Photography to me is a journey of exploration- of color, design, shape, form, texture, contrast, light etc. The goal is to present a feeling, a sense of 'being there', of presenting a photo that connects with the viewer's senses in such a way as to move them to rememberence. A Succesful photo in my opinion would be a shot of an ocean that causes the senses to remember the taste of salt air, the smell of beach sand, the feel of the cold water as you step foot into the ocean for the first time. A shot of a forrest that brings to mind the smell of balsam trees, pine needles, the musty pungeant odor of the forrest floor, and the feel of a ray of sun coming through the trees on a cold Autumn day. To me, these goals are what drives me to try to capture what I see and sense in my surroundings- and someday I hope to achieve just that.
As to my Insect photos- I've had some folks ask if my insects are alive or dead- the answer is Yes. Some of my photos are of dead insects- most however are alive. I record details of interesting insects in settings that I find intriguing. Some settings are staged, while others are taken in the field in natural settings- Some of the backgrounds are artificial, and accomplished by propping different colored papers behind the subjects, most however have natural backgrounds. If I run across dead insects that are interesting, and have a lot of intricate details, I have no qualms about using the insects for photographic purposes if I think they will make for interesting shots- please don't ask which are alive or dead- If you like the composition, colors, and shot as a whole, then I've accomplished what I've set out to do- If shots of dead insects disturbs you, then perhaps my portfolio isn't for you. My goal is to record details which are not visible to the naked eye, and to showcase the wonderfully complicated and intricate creatures of creation that we see around us daily, but don't take the time to investigate more fully.
Most of my photos use natural lighting- I might, if the sun is too strong, diffuse the light to try to avoid overexposing the highlights or catchlights. I don't use any complicated gear- and the gear I have isn't the best- however, with just limited gear, I think I'm capturing some pretty interesting subjects in interesting settings. I use a canon 7d, a canon 85mm 1.8, and an 18-135 scratched, used and abused kit lens reversed on the end of the 85mm. I do use a really cheap tripod for most shots where I can get close to the subject- and by cheap, I'm talking $35 dollar Targus tripod- certainly not ideal for the type of shooting I use- I don't use a macro rail (yet), but simply adjust the focus on the 85mm. Some shots are taken handheld- and most photos, if I can manage to get several shots, are stacked in photoshop CS5 which I think gives pretty good results. Some of my dead insect photos are composed of 30-50 or so photos, while others of live insects are composed of perhaps 8-10 photos IF the insects don't move too much.
While my photos are not as crystal clear and sharp as say an MPE-65- I think the results are pretty decent. Perhaps someday, after I've been discovered by National Geographic, and I'm rich and famous, I will get better gear- but until that day comes, We'll just have to settle for the shots I'm getting with the gear I've got now :)
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask, or leave a comment.