. […]

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  • Another Quick Tip For Crediting Photos and Visual Art on Twitter

    Another Quick Tip For Crediting Photos and Visual Art on Twitter

    By Alex Wild | March 2, 2015 |

    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! […]

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  • Then and Now: A Decade Later, A Decade Better

    Then and Now: A Decade Later, A Decade Better

    By Alex Wild | February 28, 2015 |

    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: Taken with a Nikon Coolpix 995. I was terrible at photography. […]

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

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

    By Alex Wild | February 24, 2015 |

    The wing of an eastern tiger swallowtail housed in the University of Texas Insect Collection. High magnification reveals the multicolored scales that make up the insect's wing pattern. Compound Eye has been quiet of late. My silence is for a good cause, though! […]

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  • The Ethics of our Brave New Drone Photography World

    The Ethics of our Brave New Drone Photography World

    By Alex Wild | February 16, 2015 |

    Image by Nicolas Halftermeyer, used under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license. 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. […]

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  • Window To A Wetter Past In Tucson

    Window To A Wetter Past In Tucson

    By Alex Wild | February 2, 2015 |

    View of Tucson c. 1904 from Sentinel Peak, with the Santa Cruz River flowing in the foreground. Photographer unknown. 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. […]

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  • A Recipe for Photographing Angry Fire Ants

    A Recipe for Photographing Angry Fire Ants

    By Alex Wild | January 30, 2015 |

    A fire ant displays "gaster-flagging" behavior, waving a volatile droplet of venom. 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. […]

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

    By Alex Wild | January 12, 2015 |

    "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 several skin parasites. […]

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