On the Backs of Butterfly Wings

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The world of insects has always been fascinating to me. Photographer Jody Ake and I wanted to capture that in the photo above. Jody uses one of those old Polaroid cameras from the 1800s - the same camera that Edward S. Curtis used to capture the faces of the American Indian tribesmen and women he encountered on his sojourn through the western United States. Jody mixes his own chemicals and all images come out as an 8x10 glass plate negative, capturing depth of features and the slightest texture.

I chose to pose with a monarch buttefly that I had raised (seen on shoulder), but only the silhouette showed up because the camera reads red tones as blacks. The plant I am holding is the common milkweed - the seeds blowing in the wind. It's the same plant the monarch exclusively feeds on. I was happy to see that the photo was able to catch the soft, silky texture of the milkweed.

Pictures below on one of many insect collecting trips in upstate New York.

Collecting bark beetles

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