Hello there, macro photographer!
Welcome to The Amazing Eyes in Macro Photography.
One of the best things about macro photography is that it’s an excellent way of exploring the wonders of the natural world, one tiny detail at a time! So today, we are looking at some of the most amazing eyes in macro photography.
Insects, for example, despite the popular belief that they have poor eyesight, a surprising number of them have developed impressive organs and ways to see the world. As a macro photographer, if you wonder which tiny animals have the most beautiful eyes, you might like some of these.
01. Jumping Spider
Author: Thomas Shahan
One of the friendliest expressions in the world of macro photography belongs to one of the scariest creatures — spiders.
These spiders have eight eyes; two large ones in the front, two medium-sized at the side, and four small ones behind the head. Thanks to this modular design, the spider can enjoy a whopping 360-degree angle of view.
The clear, circular eyes of jumping spiders are also the main protagonists of thousands of images captured by fans of this species.
Dedicated photographers like Thomas Shahan enhance their fascination with jumping spiders by reflecting vibrant colors in the mirrored eyes of this fascinating arachnid.
Author: Unknown / Stock
Did you know that the biggest insect that inhabits the Earth is almost identical to a dragonfly? That’s right, Meganeuropsis, the “giant dragonflies” can reach a wingspan of 75 centimeters. So imagine the size of those eyes!
Today’s dragonflies are much smaller, but their eyes are no less impressive. The retina of each of its two compound eyes contains thousands of photosensitive elements that allow for nearly 360 degrees of vision.
There are over 7,000 known species of true dragonflies, making them one of the most photographable insects. Just be careful while approaching one as they excel at reacting quickly to external movements.
Author: Keith Trueman
At a distance, damselflies and dragonflies can be hard to tell apart. The easiest way to differentiate the two species lies on the wings. Unlike dragonflies, damselflies can fold their wings over the torso, so remember that if you are scouting for one.
At close range, however, the eyes of both species have distinct formations. Dragons have their eyes on the front of their heads, whereas damsels have their eyes on the sides.
With nearly 28,000 individual ommatidia cells in each of the two compound eyes, damselflies have over ten different ways to interpret light information, including advanced color detection.
In 2020, Pedro Luis Ajuriaguerra Saiz won a Macro Photography Competition with a Damselfly photo.
04. Orchid Mantis
There is still a lot to learn about these fascinating creatures, but praying mantises have long inspired humanity.
Its unmistakable beauty and elegant movements are frequent references in the art world and even in sports. Dance, poetry, cinematography, and even martial arts like Taishi are a few examples.
The eyes of the orchid mantis are exquisitely beautiful, resembling flower petals. As visually captivating as they are, the eyes are camouflage tools, coldly seducing prey to their inevitable death.
05. Red-Eyed Tree Frog
Author: Harry Collins
While open, the eyes of various species can be visually appealing. However, the eyes of red-eyed tree frogs are fascinating even when closed.
In fact, the eyes of these frogs never fully close due to their stylish nictitating membrane. This optical structure allows partial visibility even when frogs are resting or camouflaged for predatory purposes.
While open, the eyes of these animals are of an intense, menacing red.
As their bodies are green, a sudden pop of red can scare and even paralyze predators for brief moments, thus allowing the frog to flee — a defensive mechanism known as Startle coloration.
06. Male Striped Horse Fly
Author: Lawrence Pugliares
Horseflies belong to the insect family known as Tabanidae, which alone has over 400 bloodsucking species in the United States.
Especially in the summer, female horseflies can bite to feed on blood and thus nourish themselves for the mating season. They might have one of the most amazing eyes in macro photography, but they can also retaliate against inexperienced macro photographers.
In the male, their metallic or iridescent eyes connect dorsally, whereas, in the female, they are separate. Similar to most insects, the compound eyes of this species comprise thousands of individualized light-sensitive units known as ommatidia, which give them the signature look.
07. Veiled Chameleon
Author: Unknown / Stock
One of the Chameleon’s distinguishing features is the eyes. Their rotational ability guarantees a 360-degree viewing angle, making it a powerful hunting tool.
Most of the interest of the Chameleon’s eyes relates to their individualized movement, which makes it difficult to do them full justice through photography due to the static nature of this art form.
However, the texture and color patterns present in the eye cones of these reptiles are quite intriguing when seen up close.
Author: S. Colors
Of all the constituent elements of the human body, the eye is second only to the brain in terms of complexity. However, human eyes are far more beautiful.
Much of the natural beauty of our eyes lies in the iris, the colored part found between the cornea and the lens.
Macro photography enhances the beauty of the iris by revealing colors and patterns resembling those of a galaxy full of stars, abstract clouds, and steams.
Here is an outstanding essay by: Another Perspective
Thank you for visiting:
The Amazing Eyes in Macro Photography.
See you in the field!