Insect Micro-Structure Documentary


I’m working with a nature documentarian named Vangie Koonce on a 15-minute film that examines insect microstructures with the use of focus-stacked macro photographs. We are pursuing a grant with French New Wave cinema organization Labocine. I’ve been taking artistic macro photographs with a home-made microscope rig for a few years and we intend to incorporate these into the narrative of our piece.

Our piece is an exploration of the morphology of mutualism, coevolution and species interaction - ideally looking at structures where the interactions between species are reflected in their morphology, especially for insects or other invertebrates.

We are working with a researcher to showcase her story of a butterfly wing pollination syndrome on Lillium flowers. This makes a great subject for our film because pollen grains, butterfly wing scales and flower stamens are all photogenic subjects that photograph well in reflected light (i.e. they don’t need to be suspended in liquid or sectioned).

We are still looking for another subject or two - can you lovely people think of any systems that might fit the bill or do you have recommendations for anyone I might talk to?

The ideal subject is an insect with some external, photogenic morphology that reflects its interactions with another species. Ideal subjects would be native to the United States (so we could film them in the field) or would have researchers with lab populations of the species in the United States. Specialized structures for carrying fungal spores, pollen or mites - external morphology like bumps or spines to facilitate burrowing or any other external structures might make great subjects.


Here are some examples of my photographs;


This is awesome, thanks for sharing.

(This might be helpful, or it might be a distraction…). I was just appreciating some of the crazy intricate evolved structures of praying mantis….