Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Busy Ants

“Whenever I'm stung by an ant for no reason, I compare our sizes then I understand why” 
- Constance Chuks Friday

Anyone that has ever observed an ant knows that they are real busy bodies.  They never, ever stop and they move rather quickly.  Especially to the observer with a camera.

For the past few years I've been trying to get good macro shots of ants but it's easier said than done. All I've managed to accomplish is large collection of mediocre or downright failed shots.  Spending hours upon hours hunched over in a fixed position, holding my breath (not entire time of course) and clicking away, only to come up with blurry frames.  Oh patience!

I will explain to you why it's so difficult.

Macro lens allows the photographer to get very close to the subject and magnify it with some beautiful eye catching effects.  The closer the lens gets to the subject however, the more shallow the depth of field becomes.  For subjects as small as a regular ant, the depth of field is so shallow that the slightest movement is enough to make the point of interest totally blurry.  And with ant which is in constant motion, this issue is magnified x fold.

I have been able to catch few shots that I liked.  This one below is one of my favourites because I caught the hair on the ant's head.  Is it a good hair day or bad one?

These next two photos came courtesy of an ant in temporary captivity.  Out of desperation for some decent ant pictures, I caught an ant and put her on the stick which was on the rock in the middle of water.  She tried to figure her way out of there and eventually she did but before that she stopped to groom in the middle of the stick.  These are not my preferred shots because I like shooting insects in natural setting but when it comes to ants I can't be very picky.

I like this shot especially because she is actually sitting on the stick.  On her bottom.

After a year of hiatus from ant photography, this past weekend I decided to give them a chance again. I took my camera to the yard and tried to find ones that weren't too hyper.  I didn't find any but I was armed with a ton of patience which helped somewhat.

First came the flower party.  A set of dandelions have finally bloomed and many ants in the area converged there to sample the delicious nectar.  The traffic was pretty intense.  I've watched numerous ants run in and leave the golden petals over and over again.

One ant decided to be creative and find a unique way of feeding.  She hang from the blade of grass by her back legs to get right in the middle of the yummy nectar.  Patience is rewarding and I really had a great time watching her.

I thought that was it for the ants but then yesterday I struck a little bit of luck.  I was checking out the flowers on my honeysuckle berry when I noticed an ant busily feeding on the bottom of the leaf.  I quickly grabbed the camera and started snapping.  She was kind enough to let me get a clean shot of her beautiful face. I'm in love!

This year I'll spend a little more time chasing after the ants.  They are difficult but a very rewarding subject to capture.  One thing I know about macro photography is that unless I put in the time, I won't get the shots I am after.



  1. Oh Kamyria....Your ant photos are wonderful. Just awesome, really. What kind of camera do you use?

    I have to be honest, though. I do NOT like ants. uh uh And when they come into the house, especially any cabinet, I go NUTS. ha! Better to photograph them than see them in my kitchen. ha ha Susan p.s. THanks for all your visits.

  2. You are one of the most talented people I have had the pleasure of encountering on the internet! Your photographs are art! Just beautiful! You see the world with the same Eye I do, but You also capture it for everyone else with your pictures~

  3. Oh lovely, these are beautiful photos! I'd never be able to do such fine work with all my tremours, so I shall sit back and enjoy the fruits of your patient labour.