A Polish photographer has released a stunning series of pictures of ants at close range to show that they are “not only black and red but really colourful”.
Kamil Stajniak, 35, from the historical town of Sandomierz in the southern Polish region of Swietokrzyskie Voivodeship took the photos with a special device that allows him to snap the small subjects from multiple angles.
The equipment also allows him to hold the ants while taking a snapshot and the macro photographer has a collection of over 100 ant portraits.
Stajniak told Central European News (CEN): “My love of macro photography first began in 2012 when I was able to buy my first camera.
“At first it was not easy and I soon gave up the hobby. It wasn’t until 2014 when I learned about the camera and started taking photos.
“For the first few years I photographed insects at dawn just after sunrise. I was often in the meadow at 4am looking for insects to snap.
“At the start of 2018, a spinal disease prevented me from photographing outside as I had to take a lot of equipment with me.
“As I did not want to stop, I started taking photos at home. I learned about focus stacking technique and had everything I needed to snap the insects up close.
“I soon found a group of ant breeders who were willing to share their insects with me and this is how my collection began.
The photographer said: “I have been interested in ants since 2018. I was fascinated with their unique look and behaviour.
“When we take a closer look at ants, it turns out they are not only black and red but very colourful.
“In my photos, I want to show you this incredible world of shapes and colours.”
He told CEN that he uses the focus stacking method as it “enables precise positioning” while a “camera is mounted on a special macro rail which allows the camera to move”.
As well as ants and insects, the 35-year-old photographer also likes to snap arachnids and a photo of mean-looking zebra back spider (Salticus scenicus) is included in his collection.
Of the ant species in his series, Stajniak has photographed a Novomessor cockerelli, a Leptomyrmex ruficeps, a jack jumper ant (Myrmecia pilosula), a Green tree ant (Oecophylla smaragdina) and a Cicindela campestris, among others. There are currently over 12,500 species of ant in the world that have been classified out of an estimated total of 22,000.
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