Martin Amm: Photographing insects


When we first saw these macro shots from German photographer Martin Amm we were taken aback by their simple elegance. Born in 1986 in Kronach, a district in Bavaria, Germany, Amm started photographing nature at the age of 12. Here he tells us what he looks for when photographing insects.

For these shots I used a Nikon D200 camera with the mirror locked up. I always do this for my macro work because it helps to eliminate unwanted vibrations, which is important when dealing with the longer shutter speeds I prefer. The lens used is a Sigma 150/2.8 macro lens (I find a longer focal length gives smoother backgrounds). Together, these are mounted on a Manfrotto 055PROB tripod. I might also use a light diffuser (to smooth hard light) or a reflector (to brighten up any dark parts).

I find early morning or late evening are the best times of day for this work during the spring, summer or early autumn. At these times of the day you have a wonderfully smooth and warm light and insects are in their daily torpor, or temporary hibernation, making them more sedate and easier to photograph. I am drawn to the beauty and overwhelming diversity of nature. You just have to open your eyes to take it all in. For this subject matter, I will walk through meadows or close
to ponds and rivers where there is an abundance of insects. I can easily spend hours looking for just the right shot.
I don’t do much post production to my images, but if I do need to correct the contrast, light or white balance, I can do so easily, because I always shoot in RAW. I might also sharpen the image if needs be.


This feature is from April 2010 issue
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