I got a call from a very impatient-sounding ant the other day…
Ant: Do you do portraits?
Me: Sorry, I don’t do formals.
Ant: But the storks recommended you. Do you do casuals then?
Me: How big… eh… I mean how small are you guys?
Ant: My head is less than 1 mm.
Me: Depth-of-Field may be a problem.
Ant: It’s not our problem.
Me: Can I use flash?
Ant: No! Jeez. Flash is not allowed in the colony.
Me: No group shots I hope.
Me: Ants are hard to control and don’t take instructions well.
Ant: Alright. How much?
Me: What’s your budget?
Ant: A few grains of sugar. They are expensive nowadays, you know.
Me: Deal. Promise you pay me in 90 days?
Ant: Of course. I don’t live that long anyway.
So the next day I went to the designated spot under a tree and there were a few ants hanging on a cable tied to a branch. I felt a sting on my left toes and realise I almost stepped on the client. And so my job began…
First off was Jeremiah, a worker ant originally from Tapah. He stood still long enough for me to focus on the eyes.
Selvi insisted on a profile shot and was posing too hard. She needs to relax.
Mike, the guy who commissioned the job, was bossy as usual but was easy to work with. Problem is his wife keeps tagging along. She can be seen hiding behind. Oh well.
Instead of saying ‘Cheese’, I said ‘Sweet’ and Annuar showed me his sharp teeth.
Siew Ying was most shy and didn’t strike an aggressive stance like the others. Turned out better.
Mike again, after pushing his wife off the cable. For my next ant portraits I must bring along a tripod. It was quite tough hand-holding the camera and trying to set focus on their eyes manually at the same time.
Remember I told you I don’t like doing group shots for ants. It can get really messy as they refuse to follow instructions. For this shot, I sneaked in a burst of flash from a wireless FL-36R unit held with the other hand. That also contributed to the pandemonium.
All pictures photographed with the Olympus Pen E-PL2, Zuiko Digital 35mm f3.5 Macro Lens, Olympus EX-25 Extension Tube and Olympus MFF-2 Lens Mount Adapter.
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