Some fast tips on photographing insects and other invertebrates

Insects are a very interesting subject to photograph. Can be useful, however, to have some foresight, to get a better result.

Spotted fritillary (Melytaea didyma) at sunset

Know your "enemy" insects are an interesting subject to photograph because they are virtually everywhere, but it must be familiar with the biology of the species that interest us, to be able to photograph them. I therefore strongly recommend to buy a small field manual on the entomological fauna of your region, or about the group of insects of you interest. Amazon could be a perfect place to start your search.

praiyng mantis

Lenses:a good quality macro lens will be worth every penny it cost, but you can get interesting results in other ways. You can take for example the macro ring specific to your lenses, and so you could transform a "standard" lens in a close-up lens.

Rhino beetle female

Best time of the day: insects often animals are fast and can be hard to photograph them during the hottest hours of the day, in direct sunlight or harsh sun. Look for them at dawn or dusk, along the fields or the woods, and take some pictures of them while groggy or sleepy. Use a good tripod to work at the lowest possible ISO values and avoid the camera shake.

Wasp spider (Argiope bruennichi)

Background: If you want a blurred background, set the camera in order to have a shallow depth of field. A value of F3.5, f2 or less Should be fantastic. if you want to show your subject in a specific context, use a value of f5.6 or f8

Anoxia matutinalis

So... take your camera and explore your garden! Your next subject it's waiting for you!

Photo credits: Andrea Mangoni.
Andrea Mangoni
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  • Andreamangoni
  • Camponogara, Italy
I am an Italian biologist, with a strong passion for nature, the landscapes, good food and much, much more!

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July 01, 2015

Clearvista: no, I use a tripod if the subject is fairly immobile (with shutter speed f.8); otherwise, I try to use f4 standing non too close to the subject.
Mariayunira: Thanks a lot!


June 30, 2015

So lovely!! Best luck for you..


June 30, 2015

Such good depth of field in your images. I can only get a very small portion in focus. Did you use a slide to photo stack?


June 30, 2015

Thanks a Lot!
Dpimborough: obviously, you can also set the shutter speed at 4000-2000, and you could take good pictures of insects fliyng or running; also, you can utilize a good flash, the best choice is a macro ring flash, you can found easily also on ebay.


June 29, 2015

I often wondered how best to photograph impossible fast moving insects thank you for the tips


June 28, 2015

Amazing macrophoto and nice blog, congratulations!