Angsty Ants

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.
Ant: Why???
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…

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 200, f3.5, 1/250 sec

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 200, f3.5, 1/250 sec

First off was Jeremiah, a worker ant originally from Tapah. He stood still long enough for me to focus on the eyes.

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 400, f3.5, 1/250 sec

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 400, f3.5, 1/250 sec

Selvi insisted on a profile shot and was posing too hard. She needs to relax.

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 200, f4.5, 1/250 sec

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 200, f4.5, 1/250 sec

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.

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 200, f3.5, 1/250 sec

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 200, f3.5, 1/250 sec

Instead of saying ‘Cheese’, I said ‘Sweet’ and Annuar showed me his sharp teeth.

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 320, f3.5, 1/250 sec

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 320, f3.5, 1/250 sec

Siew Ying was most shy and didn’t strike an aggressive stance like the others. Turned out better.

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 200, f3.5, 1/250 sec

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 200, f3.5, 1/250 sec

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.

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 200, f3.5, 1/80 sec with flash

Olympus E-PL2, ISO 200, f3.5, 1/80 sec with flash

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.

See also: The Art Of Art Filters | Layang Layang | The Bird Park | Stalking Storks

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