Robert L. Niese
// science // art // education
// insects and spiders //
Insects and Spiders
Macro portraits of various arthropods from Washington, Montana, and the US Virgin Islands
Insects are a challenge to photograph and identify, making them my favorite photography subjects.
There are more species of insects on this planet than all other organisms combined. The Arthropods have existed on Earth longer than plants. They can be found in every nook and cranny, everywhere you look, even in the dead of a Montana winter. Their ubiquity and charisma makes them excellent subjects for my macro photography passions. Unfortunately I currently lack the stacks of identification manuals required to make confident IDs for most of the species I locate on my bug hunts. But with a little help from BugGuide.net, Google, and Wikipedia, I can normally make a well-educated (I'm a grad student, for Pete's sake!) guess.
These animals are remarkable in their diversity of behaviors, forms, and adaptations. Every encounter I have with a bug in the field is likely to be a new and exciting experience. On one particularly fruitful expedition in the Hoh Rainforest (Olympic National Park, WA), I managed to photograph ten separate Arthropod orders in only a few hours. Even on my most productive birding Big Days, I rarely make it to ten orders! I doubt I will tire of photographing these remarkable creatures any time soon.