I was in the backyard when I bumped my head on a dislodged rain gutter. I looked up and overhead were Yellow Jackets buzzing around their new hive on the underside of my porch.

Not wanting to miss a good shot, I went inside and grabbed my camera. Trying to avoid being stunned if they turned on me, I stayed back. However, none of the shots were to my satisfaction, so I propped myself and my tripod on top of two chairs and took the image from inches away. In the end, I had my shot, I didn't drop my camera, I was able to balance myself, and most importantly, I was not stunned.


Equipment: Canon 40D w/100mm Macro, tripod, and two chairs.
Exposure Time: 1/200 Secs.
F-Stop: f/4.5

- Daniel Zhuang


I've been checking these shooting challenges out for quite a while, but never entered. I've been kind of obsessed with bug photos the last month or so and I figured this was a good time to enter.

This was taken on my back balcony. There were some furry bees hanging around the lavender, but by the time I grabbed my camera and stomped into position, they were all gone. This guy showed up and I happened to catch him in flight. A bit of a crop...and the lines in the background are a bit distracting...But I'm pretty happy with it.

Canon T2i with a EF-S 15-85. Aperture priority, set wide open, 400 iso.

- Dave Tolnai


i went to Italy to visit my parents when i saw a firefly in the garden
i immediately took my camera and got some nice shots in the dark

camera used: Lumix Gh2
50mm canon fd f1.4 1/30sec iso 640

- Davide Bellotta


I went out to get bees, but apparently summer is the time for flies! They were all over.

Canon T2i, 100mm, ISO 400, f/2.8.

- Diego Jimenez


Location: Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, MI.
Story: Was taking pictures of flowers in the Botanical Gardens and a fly flew on to the flower I was taking photos of. I don't have a macro lenses but I was close enough take this shallow depth of field photo. After a little cleaning up I believe this photo shows the beauty of this colorful bug.

Canon Digital Rebel XT
ISO 1600
1/250 sec

- Eric Fine


The pictures were taken with a Sony A77 (SLT-A77VQ) with the Minolta 70-210 f/4 at 210mm, f/9, 1/400 sec 500 iso, post production noise reduced.

I've had the camera for about a month and a half, and the first lens that I bought (from a coworker) was this 70-210 f/4, which was probably made when I was born, then strapped to Sony's newest (as of yet) camera. It's such a cool thing to put something older than you onto the newest technology (no matter what camera you use.) I took it at Illinois' largest state park, Rock Cut State Park, outside of Rockford, IL (where the baseball team featured in League of Their Own was based), while waiting for my nieces to finish running practice.

- Eric McCord


Camera: Canon 7D
Lens: 100mm 2.8 Macro
ISO 200

I just love the colors and light combination in this photograph. Detailed enough to see the fine hairs and the intricacy of his claws.

- Graham Kingma


Taken this morning with an iPhone 4, using headset as a shutter release. Standard lens

- Graydon Patterson


Camera: Canon PowerShot S3IS

Other stuff: What ever the camera was build with and programmed. It belongs to my father, so I don't tinker around much.

When I'm at my parents I tend to grab my fathers camera and make photos from the flowers my Mother grow. It's a hybrid of a profesional camera and a Point and Shoot, so there is little I did for this phote. I just saw that flower (a Lilium, I like taking photos of beautiful flowers) and the different bugs that where crawling on it. I switched over to the build in "Super Makro" mode of the camera I tried my best.
This is a wasp taking a gulp.


- Gregor Lamche

No photoshop, not even a simple crop... (although a little crop in the image would make it better)... I just wanted to send you the raw picture.


I just took 12 pictures, but the damn praying mantis just didn't want to cooperate, but suddenly (probably because of the camera noise, not that the T2i is noisy) it looked at the lens and probably thought "Man... Could you please ditch that crappy lens that came with your camera and put a macro to take my picture ?"

- Guilherme Figueiredo


Camera : Canon 7D.
Lens : Canon 60mm USM Macro
F : 4
Speed : 1/125
ISO : 100

History behind the shoot :

Since we are in the middle of winter here I was thinking that it would be impossible to find any bug, or at least a live one. So, after looking for a while I finally found what I call "The ONE Bug" behind some meaty leafs. After a few regular macro shots, I decided to put the flash under the leaf in the sense of adding more colors to the picture without scaring the One bug... with actually result on a very peculiar looking bug photo.


- Gustavo Zagato

I went over to the Central Park Zoo this weekend with some friends to take pictures of the bugs that they had at the tropical birds exhibit. Unfortunately the lighting inside was horrible and the bugs themselves were behind glass that I couldn't get any good angles on. On my way out I noticed these flies on a railing by the petting zoo. I inched my slowly inched my way towards them so I wouldn't scare them off and took my shot. I did some quick touch ups in Photoshop just to make everything as crisp as possible.


Taken with an Olympus PEN E-PL1 using the stock 14-42mm lens. Aperture f/11; Shutter Speed 1/60; No flash

- Hans Lao


Canon Digital Rebel XSi 12 megapixel
Wide open aperture(Reversed lens)
Reversed 18-55mm IS kit lens
100 iso
35mm focal length
1/200 shutter speed
On body flash
Edited with Light room 3

Was out scrounging around for a bug to shoot, and happened upon this sleepy little fella. He was sitting on the base of a leaf, and seemed pretty chill. It was very windy, so I had to hold the leaf with my finger; that's what the strange background is. Judging by the pollen on his face, he probably had finished feeding on one of my flowers and ran up the tree to get some rest. These guys are all over my yard, yet offer such great shots; they don't really run away.

- Harrison Jones


This little bee attacked my lens while I was trying to take a few innocent pictures of it going about its business with a red rose. At the Florida Botanical Gardens, Largo, Florida

Nikon D5000, LensBaby Muse double glass optic with 1.6x telephoto lens, 10x + 4x macro kit and f/5.6 aperture disk, ISO: 200, Exposure time: 1/250 sec.

- Heather Short


FUJIFILM FinePix X100, fujinon 23mm f/2, Exposure time: 1/160 sec., F-stop: f/4, ISO: ISO-500 (Love this camera!!)

I picked up a container of ladybugs from a nursery in town since I have a tough time finding bugs to shoot when they're my intended subjects. I had originally stunned the beetles by sticking them in the freezer for a few minutes, hoping for a more manageable shot. In the end however, I think I had more difficulty getting them off my iPad than I did while setting up the shot. Another problem I didn't anticipate was having my house invaded by ladybugs!

- Ian Chase


Nikon D7000 - Nikkor 85mm Macro - ISO 200 - F4 - 1/125 sec

After reading about the contest, I thought that I could probably find something interesting around the house. That day I was walking out of the house and noticed this guy living up above my front door. We had a big photo shoot together resulting in this photograph. Normally, I would spray for bugs, but I felt that since I exploited this little guy for some photos... he could stick around.

- Ian Martin


Shot on top of the Fredriksten fortress in Halden Norway during my family's first trip to Europe (still there right now). My son carried this bug on the flower for almost 2 hours (!) as we toured the fort. Notice all of the pink pollen on his thorax, perhaps he was napping after all the hard work?

- Jackson Tomlinson


This weekend I ventured out to park not far from my house. I explored the northern trails, somewhere I've never been. Turned out to be the prettiest part! I must have spent an hour at this one pond on my belly shooting picture after picture of the dragonflies. At one point I noticed a dragonfly depositing her eggs into the water by dipping her abdomen just under the surface. I'd never seen this before. She stayed in one place for long enough that I got multiple pictures of her, and this is the best of the bunch.

Nikon D90
Nikon 70-300 VR @ f/9 and 300mm
1/800 sec, ISO 800

- Jacob Gardner


I could not think of a more appropriate name for this small piece of entomological pornography I found on my weathered back deck in Southern Maine. What began as a BBQ turned into a Discovery Channel special as I noticed these two flies in the throes of passion. The source of light is the sun setting to the back left of the little creatures, creating an oddly romantic atmosphere for their copulation. They were not distracted from the act as I closed in with my simple point-and-shoot, a Canon PowerShot SD780 IS, in macro mode.

- Jacob Schneider


Shot with a Panasonic GH1 and a late 70s Nikon 55mm AI 1.2 in aperture priority mode @ 1.2. Just after it rained, I went out to catch some wet spiderwebs and spiders, but this shot ended up being my fav. Of course, they'll be a lot of submissions of bugs close-up, but I was looking for something different, something that highlighted the bug, but also the bug's environment. I really liked how the spider's dark silhouette ended up looking like it was a huge monster walking across the earth, with a large Melancholia orange sun setting in the background. In reality, it was just an itsy bitsy one, not an apocalyptic spider, and the sun was just a knee high walkway lamp, the earth the round black top of the lamp. Levels were slightly adjusted in photoshop to bring out a more orange glow to the "sun".

- James Rogers


Samsung Galaxy s3
Lens: None

This was shot outside as I was taking my lunch break. I saw a bunch of ants swarming on cricket, and thought this would be a good submission.

I know it's a camera phone, but for the quality I saw, if you zoom in you can see the ants' eyes and the details of the cricket.


- James Wong

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon Micro-Nikkon 105mm VR F/2.8G
Settings: f/8, ISO 100, 1/500
Notes: shot from live view mode handheld


I was in Hokkaido, Japan this weekend on vacation and while chasing
the rolling farms of Biei we stumbled upon a massive sunflower patch -
something entirely surreal. I flipped between wide angle and macro to
get as much of the scene and story as possible and found myself
ignoring the larger scale of the shot to chase this Japanese bumblebee
hard at work. Hokkaido's Biei is in the peak of lavender and sunflower
season, so it is such a treat for the eyes.

- Jason Arney


This photo was shot with a Canon eos rebel t2i, and an EF 70-200L IS II lens, with a total of 68mm of kenko extension tubes. I took this photo while touring the remote rain forests of Guyana with my clog dancing troupe, introducing the indigenous peoples to the joys and rewards of clog dancing. On a break from our rigorous clog dancing schedule, I spotted this iridescent fly on a rain-soaked leaf just outside the village. Fortunately, I had my camera with me, as I was tasked with documenting our trip for our regional clog dancing newsletter. I quickly broke out my gear, snapped on a few extension tubes, and snapped off this picture. Fortunately, my camera was already set at f11, ISO 2500, and 1/200 shutter speed, since I find these settings best capture the raw beauty of the clog. It turns out, though, that this particular fly is held sacred in this village, and photographing it is strictly forbidden in their culture. I am currently awaiting punishment by head shrinking, and sincerely hope that the judges of this challenge will take that into consideration since I think the photograph was totally worth it.

OK, I actually took this picture in my backyard when I realized none of my other bug photos were eligible for this challenge. I've never been to Guyana, and I've never known the joys of clog dancing. The rest of the story is 100% true.

- Jason Ganz


I was out back having my morning smoke, as I do, and a Dragonfly was hanging around. Thinking I could at least snap a shot with my phone, I crept up on it and took a few pics then posted one to my FB.

It was still there a few minutes later so I thought I'd at least try and get a better shot, considering the challenge and the fact that I'd never actually tried shooting bugs before. I ran inside and grabbed my crappy Sony Alpha a100 with an ebay-snagged Minolta 75-300mm and after a few dozen shutter slaps and flashes - It finally noticed me.


ISO 200 - 300mm - f 5.6 - 1/125sec w/flash

- Jay Marks


Canon EOS Rebel T4i

Exposure time: 1/1000 sec.
ISO speed: ISO-2000
Exposure Bias: 0 step
No flash

I've just gotten a Canon T4i (my first DSLR) last week and saw this
challenge, perfect timing! I ordered an Fotodiox Lens Mount Adapter to
attach my old Minolta film SLR MD lens. I used a Vivitar Series 1
70-210mm 1:3.5, MC ROKKOR-PG 50mm 1:1.4 and all of the MC auto
extension tubes for minolta SLR cameras (14mm, 21mm, &28mm) which my
parents had rescued from next to a dumpster alongside with the Minolta


This is my first DSLR and one of the first attempt at using this combo
of a zoom lens and macro extension tube. My parent 'rescued' the
Minolta SLR and lens (plus a lot other camera stuff) from next to a
dumpster and gave it to me. I'm putting it to good use!

Using that lens combo, I had to wander around the fringe of the wood
to scare out bugs into the opening for better lighting for the macro
setup to use and then try to stalk nearby without scaring it away
again. I was not having much luck until I saw this two small dragonfly
hovering around a small bush in middle of the opening. It took me
quite a while to get the bugs somewhat comfortable around me before I
could start snapping. But the bugger couldn't stay still! So my best
pic out of this is of a dragonfly about to take off.

I did some sharpening and de-noising in Lightroom 4. I also tweaked
the white balance. Being new to Lightroom, I'm very pleased with the
texture and color of the image. (I know that many photographer are
anti-noise and I am too. In this particular image though, I rather
like it!)


- Jeffery Stroud

Camera: Nikon D300
Exposure: 0.004 sec (1/250)
Aperture: f/9.0
Focal Length: 100 mm
ISO Speed: 640


This guy was hanging out on some cone flower and buzzing me occasionally when I was trying to get some good honey bee shots. Unfortunately the bee shots were not as good as this one.

- Jeff Gamble


These are Contemporaneous, vintage, unedited, rare images of ANT
PORNOGRAPHY. Who would guess that the purveyors of Ant Smut would
actually utilize the dreaded "Sepia Tone" to peddle their wares to yet
another generation of young Boys in the Basement, peering into
Microscopes and eating their Boogers? The truth can now be told (and
we are kinda sure that the Liberal Agenda is behind it).

- Jeff Schroeder


I only recently, within the year, received a Nikon D3100 as a gift and have been messing around with it, attempting to learn through trial and error, as time permits. I don't have a Macro lens so I figured I would be out on this contest (not that I have had anything worth submitting for the others).

However, today after work I was digging part of a Mole trap in my backyard (another story for another time) and I hear this Cicada screech (or whatever that noise is they make) louder than usual, follow by a thud next to me on the ground. As I turned around I realized I had a great picture opportunity for the contest but my Camera was, of course, inside. I dropped my tools and hurried inside to retrieve it. By the time I returned he had crawled through my wife's flowers and started up the tree, from which he had just performed his dive bomb. I was able to snap the attached pictures but I had my 55 – 300mm lens on, with no time to change, and it was tricky to even get something decent. By the time he was up the tree and out of site I realized my Camera was still on the P-mode where I had been messing around with the ISO and while 3200 probably wasn't the Ideal setting it worked ok.

Anyways, this bug is known as a Cicada Killer Wasp and we have a few of them around our house. He was shot with a Nikon D3100 at 300mm, f/5.6, 1/100, ISO-3200. I conferred with one of my friends who is much better at photoshop than I, to do color correcting, and sharpening as much as I could.


- Jeremy Beck

Ah Cicadas. The litterbugs of the insect world. As a kid when the Cicadas came out I would blast the trees with a garden hose. This would piss them off and they would attack me. Nothing like having hundreds of big nasty insects flying at you mad as hell.


They're out in full force right now and their little exoskeletons are decorating my trees. I found this one hanging out at the bottom of a branch this evening. I lit him up with some of nature's back lighting and took a couple shots. You can see that the spiders have already decorated this exoskeleton for the season.

Enjoy the picture. I'm going to get out the garden hose.

Camera: Sony A560
Focal Length: 35mm
F Number: f/5
ISO: 1600
Shutter Speed 1/60

- Jeremy Martin


Sony Alpha 55
35mm 1.8

I went on a bug hunt, came across this guy. R.I.P little buggy. Looks like a nice place to go.

- Jess McInnis


If Gastropoda Mollusks qualify I took this pic today. If nothing else enjoy the momentary respite from looking at boring assed bees. You're welcome.

5DII, 55mm macro.

- J. Griffin Ricker


I was excited when this challenge was announced because macro is my favorite type of photography but with the dry, hot, windy summer we've been having in Northeast Ohio this year I wasn't sure what kind of bugs I was going to be able to find. My girlfriend and I set out on Sunday morning for one of the local parks. It's not a large park with the trails only being a few miles. About half way through I noticed this damselfly buzzing around us and then it landed and sat on a leaf. I took a shot from a bit away and then moved closer and closer, each time taking a shot until I was at 1:1 macro. He really didn't move much, allowing me about 5 minutes to compose and shoot. Shot with a Sony A330 and a Minolta Maxxum 100mm f/2.8 macro lens @ f/9, 1/125 sec., ISO 200.

- Jim Butera


I know that this doesn't count since it was taken quite awhile ago, but I wanted to share the macro shot that I took of this dragonfly in Cabo San Lucas while on my Honeymoon. Considering it was taken with the macro setting on a compact point and shoot (Sony T-100), I think it came out pretty nice! Hope you like it. I also have a pretty badass photo of a giant moth taken during the honeymoon as well.

- Johnathan Dinan


Canon T3i
18-55mm kit lens + zeikos wide angle adapter
1/40 of a second
ISO 800
While browsing the internet, I notice a little spider had fallen on my screen. I quickly grabbed my camera and took multiple shots before the spider flew away.

- Jorge Gallegos