Innovators

In Your Face: The Gorgeous, Gruesome World of Bug Photography

By on October 02, 2013
Andrena-uvulariae,-F,-face,_2012-10-26-11.32.jpg Photograph by Sam Droege/USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab

"If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” Sam Droege, head of the U.S. Geological Survey's Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab, has taken legendary photographer Robert Capa's advice to a technological extreme, using macro photography to help scientists identify the 4,000 species of native bees that occur north of Mexico. Until recently, getting this close was too expensive to be practical; StackShot, a new rail that controls camera movement, enables Droege to make a series of images with just a Canon 5D bearing a 65mm lens. He then combines the images in Photoshop to create the sharpest photograph possible. It's easy to see what all the buzz is about.

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