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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Macro Talk
Thread started 13 Apr 2016 (Wednesday) 07:46
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Killing insects for macro photography

 
davholla
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Apr 13, 2016 07:46 |  #1

Is something I would never do. However I do have to kill gooseberry sawfly larva or they will destroy the gooseberry bushes.
What is a humane way to do this so I can photograph them?




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Dalantech
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Post has been edited over 1 year ago by Dalantech.
Apr 14, 2016 03:46 |  #2

davholla wrote in post #17970313 (external link)
Is something I would never do. However I do have to kill gooseberry sawfly larva or they will destroy the gooseberry bushes.
What is a humane way to do this so I can photograph them?

Check out this article (external link) over at the UK Extreme Macro blog. I'm currently photographing a blue beetle that feeds on my Lavender, and squashing them after I take a few shots. I can't leave them to destroy the Lavender -it's an important food source for several of the solitary bees in my yard.

Edit: To be clear I do not photograph dead insects, nor do I advocate killing them to photograph them. The USGS Bee Inventory (external link) is doing a great job of photographing dead critters, so the rest of us don't have to. One of my goals it to get people to see the creatures in the small world as more than "just bugs" and to develop some respect for them -tough to do if I kill one just so I can take a picture...


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davholla
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Apr 14, 2016 08:57 as a reply to Dalantech's post |  #3

Thanks for that. BTW why not photograph things you find dead?




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gjl711
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Apr 14, 2016 09:20 |  #4

I find the whole killing insects topic quite interesting. No one has any qualms about insect mass killing by spraying gardens or homes, insect torture with fly paper, swatting pesty insects but all of a sudden there is a line drawn when it's for photography. A bit hypocritical, no?

BTW, I too am hypocritical. I spray around the house with Talstar which decimates mosquitoes but it also gets everything else but I don't kill a bug for photography. Can't figure myself out. ;):):)


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Mike ­ Deep
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Post has been edited over 1 year ago by Mike Deep.
Apr 14, 2016 23:50 |  #5

I don't think it's any secret that I love bugs and photographing them. I rear and release various lepidoptera every season. But I think people way overthink what insects and other arthropods "feel." They are extremely simple creatures, neurologically. They do not have emotions or experience pain in any way that's analogous to what humans or other animals experience. Worries about their suffering are misplaced.

That said, I would take issue with photographers killing specimens if they didn't know what they were killing. While unlikely, it could be a threatened or endangered species. I'm also not a fan of killing and posing insects; it's disingenuous and really just a waste. Museum collections or projects like the survey linked above are good examples of when killing specimens is an acceptable approach.


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Alveric
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Apr 15, 2016 01:21 |  #6

Do you swat mosquitoes, or do you extend your hand and whisper to them 'bleed me, please'? :rolleyes:

They're animals! And some of them are downright venomous and deleterious too. So squash them. Man, this environmentalist religion is really getting out of control.


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davholla
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Apr 15, 2016 04:25 |  #7

Alveric wrote in post #17972426 (external link)
They're animals! And some of them are downright venomous and deleterious too. So squash them. Man, this environmentalist religion is really getting out of control.

I doubt you will get good photos if you squash them.




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Bassat
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Apr 15, 2016 04:58 |  #8

davholla wrote in post #17972489 (external link)
I doubt you will get good photos if you squash them.

If you frame it and call it art, someone will pay $3.2M USD for it.


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Swiftlet
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Apr 15, 2016 08:04 |  #9

"UK Extreme Macro blog" is misleading in its first paragraph I would say. Nail polish remover is very often just acetone, or acetone solution in water.
Ethyl acetate is completely different.
Forget unknown Nail Polish remover, unless the bottle is clear about the contents. I haven't yet seen one which stated ethyl acetate %.
It's real easy to just buy what entomogists use, from an entomologist suppllier.
You really need a "killing jar" as well. Those are easy to make, but so cheap, just buy one.
For a few bucks you can get yourself fixed up with some pins, boxes, relaxing agent and on. Fine paintbrushes are almost essential to clean bugs too.



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Dalantech
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Apr 16, 2016 13:48 |  #10

davholla wrote in post #17971526 (external link)
Thanks for that. BTW why not photograph things you find dead?

Because they look dead, and there's no challenge to it. Anyone can photograph a dead insect -no more difficult than shooting any other inanimate object.


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Dalantech
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Apr 16, 2016 13:49 |  #11

gjl711 wrote in post #17971552 (external link)
I find the whole killing insects topic quite interesting. No one has any qualms about insect mass killing by spraying gardens or homes, insect torture with fly paper, swatting pesty insects but all of a sudden there is a line drawn when it's for photography. A bit hypocritical, no?

Kinda tough for me to say "respect his creature that I killed just so I could show it to you". ;)


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gjl711
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Apr 16, 2016 14:00 |  #12

Dalantech wrote in post #17973875 (external link)
Kinda tough for me to say "respect his creature that I killed just so I could show it to you". ;)

Doesn't that pretty much describe every natural history museum on the planet?


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gjl711
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Apr 16, 2016 14:02 |  #13

Dalantech wrote in post #17973875 (external link)
Kinda tough for me to say "respect his creature that I killed just so I could show it to you". ;)

I think it comes down to your priority. Is it the challenge of the shoot or the final image. I'm not saying either is wrong, just different.

Food photography is sort of like that. Some photographers would never misrepresent the dish they are shooting spending countless hours to get real ingredients just perfect while others are happy using Elmer's glue, screwing down a pizza for the cheese pull, or spraying veggies with Pam to make them look fresher, anything to get that perfect image.


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Archibald
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Apr 16, 2016 14:11 |  #14

gjl711 wrote in post #17971552 (external link)
I find the whole killing insects topic quite interesting. No one has any qualms about insect mass killing by spraying gardens or homes, insect torture with fly paper, swatting pesty insects but all of a sudden there is a line drawn when it's for photography. A bit hypocritical, no?

BTW, I too am hypocritical. I spray around the house with Talstar which decimates mosquitoes but it also gets everything else but I don't kill a bug for photography. Can't figure myself out. ;):):)

I'm with you, and experience the same feelings. No problem spraying a wasp nest with thousands of bugs, but hesitate to kill one of those wasps that I've captured for photography.

Humans are weird. We bulldoze hundreds of acres of pristine wildlife habitat without guilt, then feel so kind for setting up a bird feeder in the back yard.

It's the process, I guess. I eat chicken, but could never kill one.


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gjl711
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Apr 16, 2016 14:21 |  #15

Archibald wrote in post #17973896 (external link)
It's the process, I guess. I eat chicken, but could never kill one.

My aunt raised chickens so I've had to do it several times. Not to hard when you know it's food, but one year she got a turkey chick. She raised it all summer and when t-day came she was not able to enjoy the feast. I think it's because she named it. It became a pet, not a dinner. :):):)


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Killing insects for macro photography
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