A collision between a drop of water and a flying mosquito

As part of my research photography, I was recently asked to attempt to photograph a collision between a drop of water and a flying mosquito and a mosquito flying in a field of drops for a research article determining how these insects can fly in the rain. While seemingly straightforward, this quickly became one of the most difficult shots I have ever attempted. In a fraction of a second, I needed to capture – in focus – the flight path of a mosquito timed perfectly with a falling drop of water, all with enough magnification to provide enough detail and aesthetic beauty to wow readers. After many days of trying, I think I finally got the results I was striving for, which is shown here. I will publish a full gallery as soon as the copyright licenses from the journal have expired, so for now please excuse the watermarks covering the images. My main goal now is to provide detail on how I managed to capture this image, as there is a very steep learning curve in macro-photography and very little documentation on procedures, equipment, and setup. Many people have asked me how I managed to get these unique shots, so I decided over the next few posts I would chronicle the equipment, setups, and techniques I use to accomplish my macro shots.

I took these images as cover art submission for a prestigious research journal, in hopes that I could generate interest in the work we are doing here at the labs at Georgia Tech. My other macro photography works can be viewed in the Gallery section under Research, and include shots of fire ant raft formations submitted for the research journal, Proceedings of the the National Academy of Science. These images were later published on major news outlets like Fox News, MSNBC, Wired, and National Geographic. Please do not repost, reproduce, or copy this material for personal use without my consent, as this material is yet to publish.

Please do not repost, reproduce, or copy this material for personal use without my consent, as this material is yet to publish. However, if I fail to answer any questions you may have, please leave a comment or send me and email at info@timnowackphotography.com.