An amazing gallery of insect (mainly) images taken by U.S. Geological Survey biologist Sam Droege.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Sam Droege, a biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, creates illustrated guides that identify North American bees. The guides help with his team’s large-scale surveys on how bees are doing—an issue of growing importance because of worries that global bee populations are dropping. Now, thanks to better technology and a Flickr feed, his images are finding a wider audience. Mr. Droege used to capture the insects (that is, dead specimens) using a low-resolution camera attached to a microscope. That changed in 2010, when someone from the Army’s public health unit told him that they had come up with a new way to take high-quality photos in the field, using a standard camera with a macro lens. “In Iraq, they were doing a lot of fighting but also dealing with a lot of weird diseases they would pick up in the field that were transmitted by bugs,” Mr. Droege says. “The question was, how do I get [the bug]…identified quickly?” He found that the Army’s technique produced more than just sharper details: The images looked like works of art. “I got the pictures back, and they were just absolutely spectacular,” he says. Today, three of the photographs hang in his office hallway. The images do get some refinements: For aesthetic reasons, he cleans many of them up in Photoshop. “Most specimens have bad hair,” he says.