Worth a (Two) Second Look: The Story Behind the Photo

By Bill Webb

A 2-second photo by Bill Webb of insects at night flying around a light

Worth a (Two) Second Look by Bill Webb

How often do we fail to notice the beauty of the “small things” in nature?

Such is the case with insects drawn to lights at night. Their flight (seeking what?) seems futile and beyond understanding — hardly worth a second look. But, how about a TWO-second look? That’s what I did to capture this image.

Using a tripod and a telephoto lens and a two-second exposure, we are able to get a different look into the world of insects and their behavior. Some of those random and, to us, pointless flight paths now are seen as almost ballet-like. Others could be the antics of an aerobatic pilot. Still others appear to be the frantic flight of beings possessed. The briefest of pauses as the wings change direction now appear as “barbs” along a piece of wire, perhaps. There is so much to see even in the minute parts of nature.

The more I study images like this one, the more intrigued I become. I was honored to have Earth Science Picture of the Day use this image on October 30, 2009. It also garnered the award for Viewers Choice photo for the month of October.

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