Earlier this year I joined the Meet Your Neighbours (MYN) photography project and I’ve taken many MYN style images since then. But one of the features of the project that first attracted me to it was Niall Benvie’s use of composite panels to show a selection of the biodiversity in a particular region or location. Free from background distractions, these composites perfectly illustrate the variety of species in that region. I also like the way they show the sheer variety of colours, patterns, shapes and sizes of those species.
Naturally, therefore, I was keen to produce some composites of my own but I’ve struggled to find time until now. For my first attempt I really did want to show my neighbours i.e. the species that I have photographed in my own humble, suburban, back garden.
So please, meet my neighbours….
Please see here for a larger version.
The panel contains the following (in a clockwork spiral, starting top left): a sleeping Nomada bee, Common Centipede, Jumping Spider (Sitticus pubescens), Honey Bee, Common Green Lacewing, Globular Springtail, Seven-Spot Ladybird, Tawny Mining Bee, Sitona species weevil, Mullein Moth caterpillar, Ground Beetle (Pterostichus madidus), Pill Woodlouse, Black Millipede, Hawthorn Shieldbug and another Seven-Spot Ladybird.
I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed preparing this panel. The fact that the original images all have perfectly white backgrounds made the preparation of the panel relatively easy. I simply roughly selected each subject, turned them into ‘smart objects’ and then copied them across to the main panel. Then it was just a matter of making the panel look reasonably balanced and, probably the most difficult bit, scaling the subjects so that their relative sizes are (roughly) correct. I’m sure I’ll produce others in due course.
-by Matt Cole