- WHO IS
Bugs are small and we need the help of a microscope or a camara to bring their beauty and details to our gigantic scale. As Max Barclay said in a TED presentation, those who study beetles see the world with more pixels. I would love to have extra time to take and share more pictures. Here are some shots to warm-up. The protagonists are from the Canary Islands or from Polynesia.
Digital photography has opened the world of macro-photography to limits we never dreamed about a few decades ago. Depth of field is not anymore the nightmare (perhaps lighting, as always). Here are some macro shots of my “people” (beetles) and I like to show how I take these pictures (open gallery and click on info button for explanations). I am not an expert in this field but I learned the basics from colleagues who really mastered it (Dr. Stüben, Liebman, etc.) and struggled my way out.
This gallery is intended for the lay people, to show how we entomologists have fun looking after bugs, visiting museum and libraries, travelling to exotic place, climbing trees, crawling in volcanic tubes, beating vegetation, shifting the leaf-litter, sharing our discoveries with other colleagues, stopping for a snack, having a siesta below a bush, sorting your day-treasures at night, or identifying a recalcitrant species in your cabinet.
Many times you know entomologists’ names by the insects they have collected or the papers published, but you have never met them. To help you put faces to those names, I have grouped here pictures from colleagues that visited me or who I met at their museums or in the field. It is a private gallery of entomologists that have been or are interested in the Canarian Fauna or just in beetles. Some of them are not anymore with us, but will stay in our memories for ever.
The Canary Islands are an archipelago placed in the Atlantic 100 km away from the African Sahara coast. They are visited by some 12 million tourists each year. Yes, they are a tourism European Mecca and you can find hundreds of brochures and pictures in Internet. The photos I have selected here may give you a different view and perspective of my islands, as I have taken them without publicity in mind. It is a poutpourri with Canarian flavor.
This gallery is intended for the foreign entomologist or naturalist who wants to have a look to the type of habitats that exist in the Canary Islands. These kinds of pictures are normally not shown in booklets or general guides from any given country, and is the sort of images I would like to see when I plan my travels. The topic that volcanic islands are continents in miniature is not an exaggeration.
Santa Cruz de La Palma is the capital city of the one of the Western Canary Islands. It was conquered and become an important port for maritime traffic between Europe and the New World; and it was rich in the times of sugar-cane production. It is a special city that lives in a sort of bubble with direct contact with God; a sort of marginal paradise of “Gemütlichkeit”
Macaronesia is the set of Atlantic archipelagos formed by the Azores, Madeira, Selvagens, the Canaries and Cape Verde. They have many things in common (i.e. all volcanic origin, some plants, etc.), their own peculiarities and some contrasting differences. I show here some pictures taken in the “other” Macaronesia (Canaries excluded) so that my landspeople can surprise.
In the summer of 1996 a group of eleven Spanish scientist and naturalist did a trip Reserve of Altai, placed in the “four courners” of Asia: Kazajistan, Mongolia, China and Russia). Some went to collect plants, other to enjoy a fieldtrip in pristinte areas, and I was looking after beetles and inspiration in nature. Here is a set of pictures to show how this kind of expeditions look like.
The archipelago of Galapagos is a dream place for any biologist by its own merit, not just because of Darwin´s trip to it and its relevance in the developement of the theory of evolution. In 1994, I headed a mission to the Galapagos for the EU and Ecuador Government and made a small report with pictures not just of animals and birds, which are obviously, the big magnet of the islands.
In 1982, during a conservation mission in Mozambique and thereafter in Zimbabwe and the Republic of South Africa, I enjoyed free time shooting at African mammals and birds. I used my old Nikkormat with a 600 mm Novoflex telelense mounted like a firegun, which gives photo-hunting a special glamour. Many pictures have deteriorated with age, but the sample here have still a decent quality.
When I travel I take photos to document my mission, to help remember places, or just for fun. Here I selected a poutpourri of pictures that tell something about places I visited or people I bumped by. The problem is that the great majority of shots were taken in the times of conventional photography (usually with Agfachrome 50S), and the quality of the slides has suffered with time and mould. We have scanned the pictures and worked a bit with PhotoShop. I hope you will enjoy the views, and perhaps evoke your own memories.
In Spain we celebrate April Fools’ Day on the 28th of December, we call it “the Day of Innocents”. Here are some of the farce – photos we used to give credibility to the crazy news sent to the local newspapers (list and PDFs available at the section Production /Society).