WPY 2010

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2010

Behaviour: All Other Animals

Matt Cole, United Kingdom

The ant-shepherd and its little flock

Matt has often tried to photograph black garden ants milking black bean aphids in his garden. It's a common enough sight, but showing ants in the act (stroking the aphids with their feelers to encourage them to excrete drops of honeydew) and creating a composition that works is another matter. 'The ants rarely stand still for more than a second or two and tend to clamber over each other and the aphids.' Here, though, an ant stands still as if guarding its clutch, its antennae gently stroking the aphids. Watching insect behaviour through a macro lens has transformed Matt's photographic ambitions. 'I used to take portraits,' he says, 'but now I'm obsessed with insects and their activities.'

Technical specification

Canon 450D + MP-E 65mm lens; 1/160 sec at f10; ISO 100; Speedlite 580EXII diffused flash.


Leicestershire, UK: latitude 52.7401, longitude -1.14059 Leicestershire, UK: latitude 52.7401, longitude -1.14059

Leicestershire, UK

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Matt Cole, United Kingdom