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Red Veined Darter

Insect Photographer Interview | Rory Lewis

Rory Lewis is a Macro Photographer. A Macro Photographer uses a special lens on their camera to take photos of small things (like insects) that makes them appear very big!

We were lucky enough to chat to Rory about his amazing work and how we can take photographs that reveal the hidden world scuttling about in our gardens!

If you have a garden be sure to take Rory's top tips for photographing the little visitors crawling in the grass. Remember, respect the insects you come close to, they are more afraid of you than you are of them!

Why is it fun to photograph bugs?

Bugs such as insects and spiders make up about 90% of all life on earth, they perform such important jobs in nature that we simply could not exist without them.

Being so widespread around the world they have developed incredible diversity, from the tiny ant to the busy bee, the beautiful butterfly and the mighty dragonfly. There seems to be no end to the colours, shapes and behaviour of these wonderful little animals, so photographing them provides endless fun and variety for me.

German Wasp

Which is your favourite bug to photograph?

That’s a toughie! Do I have to pick one? I especially like ladybirds, bees, wasps ..and spiders!

Where is your favourite spot to find creepy crawlies?

One of the nicest things about photographing bugs is that they thrive in areas of natural beauty, so position yourself in a flowery garden and you'll have a variety of bugs all around you!

What are your top tips when finding and photographing insects?

Don’t move around too much, you are very big and they are very small, so although some can appear a bit scary, they are a lot more afraid of you and will run away and hide if startled. Find a nice spot for bugs, such as somewhere with lots of flowers, and just stop and look. After a while you’ll be amazed at how many little creatures you will see scurrying or buzzing around.

Red Veined Dater

What skills does an insect photographer need?

Patience is quite useful. Insects can be very fast and most of them can fly, so you need to be prepared to miss quite a few shots. A steady hand is useful too. You need to be able to hold the camera very, very still.

Why is it important to see insects up close?

Insects and spiders have a very hidden beauty, from a distance some can look like nothing more than little dots with lots of legs running around.. but look at them up close and they can look entirely different, with very intricate parts and details and often, very cute little faces… even the spiders! It also helps us understand their behaviour and to catalogue the many different species.

European Spider

What is challenging about photographing insects?

When looking at something very close-up through a lens, the tiniest vibrations appear as huge movements, which can make it hard to focus, you find yourself holding your breath quite a lot! …Oh and muddy knees.. you will get very muddy knees!

Do you have any advice for people who want to be insect photographers?

You can start having fun right away by looking at insects through a magnifying glass, you can also get low-cost attachments for the cameras on certain devices, such as phones and tablets, which will help you zoom right in and get your first close-up photographs before moving up to the specialist equipment like I use.

Most importantly though, respect their environment. Most insects are harmless but a few will bite or sting if threatened and all deserve to be given space to do their important work. Respect them and they’ll respect you right back!

Rory Lewis

Thanks to Rory Lewis for such a wonderful interview and sharing his work with us.

Visit Rory's Instagram page to see more of his amazing creepy crawly photography!

Rory's Instagram

We hope you have fun searching for insects in your garden, and don't forget to share your creepy crawly photographs with us!

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