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I’ve always loved all creatures small, but my interest in macro photography really started when I bought a 105mm lens about six years ago and spent some time in the Amazon Jungle.

A friend of mine was working as a resident naturalist at an eco lodge in the Peruvian Amazon; she suggested that I should apply for a volunteering opportunity.

I applied to do some photography there with an emphasis on butterflies.  I had researched that this national reserve had the largest species count of butterflies in the world.   Thankfully my small portfolio of macro images was enough to be accepted and off I went to spend 3 weeks in one of the most untouched paradises, also home to the highest species count of tarantula!

 

No electricity, no hot water, high humidity, eaten alive by mosquitos every time you ventured into the jungle was not enough to deter me and I loved it!  

I become a little obsessed with the Clearwing and Glasswing butterflies which I had never seen before so most days were spent creeping up on them with my entourage of “cheer crowd” mosquitos!

Glasswings

I was in absolute awe of this exquisite region; I loved being woken in the morning by the Howler monkeys and realising that you actually don’t need luxuries to feel contented. It was here I began a deep fascination and respect for all things small.

Back in Sydney one group of insects I have found intriguing are Parasitic Wasp.  Blink and you will miss these curious creatures. My favourite is a yellow Ichneumon Wasp I have only seen it in one location, hanging out on my garden mango tree. 

I actually spent an entire year trying to capturing the perfect shot, until the tree fell down due to borers and termites (that’s another story!), which is why the wasps were attracted to it, they were parasitising the pests, a gardeners best friend!

Most of the insects I have photographed I have never seen again or seem to only appear once a year in a specific location or form.

This Gum Tree Nymph only stays in these colours for 10 days before it changes to it adult brown colours.  I spotted them one spring and returned the following year to photograph them.

The thing I really like about macro is that you can capture the most intricate of details which is not always visible to the naked eye as usually the creature does not sit still long enough or it is too small for you to take them all in

I suppose I have a mission statement about my macro photography in that I try to present my subjects in the most artistic, flattering and intriguing way that encourages people to admire their beauty and uniqueness!

My macro lens is probably my most used lens, I find it works really beautifully with my baby birds that I am caring for through my wildlife rescue organization (WIRES).

 

18 day old baby Rainbow Lorikeet

 

Links:

https://headon.org.au/event/rainbow-lorikeet-chick-progression

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Head On Photo Awards 2024

Entries to the Head On Photo Awards 2024 open in May/June.

Image detail: Gary Ramage