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The Secret Life Of Insects

The Secret Life Of Insects by Joel Adam

My “Bug Set” began when I discovered wasp’s in an alcove of my front porch.

I knew the wasp’s had to go but before eviction I thought I’d exploit these little guys with my iPhone and Olloclip.

I’m not much of a macro photographer. I’ve done the typical flower shots with my own twist and style, some good and some not so good. This was a subject I found worth exploring.

As I took these macro shots I wondered if my subjects had cognitive thought of their observer or were their instinctive thoughts strictly to “protect the hive”.

It was awkward getting these shots. I had to stand on a bench to get real close with the macro. I can honestly say that I wasn’t concerned with being stung. Having a bunch of tattoos means I’m no stranger to the sting. My main concern was dropping my iPhone and Olloclip.

I’ve always envisioned my work being album covers, t-shirts, or any other cover art. Not so much as being framed and hanging in an exhibit. Of course, I have had my work hanging in exhibits and that’s awesome. With this set I experimented with graphic design, texture, abstraction, and of course macro. Apps utilized in this set include Snapseed, VSCO, Repix, Decosketch, Shockmypic, Phonto, Mextures, Halftone, and the Olloclip phone app. My apologies if I’m forgetting any.

I’ve taken close to 70 shots during this set. I didn’t have a tripod or anything to stabilize the shakiness of my hand. At one point I was actually leaning the iPhone against the nest. An obvious invasion of privacy that caused the wasps to to get into attack formation and swarm over my phone. It’s good to have boundaries.

I think not having a stabilizer worked for the abstraction. I’m not know for making pretty pictures and a lack of instruments actually became an advantage in my macro opus.

The bug set, or as I’ve named it “Insect Requiem”, started three months ago. The wasps cannot stay here for much longer but I’ve developed an attachment to my household guests. I guess this happens when you’re working with a particular subject for a long period of time.

I’d be hard pressed to smoke out the wasps with bug spray, so my plan is to simply risk a few stings and remove the comb and let squatters relocate somewhere suitable that isn’t on or in my house.

No insects were harmed in the making of this photo set.

We Are Juxt would like to thank Joel and his insect friends for sitting in and doing a guest spot today. You can find Joel and more of his fantastic art these places:

IPA // Flickr // Eye’Em // Backspaces


  1. Great work, Joel. I love this series and have never seen them all in one spot before. I love your twist on macros. You made wasps look cool. Hard to do :)

  2. Just wonderfuLL!

  3. Congrats Joel, great read! You’re brave, forget iphone I’m not going near those buggers. Brilliant shots you did really well, post editing is great too!

  4. Great article. Congrats Joel! I’m a huge fan of your work.

  5. Great set, Joel and something a bit different. As someone who used to work in pest control I found the images of particular interest ;)

  6. Great work Joel. And I fuckin’ LOVE these photos! You’ve inspired me to look into a olloclip

  7. Aren’t those waspies wonderful! I love your take!

  8. great work! I’m going to share it! congrats!!!

  9. Holy Macro as my good friend @pixelgeek would say. Fabulous work Joel! You’re brave to risk getting that close and your shots are worth it! (I’m allergic to those kind of stings!)

  10. Brilliant work! Love your edits. Anyone of these would make a great album cover. As for getting close to those wasps…brave mofo!

  11. great set! I really love the graphic edits.

  12. This is a fantastic set of images, Joel! I agree, you made the MOST of your limitations. Cheers!

  13. Thank you very much, everyone! I really had fun doing this series. I’m thrilled that it’s so well received by my peers. I’m deeply honored.



  14. love this body of work… but I am not brave enough to replicate any wasp macros!


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