The ubiquitous iPhone isn't designed for macro photography, but when the subject is as large as this 3-inch lubber the little camera's optics do just fine.
The challenge of making this photo was not optics but lighting. I built a white-box studio using foam boards from an office supply store, printer paper, and a desk lamp inserted facing upward in the box. The bounced light was softer than direct light, and as a result I achieved a professional-looking image even though the shoot was conducted with little more than standard office supplies and a phone camera.
To photograph the grasshopper, I placed it on the white paper in the middle of my tabletop studio and stuck the iPhone in through the gap in the far wall.
The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
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.