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Image by kind permission of Apirach Sri, Thailand

The easiest viewpoint when photographing insects is typically from above the subject, but this is unlikely to lead to the most interesting images. As with many other subjects, it is best to position the camera down at their level. This not only gives a more unusual perspective but also reveals more of the form of the insect and its surroundings.

Achieving a suitably low viewpoint can be challenging, and it may be necessary for the photographer to lie on the ground and work with a miniature tripod, a small monopod of just a hand-held camera. Ideally, all parts of an insect should be in focus. In the case of a butterfly, the body, the wings and the antennae, should be rendered sharp. The easiest way to achieve this is position the camera so that the insect's major dimension is parallel to the plane of focus, thereby minimizing the depth of field requirement. In the case of a butterfly, viewing the opened wings from above or the closed wings from one side should allow the whole insect to lie close to the plane of focus


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