Friday 5: Hipsta-Bugs!

Hi, my name is Dragonfly Woman and I’m addicted to the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone.  I take WAY too many photos with it (especially considering how many photos I take with my other, superior cameras!), but I can’t seem to stop.  I love the little square images that crop up after the phone takes the shot, photos that remind me of my very first camera.  I got it in 1984 or so, a 126 film camera that my six-year-old self was insanely happy to have.  I’ve got hundreds of the little square photos that camera produced hidden away in a closet.   The Hipstamatic photos make me happy because they remind me of being a kid.   But Hipstamatic does more than just make square prints!  I am in love with the black and white “films” which give a lovely old, nostalgic look to everything I shoot.  I even shoot bugs from time to time!  I don’t have the little “macro” lens attachment, so they are invariably a little blurry and a little less than perfect.  But the photos are so fun!  For example, I found this katydid recently.  It landed on the garage of one of my best friends in Missouri one night:



Know why I took this photo?  Because my husband told me he didn’t know what a katydid looked like when I mentioned I was looking at one as I talked to him on the phone.  I could have taken a plain old boring katydid photo, but where’s the fun in that?  Hipsta-katydid looks much more exciting!  The dramatic shadows make it look like something out of film noire rather than a common green insect sitting on a garage door.

But then this gorgeous beast appeared a few minutes later, just when I was getting ready to go back inside for the night:



I love the antlions with the flat, patterned wings like this!  They’re so beautiful.  But the Hipstamatic makes them look a little eerie, a little ephemeral, like they’re not quite there.  How can you not love hipsta-antlion?

Then there were the army ants I found in Missouri when I went to BugShot 2011:

Army ant raid

Army ant raid

I found these while wandering around alone in the dark (as I am wont to do) and took the photo by the light of my headlamp.  You can barely even see the line of hispta-ants running between the upper left and lower right corners of the photo, but I love it!  It reminds me of the fabulous ants I found and the blur where the ants should be indicates how fast they were running.  The army ant line stretched on and on across an entire road and into the grass on either side, but I just got this one little section – a tiny little snapshot of nighttime ant action that I felt lucky to have stumbled upon.

When I was at my outreach event in Phoenix last weekend, I couldn’t resist snapping the following shot of an angry, hungry giant water bug:

Giant water bug

Giant water bug

Just looking at this photo makes my heart jump a little.  The bug was hungry enough that he was none too pleased about being handled and was actively trying to bite me.  Ah Beelzebug!  You are one angry little guy!  Handsome as all get out, but very angry.  And hispta-Beelzebug looks awesome and frightful at the same time.

I had a bunch of preserved insects with me that night too.  There’s something so great about a vintage looking photo of a bunch of vials and insect specimens in plastic boxes:

Aquatic insect display

Aquatic insect display

If the “date” stamp wasn’t at the bottom of the photo, it would have a sort of Victorian, cabinet of curiosities look.  Or you can imagine this in the office of a 19th century entomologist at the British Museum.   Hipsta-bug display works because it looks so old, making the dead bugs appear as ghostly representations of their former living selves.  Makes me want to develop a steampunk entomologist outfit so I can sit alongside my bugs and fit right into the photo.

On second thought, perhaps I am not ashamed of my Histamatic addiction after all.  Maybe I don’t even want to be cured!  After all, isn’t having a little fun a good thing?  It was a pleasure snapping these photos, and I will remember the moments I took them forever.  I think maybe I’ll keep at it and see what I come up with next…


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