Buying insects

Gepubliceerd op 25 november 2023 om 18:17

A couple of weeks ago I ordered some insects from I though it would be nice to experiment with shooting insects in a studio setting. Today, the package arrived. Here are some first impressions.


The ten insect I received in the package. And a close-up shot of the Flower Beetle (Torynorrhina Flammea).

To photograph insects in winter I bought some from the British company The cheapest ones are the unmounted insects. You can buy a pack of 10 assorted insects for 35 euro. If you buy specific insects, they are much more expensive. Be careful though. As this company is in the UK and I am in the Netherlands I had to pay an additional 10 euro in customs. That was a surprise. Due to customs, it also took over three weeks to arrive.

I got the 10 insects shown above, all carefully packed. To be precise, there were eight insects, a spider, and a scorpion. They were all rather large. The largest one was a cicada, the Tosena Splendida, from Thailand, with a wingspan of 13 cm, while the smallest one was still 3 cm in size. Clearly, these insects have been selected based on size, shape, and color. There is no information about the names of the species. Figuring this out was hard because the identification apps take the location into account, and I did not know where they came from. Google Lens sometimes helped and I also looked at the site of the vendor for information. But I only managed to identify half of them.

The quality was rather good. There seemed to be no missing limbs or antennae, although you must manipulate them very carefully, otherwise parts will break off. Some looked a bit squashed, with the legs flat to their sides.

It is fun to play around with photographing these insects because of their nice colors and shapes. Their size makes it easier to get close-up shots. Above is a shot of a Flower Beetle. I took this with my RF 100 mm macro lens, together with 31 mm of extension tubes. No digital cropping was required. To have a large enough depth of field I used focus stacking and composed this shot in-camera from 20 images.

You can expect some more shots of these insects in the coming weeks.

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