Dec 9

insect of the day

Category: animals

Those of you who received my yearly letter may remember this one. It was a large mantid that somehow ended up in my house. It was a difficult and uncooperative subject, refusing to stay still or upright. I had to trap it in a container for the shoot.

It was the most engaged insect subject I’ve had the pleasure to shoot; she watched everything and seemed constantly to be on the verge of violence. One of the things I like about photographing insects is that you are forced to meditate upon your subjects; you spend great amounts of time with them and notice things about them that normally pass under your field of vision. When you see an insect carefully clean itself, and realize that insects are capable of gentleness, it has to make you think that everything you knew about them was bigoted nonsense that must be discarded. I don’t think they are “smart” in the intellectual sense, nor do I have illusions about their brutality – positive or negative.  They are living things and their dramas are as large as ours; larger than the average person’s maybe.

If you click to make this larger, you’ll see the three pseudo-eyes, called ocelli, between the antennae. Did you know that most insects have ocelli? I didn’t, until I began looking.  I’ll try to find some other pictures I’ve taken of insects with ocelli.

2 comments

2 Comments so far

  1. DKK December 14th, 2008 12:28 PM

    She looks ready to pounce!!! You’re lucky to have gotten out alive!!!

  2. Shera February 4th, 2009 8:42 AM

    She looks bugged out.(ba dump bump)

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