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Look out! He's coming straight for us!

Posted by
Spike (not Bristol, United Kingdom) on 13 June 2010 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

I was trying to get a shot of a herd of aphids grazing contentedly in the foreground while the shadowy figure of an ant loomed behind. Somehow, while I was trying to figure out how to fit 5mm depth of aphids into 0.5 mm depth of focus, it all went a bit strange...

Tech stuff: the critters were on a shoot from my grapevine that I'd cut from the plant and placed in a beaker of water (it's one that needed cutting out anyway, so no harm to the vine). This made it easy to get natural light on the scene and to frame and focus the scene - well, easier than it would have been on the vine.

Technically, not as sharp in the foreground as I wanted - I was still fiddling with focus and framing when the scene presented itself - but I like the panicky-running-around feel.

Final processing with Topaz Adjust to give it a movei-poster feel. I don't use Adjust much - I'm not a big fan of the halo-and-grunge look - but it was perfect for this job.

Thanks for stopping to take a look.

Zoltan from Toronto, Canada

My favourite pic on this site so far (I've always been a big fan of those 'attack of the giant bug' B-movies). Very cool.

13 Jun 2010 4:22pm

Laurent from Lyon, France

Really looks like an old science fiction movie.
Like you I like the panic on the foreground and the blur just add to that panic.

14 Jun 2010 1:56pm

Dulcie from Danville, CA, United States

Well the surreal monster-movie feel to it. Love your treatment. It really works. Makes me think differently about aphids. I might get inspired to shoot some instead of kill some. ;-)
Congratulations on you place in the AM3 Spotlight !!

14 Jun 2010 4:42pm

Bettina from Los Angeles, United States

Wow, that is an amazing image! Great capture. Love your explanation. Congratulations on your Spotlight!

15 Jun 2010 12:56am

KriKridesign from Cully, Switzerland

MY GOD!!!!
All in shelters!!!
The nightmare of the aphid... Ah no, it is not to eat them, it is just the nanny...
Terrific image...Respects and congrats!

15 Jun 2010 9:56am

Marilla from Turku, Finland

I enjoyed looking at this! Well done, very interesting shot!

16 Jun 2010 7:33pm

Phil David Alexander Morris from Canada

Congratulations on your spotlight, this is brilliant, the ant looks so sinister, and you think of getting away from the attacking ant.

10 Jul 2010 4:42pm