I was born back in the late seventies to German parents, on the beautiful Indonesian island of Bali and I’ve maintained a fondness for the tropics throughout my life. Back in Germany I soon discovered what really fascinated me. Not long ago my Grandma told me how once when she looked after me for a few hours, I completely neglected her because I`d found an ant-nest somewhere on the lawn. The Ants kept me entertained for the whole time I was there. This was before I could walk. I got the impression that my Grandma had felt somewhat neglected and disappointed that day.
I’ve since lived in Germany and Portugal where I did most of my growing-up. Most of my childhood was spent in the Portuguese countryside exploring the bush and its wildlife which led to a number of unusual pets such as scorpions, giant centipedes, water snakes, spiders and chameleons. Towards the end of the dry season my mates and I would go out in the creeks and rescue the aquatic life that gathered in the few ever dwindling water holes and ponds. We would scoop everything out with a net, collect the animals in a bucket and then take them to permanent water holes.
My fascination and enthusiasm for these creatures would often lead me to pick them up for a closer inspection. That’s how I found out that many of these little and defenceless looking critters are actually well capable of fending off an enemy. A velvet ant, for example, looks all furry and makes this funny squeaky noise if handled but it also possesses a powerful sting if pushed too far by an over enthusiastic 10 year-old hobby entomologist! Yes, and turtles and geckos and even small fish can defend themselves through a bite that will see them quickly released from the same 10 year-old entomologist’s hand. This fascination has remained throughout the years until today.
Eventually the idea arose to capture some of the moments I was observing on film and I started taking photos of bugs. In 2006 I left up my home in Portugal to live my dream of travelling the world with my camera. The good thing about bugs is that there are millions of them and they are everywhere so I get to take photos of bugs from pretty much every country in which I travel.
Unless otherwise stated all the wildlife in my photographs are taken in the wild with the animals in their natural habitat. Sometimes my camera and I go out hunting for them but often I’m just lucky that we are at the right place at the right time. I always keep an eye on the side of the road and the vegetation around in case something interesting is living there. I never harm the bugs I’m photographing even if I sometimes move them to a place that’s better to photograph, always returning them to the initial spot once I got the shot. A selection of my favourite photographs can be seen in the galleries.
The classification of the insects may not be accurate because I’m not an actual entomologist/taxonomist and it’s very difficult to classify a species by just looking at a picture. I try my best and you’re welcome to point out any mistakes.
I usually search the internet for information about family, genus and species using wikipedia.org, wikimedia.org, whatsthatbug.com, brisbaneinsects.com, ozanimals.com, rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au, flickr.com and many more. I’d also like to thank everyone for making their knowledge and information available on the internet, this would be so much harder without you!
As for books, I use “Kosmosnaturführer – Welches Insekt ist das?” by Heiko Bellmann, “Eyewitness handbooks: Insects” by George C. McGavin, “Pocket Nature: Insects and Spiders” by George C. McGavin, “A Field Guide to Insects of Australia” by Paul Zborowski and Ross Storey and “An Essential Guide to Insects and Spiders of the World” by Rod and Ken Preston – Mafham.