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Close-up photography

Once upon a time I would lug around a heavy bag loaded with an SLR camera and assorted close-up gear.  So encumbered, I managed to acquire a number of nice photos, such as the one at left.  Digitally-scanned images from that film era, when displayed here, include a pre-2000 date in the image caption.

I eventually learned that elaborate equipment is less important than abundant opportunity, at least for my own casual snapshots.  My close-up photography proliferated once I acquired a pocket-size digital camera that I could carry with me nearly everywhere.  (The per-picture financial cost also evaporated.)  I have subsequently found that my cell phone is quite adequate, at least for insects larger than a centimeter.  What matters most is simply having a camera ready at hand whenever some intriguing creature presents itself. 

Many of the images on these pages show creatures that are fairly familiar, but a few look like they might have come from an alien planet or a fairy tale (e.g., Tetragnatha, the pink slug, the aphid, and the button mushrooms).  These pictures are more than an expression of a hobby that has informed my professional career.  They are also a celebration of the exquisite adaptations found throughout creation.


Page listing


Gray hairstreak #1
Gray hairstreak #2
Eastern tailed blue
Orange sulfur
Cloudless sulfur
Sleepy Orange
Tiger swallowtail
Tiger sw. dark phase
Zebra swallowtail
Spicebush sw. caterpillar
Pipevine swallowtail
Pipevine sw. larva
Little wood satyr #1
Little wood satyr #2
Little wood satyr #3
Gemmed satyr
Pearly eye
Question-mark #1
Question-mark #2
Question-mark #3
Goatweed butterfly
Great spangled fritillary #1
Great spangled fritillary #2    
Silvery checkerspot #1
Silvery checkerspot #2
Pearl crescent #1
Pearl crescent #2
Painted lady #1
Painted lady #2
Painted lady #3
Painted lady w/ ironweed
Buckeye butterfly
Red-spotted purple
Viceroy butterfly
Red admiral butterfly
Hackberry butterfly
Hackberry caterpillar
Snout butterfly
Silver-spotted skipper
Peck's skipper
Zabulon skipper
Zabulon skipper
Courting skippers ♂,♀    
Luna moth
Clearwing moth
Clearwing moth scene
Cecropia moth
Tussock moth
Tomato hornworm
Pandora sphinx
Gypsy moth caterpillar
Lace-border moth
Catalpa worm
Rosy maple moth
Moth wing scales
Dogbane beetles
Tiger beetle
Eyed elater
Click beetle
Soldier beetle
Longhorn borers
Acorn weevil
Milkweed beetle
Tree cricket
Brown grasshopper
Cone-headed grasshopper    
Dipteran flies
Bristle fly
Feather-legged fly
Bee-mimic asilid
Brown asilid
Green-eyed asilid
Bee fly #1
Bee fly #2
Phantom crane fly
Deer fly
Hover fly
Small syrphid
Brown flies
Snipe fly
Snipe flies ♂,♀
Bugs (Hemiptera)
Green stinkbug #1
Green stinkbug #2
Gray stinkbug
Leaf-footed bug
Milkweed bug #1
Milkweed bug #2
Wheel bug
Annual cicada
13-year cicada
Wasps, bees, ants
Cicada killer wasp
Red wasp
Yellowjacket wasp        
Green bee
Bumblebee #1
Bumblebee #2
Blue dragonfly
Green damselfly
Striped dragonfly
Brown damselfly
Whitetail dragonfly
Green-eyed dragonfly   
Golden dragonfly
Other insects
Wolf spider
Crab spider
Jumping spider
Autumn spider
Dewy gossamer
Green snake
Garter snake
Black snake
Skink #1
Skink #2
Box turtle eye
Box turtle
Baby box turtle
Box turtle trail
Snapping turtle
Green frog
Gray treefrog #1
Gray treefrog #2
Gray treefrog #3
Gray treefrog #4
Gray treefrog #5
Small toad
Spring peeper
Slug foraging
Slug feeding
Pink Slug
Scene w/ slug
Coral fungus
Brain fungus
Polypore shelf fungus
Button mushrooms
Mushroom gills
Chicken of the woods
Fern in hole
Frost on windowpane
Frosty thistle
Icy seeds
Snow caps
Frost flowers
**assorted pics**

Page listing
Luna moth Aphid Bristle fly Pearly eye
Green snake Green stinkbug Gray hairstreak Hungry slug
Red wasp Pink Slug Wolf spider Dandelion
Gray treefrog Rabbit Robber fly Tetragnatha
Green bee Buttercup Bee fly Tiny treefrog
Button mushrooms         Little wood satyr         Clearwing moth         Orange sulfur


Anglewing Cloudless sulfur             Silvery checkerspot         Garter snake
Asilid Annual cicada Toad amidst moss Porcupine
Autumn scene             Cicada-face Coral fungus Viceroy butterfly
Blue dragonfly Cicada Killer Dogbane beetles Tiger beetle
Boxturtle 13-year cicada Eyed elater Tiger swallowtail
Brain fungus         Cecropia moth         Clearwing moth         Little wood satyr


Phantom crane fly            Fritillary         Pipevine swallowtail         Tussock moth
Milkweed bug Green damselfly             Soldier beetle Deer fly
Mayfly Striped dragonfly Longhorn borer beetles             Hover fly
Green-eyed asilid Pika Zabulon skipper Wheel bug
Green frog Painted lady Acorn weevil Zebra
Morel         Spring peeper         Orange fungus w/ skink         Buckeye butterfly


Frosty window            Brown damselfly         Brown flies         Pandora sphinx
Frosty thistle Whitetail dragonfly             Mantis Pearl crescent
Icy seeds Green-eyed dragonfly Milkweed beetle             Pumpkin blossom
Winter bergamot Leaf-footed bug Grasshopper Jumping spider
Frost flowers Golden dragonfly Painted lady Gemmed satyr
Dewy gossamer         Gypsy moth caterpillar         Bumblebee         Zabulon skipper


Box turtle            Gray hairstreak         Tree cricket         Sleepy orange butterfly
Baby box turtle Lace-border moth             Toad Pearl crescent
Box turtle trail Snout butterfly Catalpa worm             Red-spotted purple
Silvery checkerspot             Snipe flies Fireflies Rosy maple moth
Autumn spider Spicebush caterpillar           Painted lady Milkweed bug
Green bug         Mullein flowers         Goatweed butterfly         Peck's skipper        


Gray tree frog            Fern in rock hole         Snapping turtle         Snipe fly     Pipevine larva
Feather-legged fly Red admiral butterfly Courting skippers Black snake     Angle wing
Moth wing scales Cone-headed grasshopper       Yellowjacket wasp Bumblebee Angle-wing
Silver-spotted skipper Tiger swallowtail Gray stinkbug Snail Green tree frog
Hackberry butterfly Painted lady w/ ironweed       Bee fly Skink Tiny green treefrog
Hackberry caterpillar         Great spangled fritillary         Brown grasshopper      Katydid Little wood satyr


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David King

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SIUC / Zoology / David King
Last updated:  4 July 2024 / dgk