Glistening with rain or dew, these ladybugs look absolutely enchanting in these macro photos by Ireland-based photographer Tomasz Skoczen. For years now, he's been capturing these black and red winged insects as they're walking through grass or landing on flowers. Taken mostly in the garden of his backyard, he uses his Canon 5D Mark II and his macro lens to shoot these insects in their natural state.
Skoczen has learned a great deal about ladybugs, or ladybirds as they're often called. “They can be found all year round if you know where to look, and they can be very fast and therefore difficult to shoot. There are over five thousand species in the family in which the ladybird belongs. They are small, between .8 and 18 millimeters and they display a range of colors including red, orange, and yellow. Their covers are striped, spotted in black, or they can have no markings at all. There are also many species which are completely one color, like black, gray or brown, which can make them difficult to distinguish from other species of insects. The number of spots on a ladybird's back does not represent its age.”
Here are some tips Skoczen shared with us on taking macro photos of ladybugs. “Exercise a lot of patience and have your eyes wide open. Be observant to the micro world going on underneath your feet. Be an early bird. Get up early for your shoot when all insect are waking up, are very slow or will stay still. A big advantage is to have a good flashgun with a diffuser for a soft effect. The flashgun allows you to apply a high shutter speed, which will give you a sharp image.”