15 February 2014

Intimate Portrait of Bees via NATGEO

closeup photograph of carpenter bee (<i>Xylocopa mordax</i>)

There are 4,000 species of North American bees living north of Mexico, says Sam Droege, head of the bee inventory and monitoring program at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

closeup photograph of a bumblebee

Four years ago, Gutierrez came up with a system that consisted of a camera fitted with a macro lens, a mount with a slider, and digital software suitable for stitching pictures together.
Taking images at the level of magnification needed for bees or mosquitoes meant that there was absolutely no depth of field, says Droege. Only portions of an insect would be in focus at any one time.
So if researchers or Army personnel wanted a picture of an insect that was completely in focus, they would have to take several pictures—each one focused at different points—of the specimen and combine the photographs for one in-focus image.

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