Who am I?

F02A_0458By education I am an analytical chemist – scientific research worker at the Kraków University of Technology. My professional interest is focused on research in determination of highly toxic substances, especially dioxins.

But entomology, partly botany and photography, are the passions of my life. I try to combine them into one and I spend all my free time photographing nature, especially insects and plants. My favourite field is macrophotography. I take photographs of insects mainly in nature, but I breed many species at home to be able to capture their various development stages. It’s wonderful if something crawls on the wall or the ceiling.

It is no secret that my work has been exhibited many times, both in Poland and abroad.
My current snapshots and videos are presented here in the Gallery and Movies respectively.

I will be grateful for any critical comments and any experience that you might want to share with me; if you have any questions, write to me!

I take macro photographs using extremely light Tamron SP AF 90 mm f/2,8 Di Macro 1:1 as well as Nikkor AF-S Micro 60mm f/2.8G ED. For shooting and filming outdoor I strongly recommend long Nikkor AF Micro 200mm f/4D IF-ED. In my opinion these are the best, multi-purpose macro photographic lenses having  wonderful contrast and sharpness.

For extremely close-ups I use Canon’s sensational lens: MP-E 65/2.8 1-5x, thanks to which it is possible to obtain an image of a 3 x 4 mm object on the whole APS matrix.
To capture less active objects, such as butterflies early in the morning, caterpillars, chrysalises, etc. I use only natural light. If it is necessary to use additional exposure for over 1 s, this is what I do: I measure the light at the A setting and, for example, I get 3 s. I set up 4 s manually, cover the lens with a piece of black paper and – shoot. After 1 second, when everything ceases to vibrate, I remove the paper from before the lens. I don’t cover the lens only when the exposure time exceeds 10 seconds.

Currently, they are uncompromising LED lighting systems. For example, the lamp: LED Prolite VC-209 High CRI LEDs are an excellent macro lighting solution both in photography and filming. They have stepless adjustment of the light color of 3200 – 5600K and its intensity. It can be powered by batteries or an AC adapter. In the application of LED lighting is extremely important to have used LEDs CRI> 90 (Color Rendering Index). Only such LEDs faithfully render the colors. This is particularly important in the motion picture recording.

 > Some information about lens for macrophotography <

Firstly: apart from the fact that they are corrected to reproduce objects which are close to each other – which provides large magnification – they are designed to ensure minimum distortion. The point is that if you, for example, take a photograph of a small stamp, you should avoid obtaining an image similar to a barrel or a pillow. However, the problem is not so significant when taking photographs of insects or plants. Therefore, when taking photographs of small natural objects, it is all right to use Nikkor 50/l.8D, which is cheap but which produces extraordinary focus and contrast – it has an intermediate 36 mm ring (e.g. Kenko).

Secondly: such lenses contain elements of lenses with changeable geometry of setting at close and distant range (so called CRC), for which you pay a lot.And macro lenses are rarely used when set at the infinity. For many years I have successfully used Nikkor 50/1.8D with rings for taking photographs of small objects.

Thirdly: If the lens is reversed with the special Nikon BR2A ring, you will be perfectly able to photograph an ant.

I use a flash only if the object is mobile or if the lighting conditions are bad (weather). But then I only use additional lighting. For the lens of Canon MP-E 65/2.8 I heartily recommend the flash bearing the symbol MT-24EX, which – though very expensive – is designed for operation with this specific lens and which gives absolutely shadowless light.

The panel arrangement in the Gallery does not have anything to do with insect taxonomy. I only wanted to provide as much information as possible in a most accessible manner, while keeping it in a reasonable order. The site will be updated on a regular basis with new photographs and movies. I will be grateful for any comments on its content.

And one more thing (as I’m often asked about it):

All the photographs that show species mentioned in the Polish Red Book of Animals, that is ones which are protected by law, have been taken in the field or – in some cases – at home, but then the insects were released to the natural environment where they had been found (e.g. Arctia villica). In this case, I took butterfly eggs or larvae from the plants which were later mowed or from the area burned by the farmer.

Adam Grochowalski

Address: agrochow@chemia.pk.edu.pl

Copyright 2001 - 2017 Adam Grochowalski