The second of my three images which achieved Short-listing in this international competition was also made on our farm property. Another of my “backyard” images. Made earlier this year in March, it was a warm early spring day. Colonies of ants on our walkway had become very active, congregating in large numbers. As the sun was setting, I became fascinated by a large group of ants and grabbed my Olympus camera and Laowa 50mm f2.8 macro lens.
With the sun behind the ants, light reflected off their exoskeletons, and out-of-focus highlights became glowing circles. I held the camera on the ground at very close range trying not to have my hand touch the ants. Using the rear LCD to compose and focus, I watched as the ants battled each other in a way that reminded me of a Game of Thrones episode. It was intense and fierce. I wanted to convey a sense of extreme fighting by creating a layered composition with the heap of ant bodies in the middle layer. It was such a melee that I felt the image needed a few individuals clearly isolated in order to make sense of it all. I used a shallow depth of field and selective focusing to achieve the isolation of the ants on the right. The stone on which the fighting was happening was elevated above the ground level so that I was able to compose from a position at ant eye-level. This made for a more intense view.
I felt this image was quite unique and was very pleased that it received recognition in this prestigious competition.