Odds and Ends

Macro photography of aquatic insects and other freshwater invertebrates.

Macro photography of aquatic insects and other freshwater invertebrates.

◊ Jan Harmsky (Czech Republic), has taken his passion for macro and freshwater life and turned it into an impressive book, Life in fresh water. From his web page:

The purpose of this book is to allow the general public to peer into freshwater ecosystems, which are usually well hidden to our eyesight. Anyone, who is interested in nature, will be amazed by this incredibly varied and colorful world full of amazing adaptations, behaviors, camouflage and strategies. To entomologists, hydrobiologists and limnologists I would like to submit quality picture materials confirming how beautiful discipline they have chosen to study.

I am often asked about the techniques, equipment and methods used in freshwater macro photography. Therefore, the last part of the book is devoted to these topics and can be used as a step by step manual for photographers and all macro enthusiasts intending to explore fascinating world of aquatic invertebrates.

The book is available in a large format 21 x 26 cm (8 x 10 in), hardcover or softcover and a premium matte paper is used for the best image quality.


  • 43 introduced groups of freshwater invertebrates.
  • Over 220 photographs of live specimens.
  • Tips for collecting and keeping the animals.
  • Recommendations for arranging the scene in an aquarium.
  • Aquatic macro photography equipment, methods and workflow.

Self-published books, especially those that are photo-rich, do not come cheap, but as you can see in the image (right) it is well designed and chock-full of excellent images, interesting species notes, and advice on photographic techniques. I bought the ebook and have not regretted it!

Pram bug (Phronima) female with young in nest made from salp body, Atlantic Ocean off Cape Verde

Pram bug (Phronima) female with young in nest made from salp body, Atlantic Ocean off Cape Verde. Photo by Solvin Zankl

◊ From Harmky’s freshwater to Zankl’s saltwater, Aliens of the Deep is a new photo series revealed on bioGraphic.

Last winter, photographer and marine biologist Solvin Zankl joined a scientific expedition led by the GEOMAR research center in Germany to conduct deep-sea biodiversity assessments around the islands of Cape Verde. The team explored the depths with cameras and lights, and used nets to bring an array of strange deep-sea creatures up to the surface. In his shipboard photography studio—outfitted with special aquariums and a powerful microscope—Zankl set out to capture the unique features and behaviors of these otherworldly organisms. This photo series offers rare glimpses of some of those creatures and the adaptations that enable them to survive and thrive in one of the planet’s most challenging environments.

Solvin Zankl has studied marine biology and has been a professional photographer since 1999.

“His work has appeared in many magazines worldwide, including GEO, Stern, National Geographic Magazine, BBC Wildlife, Natural History Magazine, Airone, Illustreret Videnskab as well as in the book of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. He received the German Award for Science Photography and the Fritz Poelking Award. In 2010 he was part of the judging panel for the for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.” (from his web page)

◊ I’ve heard instances of Ekbom’s from a few entomologists over the years. Ask an Entomologist has a good article on delusory parasitosis, with some tips on how to deal with it if you are approached. See: Interacting With Ekbom’s sufferers: Guidelines from the dermatology literature. 

And for the tail-end…

20 image focus stack with a Zeiss Jena 10x/.20 planachromat

Teaser: 20 image focus stack with a Zeiss Jena 10x/.20 plan-achromat (mounted on a Zuiko 200mm f4) Eye of Bombus impatiens. New diffusion will take care of the glare

◊ This blog now has a translator! Look up near the top of the sidebar, then choose your go-to language. Whether it’s Latin, Gaelic or even Swahili, you can now read this blog in your own lingo!

◊ My development of a portable photo-stacking macro bench is complete, and I am was working on forming a lighting system. There will be a longish interlude before more results are shown because–overshadowing this enterprise–is She-who-must-be-obeyed, who has gone to the extreme of ‘the crossin’ o’ the arms‘ and the ‘tappin’ o’ the feets‘ in order to coerce me into getting the basement organised. Apparently, my industry has spread beyond the bounds of common decency. This means redeveloping my neglected man cave, finding a better way to organise my equipment and generally buffing up our office space. I am sure that at some point things will look pristine, composed and wondrous (I’ll take pictures to capture that brief moment) but how long will it last until chaos reigns again?

This entry was posted in Autumn, Edmonton, Equipment, Focus stacking, Insect, Inspiration, International, macro, photography, Season, Technique, Website and tagged .


  1. Sean McCann 29 November, 2016 at 1:41 PM #

    Nice new web design! Also, great book reviews, would really love to check out that freshwater life book. Will do so when it arrives at our library!
    Congrats on the stacker, and good luck getting organized!

    • Adrian 30 November, 2016 at 6:39 AM #

      Thanks, Sean! You’re the first to comment on the web design. I am not certain about the background, it may be a bit distracting and I am still pondering other possibilities.

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