Smaller creatures that aren’t mainstream cute and cuddly don’t usually get much attention from the public. It’s sad really, as they are just as much a part of the smooth running of eco-systems as us. And when you shift your focus to the smallest of scales, it becomes apparent that it isn’t that small after all. Some of these critters tend to take on their own personality as well – we just don’t always see it because we can’t see them up close. Also we’ve been trained to think that certain animals are classified as “creepy crawlies” and are “disgusting”, even “revolting”. Sure enough, I don’t particularly want to share my meal with a fly, but that doesn’t stop me from seeing it for what it is – a vital cog in the gears of life. In any case, who’s to say that flies can’t be fancy? This one seems scheming almost, as it cleans itself.
Homes need to be built too, no matter how small. This paper wasp may be known for its fiery sting, but imagine having to build your house out of spit!
Life is on the fast lane for many of these tiny creatures. What makes a friend? Even similar looking figures can be deceiving. This praying mantis may seem comfortable enough, but a closer look at the background reveals a sinister plot twist. They are known cannibals, and the fixated gaze of the larger mantis was a definite ticker on the smaller one’s life. For as long as we stayed observing them, however, there was no movement by either. So we left them in their transient state of peace.
Perspective radically influences our perception of the world, and I could think of few better examples than the Streak Lizard. I remember these from when I was a child, and I always knew them as the little lizards with the stripe. It was only when I started photographing them more often, I realized that viewed from eye-level, males have these wonderful markings on their lower jaw and neck. Check them out the next time you see one!
Since I started printing mugs on a regular basis, I’ve became somewhat intrigued by the 8:3 aspect ratio. I had never used it before, and it’s an interesting way to compose images. On another futile mission looking for an elusive rare bird, I made this image of a Lesser Black-backed Gull standing tall among a crowd of Laughing gulls, and the 8:3 jumped out at me. There was no other way. I hope this doesn’t turn into a full on obsession, not unlike how square photos have gained permanent residence in my psyche. Either way, I think I’ll be making more of these.
While unsuccessfully searching for the reported rare bird, an unnaturally tame Ruddy Turnstone decided to check us out. Well, I wasn’t complaining.
Upon closer inspection, I realized that hey, I can see me in its eye! Is this how birds see us? I was just sitting there, by no means in “stealth mode” as some photographers do – a massive skyscraper in the landscape, hundreds of times larger than my feathered friend, yet it trusted me enough to walk right past a number of times. This is a 100% crop, so you can see what I saw, what it saw.