Hello guys and girls! As the year 2014 is drawing to a close, I figured it would be a great time to summarize our progress over the year~
I remembered taking my first ever (horrible) macro shot about one and a half years ago, and started this website on June 2014. I have learnt a lot over this short period of time, both in terms of photography skills and also general knowledge on the wonderful creatures I’ve come across. The more I’ve learnt the more I come to appreciate Macro Photography and also our beautiful and priceless Nature.
One thing is for sure, I couldn’t have achieved any of this without the help and guidance of several humble and great Macro Gurus around the region; I also couldn’t have done it without the support and encouragements from friends, families and of course, the awesome viewers and readers here (Pixels Dimension has just break 3,500 views!)! Thank you very much for everything! <3
Okay, without further ado, my top 20 favourite shots for year 2014! Photos are selected not only based on aesthetics, but also rarity of the moment and difficulty of the shot~ Please enjoy!
20. A Wagler’s Pit Viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri) envenoming a frog
How often do you see a Pit Viper in action? You don’t. They are often well camouflaged or are exceedingly hard and dangerous to reach in the wild. This shot was made possible thank to my cousin who happened to be a herpetologist. Note the large and frightening fangs of the viper!
19. An angry female Malayan Trapdoor Spider (Liphistius malayanus)
Trapdoor Spiders are one of the most ancient spiders living on Earth today and are thus protected by Malaysian Laws. It has been reported that the females of these spiders are generally shy and will prefer flight than fight. Well, it certainly doesn’t apply for very large individuals, they have quite a temper, and will not hesitate to bite you! An uncommon behavioural shot, thus making to the Top 20~
18. A mating pair of Stalk-eye Flies (Teleopsis sp.)
Stalk-eye Flies are a great wonder to many, thanks to their bizarre eyes! These flies were so exciting that BBC decided to document them in Malaysia. Although not exactly very rare, the long stalks and movements of these flies make them a big challenge to photograph. I only managed to get this shot by luck (plus a lot of cropping!)
17. Finally, A Lanturn Bug (Zanna sp.)
I was so touched when I was shown a Lantern Bug by Macro Sifus Zaidi Razak and Lee Hua Ming. I had a lot of troubles finding, let alone photographing Lantern Bugs before this, so I was happy to be able to photograph one, even if its a nymph! *Yes yes, I know a lot of photographers who shoots these bugs for breakfast haha :p
16. A Curved, Long-Spined Spider (Macracantha arcuata)
Pretty much a dream come true when I came across this unique and beautiful spider with my cousin. This spider needs no introduction, as it is definitely in every Macro Photographer’s wishlist! This series of photos have been used for several publications and competitions 🙂
15. A pair of Great Angle Head Lizards (Gonocephalus grandis)
Found a male and female Lizards of the same species at different locations on the same day! Shots made possible thanks to great luck, and not to mention my superb ninja photographic skills :p
14. An juvenile female Argiope doleschalli
A powerful and informative image of a rarely seen St. Andrew Cross Spider, showing not only the spider, but also the thick, supportive structure (Stabilimenta) of the web, and also the remaining exoskeleton (exuvia) of the spider after moulting (ecdysis).
13. A Giant Forest Scorpion (Heterometrus spinifer) under UV illumination
My first attempt at photographing using UV light, made possible by my cousin as I don’t even have a UV light @@ It was pretty fun, exciting and challenging at the same time as photos need to be taken with slow shutters.
12. A strikingly orange Giant Trapdoor Spider (Liphistius desultor)
My first encounter with a large Trapdoor spider, I remembered how excited and afraid I was when photographing this ridiculously fast spider. I never knew Trapdoor spiders could grow so large, and become so different from their juvenile forms.
11. An adult female Double-Hump Yellow Tent Spider (Cyrtophora cylindroides) drinking water
It is no myth that spiders may need to drink water from a water body instead of gaining all the hydration from bodily fluids of preys. However, we don’t often get to see them drinking, thus to me this is a valuable behavioural shot. This was also the first time I saw the adult form of this Tent Spider.
10. Two-in-one, a dragonfly and a millipede
A natural find of two different organism in one frame, not something you come across all the time, unless if you cheat lol :p
9. A mother crab spider (Thomisus sp.) and her babies
This shot is my first in getting so close to photographing a mother spider guarding her spiderlings and egg sac. The resulting shot is made possible by stitching quite a number of photos together.
8. Malayan Forest Gecko (Cyrtodactylus pulchellus) removing water droplets from its eye
A shot made possible by my herpetologist cousin. It is from this shot that I’ve learnt that geckos don’t have eyelids and need to use their tongues to remove water droplets on their eyes. Took an entire series of shots here and I hope I will be able to make it into an animation when I know how to lol!
7. A colourful Praying Mantis
I have never really been very lucky with mantises since I often fail to see through their impressive camouflage. This magnificent-looking mantis was in fact seen by my girlfriend. From this shot I realized how cooperative mantises are at posing for photographs, and I really hope I will be able to find more in the future, especially dead-leaf, flower and perhaps even orchid mantises!
6. A Trilobite Beetle (Ducitola hoiseni ?)
I’ve heard of this amazing, ancient-looking Trilobite beetle but it is until my cousin stumbled upon one that I really got to see it upclosed! Its incredible that the beetle is actually very flat, with a tiny, retractable head! And most astonishing of all is that the beetle is named after my supervisor lol!
5. Fancy-loooking Caterpillar
I am not really into caterpillars (kind of afraid of them to be honest) but this one was so exotic that I’ve decided to take some photographs. Apart from the unique form and vibrant colours, the caterpillar was eating and defecating at the same time- talk about efficiency!
4. A Funnel Web Spider (Macrothele cf. segmentata) in action
Not exactly the most fancy-looking or rarest spiders around, but the funnel-web spider may potentially be the most venomous around the region. They spend most of the time in their burrows and its not at all easy to photograph them. Photograph made possible with the help of my cousins.
3. Alas, a cooperative Robberfly!
If you knew me, you would understand how desperate I am at finding and photographing a Robberfly! I never really had much luck with these creatures although they are common and some of the popular among Macro Photographers around the globe. I only managed to find this one willing to pose a bit for me (very touched!). A simple shot, but very valuable to me.
2. A male Great Wide-Jawed Jumper (Parabathippus magnus)
Like the others, I have always fancied photographing Jumping Spiders, but I seldom get the chance to photograph large Jumping Spiders (easier to shoot). Found this spider around the garden and took a long time trying to photograph it; succeeded after plenty of tries, and I am glad that the spider was willing to pose abit for the camera 🙂
1. A male Greater Bluewing (Rhyothemis plutonia)
My most favourite Macro Photograph is also the most recent! A beautiful dragonfly such as this is not common to find, let alone photograph. The dull background kinds of ruin the shot, but in my opinion the striking colours really make this shot a winner~
Well, that’s it! My favourite Top 20 Macro Shots for the year 2014! Again the shots are not just based on aesthetic value, but inclusive of the rarity of subjects and the difficulty in getting the shots 🙂
I really look forward to 2015 (I guess all Malaysians do), and I hope that I will be able to improve my Macro skills further aside from being able to photograph more unique and exotic creatures- I still have a very long wishlist to fulfil haha! XD
Thank you for reading guys, I would like to wish you a Happy New Year and may your 2015 be filled with healthy and prosperity~!
** All photos in this website are taken and owned by me. The use of any photos here is not allowed without my permission.