Semachrysa jade - new lacewing species

Started Aug 12, 2012 | Discussions thread
SteB
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Re: Semachrysa jade - new lacewing species
In reply to orionmystery, Aug 13, 2012

Excellent Kurt. I'm really proud of what you achieved, because I have always seen macro photography as a very powerful tool for documenting biodiversity. It has been my inspiration for developing better flash light control and other methods to make macro photography easier, and the results better.

I think the power of digital macro photography as a tool, is that often it's only with hindsight that the relevance of a photographic record becomes clear. Digital images are the only time machine we have to go back and reassess what was recorded. Science is still somewhat fixated with collecting live specimens, which is very important in some aspects. The problem is that much material collected like this is not kept if it's relevance was not understood at the time. Whereas photographs are kept for other reasons, and it's possible to go back to library images and to reassess what was recorded.

As the popularity of macro photography grows, and more high quality macro images are taken, this provides an important database of records. With photography I've been able to answer questions that I never asked at the time. For instance in the old film days I got a new record of a dragonfly for the area. The recorder asked me how many individuals there were. As I 'd photographed them over several weeks I was able to go back and look at my slides. What I discovered was that the wing venation of each individual is different than other individuals, and so I was able to accurately state how many individuals of what sex I'd photographed. Whereas if I'd simply collected a specimen as traditionally happens, I would never have been able to go back and answer that question.

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