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How to photograph insects, bugs in FLAAR garden, Guatemala

Maya ethnozoology, creatures of Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, etc

Since FLAAR Mesoamerica is focused on studying flora and fauna of Guatemala and neighboring countries, we maintain a plant and animal research garden around our office facilities. We are at 1500 meters elevation, with a long dry season and then a rainy season (but with many dry days even during the rainy season).

We have:

  • Hummingbirds
  • Squirrels
  • Possoms or comparable (come out only at night)
  • Snakes (possibly the red neck snake)
  • Bees (stingless Meliponia and other species with stingers)
  • Wasps of many species
  • Scorpions (inside the house)
  • Tailless whip scorpions (inside the house)
  • Butterflies
  • Walking stick “insects”
  • Lots and lots of spiders everywhere(inside the house)
  • Many species of ant

About two years ago we even had zompopos (leaf-carrying ants), which normally I would not expect at our altitude (1500 meters above sea level).

insect bugs quiebrapalitos CANON MR 14EXII Macro Ring Lite

This is a good example of how to photograph insects. We use a Canon MR-14EX II Macro Ring Lite

Since the neighbors know we like to study bugs, today our next door neighbor alerted us to a relatively large walking stick.

This week in late July we have also found lots of butterfly larvae. This is because we deliberately plant species which attract butterflies, such as passionflower vines.

Inside the studio we use Westcott TD5 Spiderlite fluorescent lighting

For digital cameras fluorescent lighting is great. Our favorite is Westcott TD5 Spiderlite. We would like to upgrade to Westcott Spiderlite TD6.

We also use ring flash, Canon MR-14EX II Macro Ring Lite

If we use our Canon, we can use its Canon MR-14EX II Macro Ring Lite ring flash or dual light macro flash, Canon MT-24EX Macro Twin Lite Flash.

If we use our Nikon, we can use its four-light macro flash, r1c1 macro flash system (close-up Speedlight system) (there is no Nikon-made ring flash). So if we wish a ring light with Nikon, we use our Metz Mecablitz 15 MS-1 Macro Ringlight Digital Flash Kit.

We occasionally use a ROSCO LitePad Loop, though it takes time to attach this, and the light is not very strong. We woujld like to try the AlienBees ABR800 Ringflash Unit or the Elinchrom1500 Ringflash.

Here are the results by professional photographer Sophia Monzon, copyright FLAAR Reports.

Butterfly larve part I FLAAR Jul 28 2015 1975

This is a good example of how to photograph insects too. This are micro butterfly larvaes

 

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