Ants in the Field

Images of undisturbed subjects in their natural environment. All subject types.

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NikonUser
Posts: 2623
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:03 am
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

Ants in the Field

Post by NikonUser »

Recently I have been attempting to photograph some local ants.
A couple of challenges: small, the big ones are in the 7-10 mm range; the obvious mound builders are at ground level; the ants 'never' keep still; best shots to get a positive ID has to include a lateral view.
So, no shooting from above, one has to get down to an ant-eye-level (problem is getting back up!)
The easiest part is to slow the ants down, simply place a dop of honey or preferably (for them) a piece of fish on the nest. They will stop to eat. Fish (protein) seems to be preferred over sugar but they tend to drag away the fish, sugar they simple suck it up.

I probably push my equipment to the limit for these subjects:
Nikon D810 + TC1.4x+PN11 extension tube+200mm macro+5T closeup lens; at minimum focus I can get 3x magn. Set the 200mm at its minimum f/32, flash. Single exposures
Ulke's Ant, Formica ulkei
Image
NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives

Ken Ramos
Posts: 7208
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:12 pm
Location: lat=35.4005&lon=-81.9841

Post by Ken Ramos »

They are an interesting troop and also interesting to see what all they accumulated or culled over the winter season as spring rolls around and they begin cleaning things up and tossing things out. I also used to like getting down to their level also but like you NU it's the getting back up that presents the greatest problem. Diabetic neuropathy affecting the extremities has slowed me down a bit. I guess that is why I favor slime molds so much, they are easier to keep up with. Wonderful image NU! :D

MarkSturtevant
Posts: 920
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2015 6:52 pm
Location: Michigan, U.S.A.
Contact:

Post by MarkSturtevant »

Very good! Yes, ants can be hard.
Mark Sturtevant
Dept. of Still Waters

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