Eyes, its all about the eyes
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Portrait photographers say that the most important thing is getting the subject’s eyes right. I am not a portrait photographer, more from lack of opportunity than anything else, but I agree that in any portrait the eyes are crucial. An entomologist asked me exactly what I meant when I spoke of insect portraits and I said photos taken face on. It seemed obvious to me but the results are less than satisfactory from a scientific perspective. Insect portraits face a number of issues. First, some insect eyes are essentially liquid filled as is the case here and that means nothing to focus on. Luck counts for more than your ability to focus. Secondly, many insect eyes are very reflective and even in natural light get strange highlights. You can see my flash in the white dots on the eyes, much less prominent than I would have expected and easily edited out but I chose not to. Composite eyes, those with many lenses like flies, are particularly difficult to get with a flat light as the sun also creates highlights. And of course the biggest challenge is getting an insect to look at you rather than turn and run.