DIY photography, how to take great pictures of insects








Ryan Dusart getting to know Dino the Dionbot giant robot ant


NECK JOINT - Let loose in the robot store, a young engineer checks out the range of movement of Dino the Dinobot's head mountings. Photography plays a big part in the making of such animatronic machines.



There are thousands photographs from numerous well known and not so well known macro photographers that are used to illustrate the world of insects as may inspire animatronic artists and engineers to create their robotic masterpieces. Indeed, photography can enhance details of a project, where projector or other measuring techniques often fall short in this department and using a microscope is tiring on the eye and lacks perspective, unless using a stereoscopic instrument.


Thank heavens then for the internet and the large number of photographic enthusiasts - and reasonably priced camera equipment - without which the world would be a more mundane place to live in. On these pages we review the work of some of those amateurs and professionals, who have more experience and useful information to share as you find your feet in the world of 2D imagery.





ROBOT INSECT PARTS  - Our most junior robotics engineer, Ryan, checks out the 2kW hour 48 volt lithium battery pack and the electronic speed controllers for the 500 watt 2/3rd horsepower motors. One way of accelerating learning is to allow younger team members to get involved with a real project that interests them.







It was the famous photo journalist Robert Capa who is quoted as saying: “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” He was talking about getting in where the action is. If you feel like your images aren’t cutting it, consider taking a step or two closer to the subject. try to fill the frame with your subject and see how much better your photo will look without so much wasted space. The closer you are to the subject, the better you can see the detail, but artistic composition may suffer.




The best way to improve your skills is to practice. Shoot as much as you can, and vary the topic to gain experience with the familiar and the unfamiliar. Just spend time behind your camera and get to know it. As your technical skills improve over time, your ability to harness them to tell stories should also. Experiment. "Your style – your ‘voice’ – will emerge in time. And it will be more authentic when it does." Quote: Leah Robertson

Leah Robertson is a talented Melbourne based photographer and videographer, specialising in music and documentary photography.




Before you raise your camera, check where the light is coming from and use it to your advantage. Whether it is natural light coming from the sun, or an artificial source like a lamp; work out how you can use the light to make your photos better. Ask yourself: 


1. How is the light interacting with the scene and the subject?

2. Is it highlighting an area or casting interesting shadows? 


These are key things to consider to make an ordinary photo extraordinary.




When photographing people (especially while in countries with different cultures and languages) it can be hard to communicate. In certain countries if you photograph someone you are not ‘supposed’ to photograph, it can get ugly and rough very quickly if you are not careful. So out of respect you should always ask permission.


"I have started shooting a series of school children in Pakistan. These are all posed portraits and they are looking down the lens. My guide helps me with the language and I limit myself to smiling, shaking hands, giving ‘hi-five’ and showing them the image on the back of my camera once it is done. You would be amazed how quickly people open up." Quote: Andrea Francolini

Andrea Francolini is a well known Italian born, Sydney based sports photographer. He is also the founder of My First School, a trust whose objects are to facilitate education in Northern Pakistan.




You might think that you should only use flash at night time or indoors, but that is not the case at all. If it is an extremely bright day outside and the sun is creating harsh shadows on your subject, switch on your flash. By forcing extra light onto your subject, you will be able to fill in those ugly shadows and create an even exposure.


6. ISO


In traditional (film) photography ISO or ASA, was the indication of how sensitive a film was to light. ISO stands for 'International Organization for Standardization. It was measured in numbers (you’ve probably seen them on films – 100, 200, 400, 800 etc). The lower the number the lower the sensitivity of the film and the finer the grain in the shots you’re taking.

In Digital Photography ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor. The same principles apply as in film photography – the lower the number the less sensitive your camera is to light and the finer the grain.

Higher ISO settings are generally used in darker situations to get faster shutter speeds. For example an indoor sports event when you want to freeze the action in lower light. However the higher the ISO you choose the noisier shots you will get.

Photographic film's sensitivity to light (its "film speed") is described by ISO 6, ISO 2240 and ISO 5800. Hence, the film's speed is often referred to as by its ISO number.
As it was originally defined in ISO 518, the flash hot shoe found on cameras is often called the "ISO shoe".


There are questions to ask yourself when deciding what ISO to use:

1. What time of day are you shooting?


2. If you are shooting outside during the middle of the day you will need to use a lower ISO such as 100 or 200. If you are shooting at night time without a tripod you will have to increase the ISO to a higher number to be able to record the light on the camera’s sensor.

3. Will the subject be well lit?


If your subject or scene is too dark you will need to use a higher ISO such as 800 or 1600.

4. Do you want a sharp image or an image with more movement in it? 


Using a high shutter speed to capture fast movement might mean that you need to use a high ISO to compensate. Likewise, if you’re using a slow shutter speed to capture blur you will need a low ISO to compensate.

Increasing your ISO increases the grain or pixel size in your photo. So don’t use an ISO of 3200 or 6400 if you don’t want a photo with a lot of ‘digital noise’.


7. F/4


In optics, the f-number (sometimes called focal ratio, f-ratio, f-stop, or relative aperture) of an optical system is the ratio of the lens's focal length to the diameter of the entrance pupil. It is a dimensionless number that is a quantitative measure of lens speed, and an important concept in photography. The number is commonly notated using a hooked f, i.e. f/N, where N is the f-number.

An example of the use of f-numbers in photography is the sunny 16 rule: an approximately correct exposure will be obtained on a sunny day by using an aperture of f/16 and the shutter speed closest to the reciprocal of the ISO speed of the film; for example, using ISO 200 film, an aperture of f/16 and a shutter speed of 1/200 second. The f-number may then be adjusted downwards for situations with lower light. Selecting a lower f-number is "opening up" the lens. Selecting a higher f-number is "closing" or "stopping down" the lens.


"f/4 is my ‘go to’ aperture. If you use a wide aperture with a long lens (200mm-400mm) you’re able to separate the subject from the background. This helps them stand out. Works every time." Quote: Peter Wallis. Peter Wallis is a sports photographer extraordinaire, working for The Courier Mail in Brisbane.




A well timed joke will always yield a more natural smile, than simply saying “smile.” Quote: Dean Bottrell


Dean Bottrell is a Emerald based photographer who specializes in portraiture.




Having expensive camera equipment doesn’t always mean that you’ll take good photos. I’ve seen some absolutely amazing images shot with nothing more than a smart phone. Instead of having ten different lenses, invest in some good photography books. By looking at the work of the masters not only do you get inspired you come away with ideas to improve your own photos. This web page is only the beginning.




Oh no not more instructions. Unfortunately, and very few people have the time to read all of the paperwork that comes with a new purchase, the best way to know what to do with your camera is to actually read the manual. So many people miss this really important step on their photographic journey including the writer. But when you do take the time, you'll find that every camera is different, so by reading the manual you’ll get to know all the things it’s capable of.




This is a technique to use when you want to draw attention to something in your photograph. By framing a scene or a subject, say with a window or an archway, you lead the viewer’s eye to the primary focal point. Granted, there are only few occasions when there is a convenient arch.



Black Magic movie camera with PL lenses for professional film making


ACTION STATIONS - Our techie, Jamie, sets up a Black Magic movie camera aiming at the empty test tank with Chris, our project manager, in the background sorting out a tank sealing niggle. In reality, camera equipment will be inside a closed chamber with controlled lighting. The rubble you see on the lower left of this picture is now a smooth decked surface with a weather proof canopy above. In the distance you can see a cement mixer and the temporary steps that have now been replaced with a permanent wooden staircase. Copyright © 29 July 2016. You will need permission from Bluebird Marine Systems Ltd to reproduce these photographs, except for private study or media review. 





"Never shoot with the sun directly behind you. It creates boring, flat light on the subject. If you shoot with the light source to the side or behind the subject, you are able to shape with the light, creating a more interesting photo." Quote: Patria Jannides




Being aware of your shutter speed means the difference between taking a blurry photo and a sharp photo. It all depends on what you are trying to achieve. If you are shooting a sporting event or children running around in the backyard, you probably want your subjects to be in focus. To capture fast action you will have to use a shutter speed over 1/500th of a second, or maybe even 1/1000th to 1/2000th. On the opposite end of the scale, you might want to capture the long streaks of a car’s tail lights running through your shot. Then you would change your camera’s shutter speed to a long exposure. This could be one second, ten seconds, or even longer. You'll have to try different settings to know what will work for you.




Very basic preparation but pretty much every photographer on the face of the planet has been caught out before. Including the writer. We tend to keep snapping until the camera objects, and only then swap batteries. The trick is to put the battery onto the charger as soon as you get home from your photo shoot and keep a spare in the carry case so that you can keep snapping. Remember to put the charged battery back into the camera case after it has been recharged.




Keep it simple. Justin Wilkes shoots with two prime lenses and one camera; A 28mm and a 35mm. For everything. She uses the 35mm lens 70% and the 28mm lens 30% of time. It takes some time to get used to it, but once you work it out, shooting primes is the only way to go. It means you have to work with what you have and you can’t be lazy. Basically, this means more pictures and less fiddling around with zooming and maybe missing moments. It also helps for consistency. If you’re working on a project or a series, keeping the same focal lengths is a great way to maintain a powerful sense of consistency.




Even when you’re not shooting, shoot with your mind. Practice noticing expressions and light conditions. Work out how you’d compose a picture of that scene over there that interests you, and what sort of exposure you might use to capture it best. Quote: Leah Robertson




You can’t take great photos if you don’t have a camera on you. DSLR, point-and-shoot or smart phone, it doesn’t really matter. As long as you have access to a camera, you’re able to capture those spontaneous and unique moments in life that you might have otherwise missed. Photography is all about being in the right place at the right time. If you can't be in the right place at the right time, you'll have to fake it like they do in the movies with film sets.




What’s in your frame? So often I see great photos and think “didn’t they see that garbage bin, ugly wall, sign, etc?” It’s not just the person or object in your frame, it’s everything else in the background that can make or break a great photograph. So don’t be afraid to ask the person to move (or move yourself) to avoid something ugly in the background. Quote: Marina Dot Perkins




Shade can be your best friend. If there is no way you can make the available light work for your photo, shoot in the shade. You’ll get a nice even exposure with no patchy highlights throughout your shot.




This is one of the most common tips that pop up when it comes to improving your photos To break it down, you cut your frame into thirds by using both horizontal and vertical lines. You then place your point of interest over the cross sections of the grid.




You might not know it, but there is a right way and a wrong way to hold a DSLR camera. The correct way is to support the lens by cupping your hand underneath it. This is usually done with the left hand, with your right hand gripping the body of the camera. This helps to prevent camera shake. If you are gripping your camera with your hands on either side of the camera body, there is nothing supporting the lens, and you might end up with blurry photos. To get an even stabler stance, tuck your elbows into the side of your body.


Much of the above was inspired by an original article by Lisa Clarke. Lisa is based in Rockhampton and is the ABC Open producer for Capricornia in Australia.









One of the easiest and best ways to improve your mobile photos is to turn on the camera's gridlines. That superimposes a series of lines on the screen of your smartphone's camera that are based on the "rule of thirds" - a photographic composition principle that says an image should be broken down into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, so you have nine parts in total. According to this theory, if you place points of interest in these intersections or along the lines, your photo will be more balanced, level, and allow viewers to interact with it more naturally.


The rule of thirds is a "rule of thumb" or guideline which applies to the process of composing visual images such as designs, films, paintings, and photographs. The guideline proposes that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections. Proponents of the technique claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject. 

To switch the grid on: 

A) iPhone: Go to "Settings," choose "Photos & Camera," and switch "Grid" on.
B) Samsung Galaxy: Launch the camera app, go to "Settings," scroll down and switch the "grid lines" option to "on."







Many of the best photos include just one, interesting subject. So when taking a picture of one, spend some extra time setting up the shot. Some professional photographers say that the subject shouldn't fill the entire frame, and that two-thirds of the photo should be negative space - that helps the subject stand out even more.

But be sure you tap the screen of your smartphone to focus the camera on your subject - that'll help to ensure that it's focused and the lighting is optimized.

Pro Tip: Once you've taken your photo, you can use filters and apps to make the subject even more vivid, or to crop it to frame the subject correctly. The brightness, contrast, and saturation of the photo can also be adjusted accordingly - all from your phone.




"Negative space" simply refers to the areas around and between the subjects of an image -and it can take a photo from "good" to "great."

When you include a lot of empty space in a photo, your subject will stand out more and evoke a stronger reaction from your viewer. And what does negative space looks like? It's often a large expanse of open sky, water, an empty field, or a large wall, as in the examples below.




Taking photos from a unique, unexpected angle can make them more memorable - it tends to create an illusion of depth or height with the subjects. It also makes the image stand out, since most mobile photos are taken either straight -on or from a bird's eye view.

Try taking a photo directly upward and playing with the sky as negative space, like in the first photo below. Or, you can try taking it at a slight downward angle.

Pro Tip: If you take a photo and find the perspective is a little askew or tilted, use the SKRWT photo editing app to make the lines look clean and square.




There's something so idyllic about seeing the sky reflected in a body of water. There's a reason why we love seeing that - our eyes are drawn to reflections. So look for opportunities to play with them in photos.

There are plenty of out-of-the-box places to find reflections - puddles, larger bodies of water, mirrors, sunglasses, drinking glasses, and metallic surfaces are just a few.




In some photos, there's a line that draws the viewer's eye toward a certain part of the frame. Those are called leading lines. They can be straight or circu-linear - think staircases, building facades, train tracks, roads, or even a path through the woods.

Leading lines are great for creating a sense of depth in an image, and can make your photo look purposefully designed - even if you just happened to come upon a really cool shape by accident.




Symmetry can be defined as "a vague sense of harmonious and beautiful proportion and balance." And pictures that contain symmetry can be incredibly pleasing to the eye - it's also one of the simplest and most compelling ways to compose a photo.

In photography, symmetry usually means creating an image that can be divided into two equal parts that are mirror images of each other. That's a bit different than reflections - symmetry can be found "in the wild," as per the staircase picture, or you can set up your photo accordingly, like photographer Eric Christian did in the first photo below.

And remember - use those gridlines from tip #1 to line everything up perfectly.




Repetitive patterns are very pleasing to the eye - they appear whenever strong graphic elements are repeated over and over again, like lines, geometric shapes, forms, and colors. These patterns can make a strong visual impact, and photographing something like a beautiful, tiled floor can be enough to create a striking image. Other times, it's more fun to keep an eye out for where they appear naturally or unintentionally, like with the congruent fire escapes on the left.




Enter the world of black and white. There are applications for this. One worth a look at is Touch Color, an app that automatically converts a picture to grayscale and lets you fill in the parts you want to colorize.

Color blocking can help to highlight the elements of a photo that you want to stand out, like a plant or something else with a bold hue. It achieves a similar goal as negative space, in that it can help a single subject stand out - but with color blocking, the photo's other elements remain intact for a cohesive image.




When you take a photo from a distance, it's tempting to zoom in on something specific you're trying to capture. But it's actually better not to zoom in - doing so can make the photo appear grainy, blurry, or pixelated.

Instead, try to get closer to your subject - unless it's a wild animal, in which case we would advise keeping your distance - or take the photo from a default distance, and crop it later on. That way, you won't compromise quality, and it's easier to play around or optimize a larger image.




You may have heard the phrase, "It's the little things." Sometimes, that also applies to photos. Close-up images that capture small, intricate, and delicate details can make for really compelling visual content. Keep an eye out for textures and patterns like peeling paint, a gravel road, or a tile tabletop.

Pro Tip: Use the "sharpen" tool in your favorite photo editing app to (conservatively) sharpen the details of your photo. You might also download the Camera+ app and use its Clarity filter, which is what The Wall Street Journal's Kevin Sintumuang calls the app's "secret sauce - it adds pro-camera crispness to almost any shot."




Let's face it: You'd be hard-pressed to find a great smartphone photo that was taken with a flash. Most of the time, they make a photo look overexposed, negatively altering colors and making human subjects look washed out. In fact, even the iPhone 7's flash is rumored to have some flaws.

So instead of using flash, take advantage of the sources of natural light you can find, even after dark. That gives you a chance to play with shadows, like in the second image below, or create a silhouette with other ambient sources of light, like traffic and surrounding buildings.

Once you've taken the photo, play with the "Exposure" tool in your favorite photo editing app to see if you can make the image slightly brighter, without making it too grainy.




Abstract photos are meant to capture the essence of an object, or a series of them, without revealing the entire landscape as a whole. In other words, they serve the purpose of creating unique, surprising images from ordinary subjects.

This look can be accomplished by cropping an abstract portion of an otherwise normal photo, or by taking close-up shots of objects that leave the viewer wondering - in admiration, of course - what the subject might be. And subjects with patterns or repetition are great candidates for abstract photography, like in the photo of sliced figs below.




Posed photos can be great for the sake of memories - happy moments with friends, family, or the occasional run-in with a celebrity. But sometimes, candid shots of people doing things, or people with people, can be far more interesting.


That's because candid photos are better able to effectively capture the emotion and essence of a moment. One of the best ways to capture this kind of shot is to just take as many photos as possible. You'll have more to choose from, and the best photos often happen when the "stars align," so to speak, in a single moment - everyone's eyes are open, one person is tilting their head just so, and you finally got a shot of your chronically closed-lip friend smiling with his teeth.




Composition is a huge part of what makes a photo great, but so is the photo's subject. Some of the most delightful and remarkable photos come out of cool, unique ideas. Images are more effective than text at evoking emotion from your viewers - that often means getting your photos to say something.

Try thinking outside of the box when it comes to what you're capturing - your viewers could be pleasantly surprised by a cool or unexpected subject.



Want to get really fancy? External lenses are for you. There are actually several out there that can be attached to the top of your smartphone's native camera lens - from fish-eye to wide-angle lenses, these add-ons can bring an entirely new quality and perspective to your photos.

According to Wirecutter, the best camera lenses for iPhone photography are made by Moment, a manufacturer of mobile lenses. Start there, or do some research to find the lens add-ons that fit your smartphone photography needs.



Composing and taking your smartphone photo is just the first step to making it visually compelling. Editing your photos is the next step - and a very critical one, at that. Filters can be a valuable photographic tool, particularly when it comes to two goals: 


1) Removing blemishes from a picture, and 


2) making food look even more delicious


For the first, InStyle magazine compiled a fun list of "The Best Instagram Filters for Every Beauty Complaint" - and now, the iPhone photos app offers many similar filters. There are also apps like, which can automatically retouch facial photos without a lot of work. And when it comes to those photos of your daily meals? One of the latest apps available is Foodie, which comes with its own set of filters optimized for different types of food.


But there are many other great photo and video editing apps out there for mobile devices - check out this post to see some of the best ones out there.




Steady your camera with a tripod. If you have a hard time keeping your camera steady enough to photograph your subjects, then you might find it helpful to get a tripod. A tripod will keep your camera steady while still allowing you to adjust it to different angles.

You might consider getting a low-cost tripod to start out with. You can also get mini-tripods that adjust so that you can place them on table tops and photograph from lower angles.



A selection of popular selfie sticks for mobile phones


MODERN WALKING CANES - From out of nowhere a business has blossomed and all because of the fierce competition for gadgets. The mobile phone is no longer a communication device, it is a status symbol - and a very useful one at that.





Selfie sticks are one of the best things since camera phones if you need to get a picture of yourself in a landscape, event or whatever and don't have a camera crew handy and this is one accessory that does not cost the earth. But they aren’t all created equally even though many of them are produced in the same factory in China.

The quality difference is quite remarkable. Some poles are low-grade, feel cheap and don’t work very well. Others are sturdy and feature-rich, while price is not a guide to quality. Some poles are better suited to more active selfie-takers, others are best suited to being carried around for tourist-level shots. Whatever stick you end up with it will increase your abilities no end.


More tips are in the pipeline ...........




Ichemuemen wasp in flight

A spider deals with water droplets

An ordinary house fly

A wasps head

The anopheles mosquito sucking human blood



Despite their reputation as pests, the trillions of insects, bugs, and spiders that inhabit the Earth can make some of the most fascinating and dramatic close-up photography subjects. Insects and their tiny environments offer the macro photographer an unlimited amount of color, texture, and physical architecture to explore. They are as unique as we are, and they are obviously much more plentiful. As an added bonus, you won’t even have to get a “model release” after you’ve photographed them! During most months of the year, bugs can be found just about everywhere, and most make very willing subjects if you just learn how to find, approach, and compose them.








Works of "art" benefit from copyright protection the moment they are created and fixed in a tangible form that is perceptible either directly or indirectly with the aid of a machine or device. In order to qualify as being tangible a work has to be precise and unaltered. Altered art is no longer tangible depending on the alteration, but if additional art is included or a picture is cropped or of a different quality and general makeup; for example if the coloration is changed markedly - or if there is a combination of these changes, then a fresh copyright is generated in favor of the "artist" creating the newer art.





As well as owning copyright works yourself, you may wish to make use of someone else’s copyright protected works and the law allows for this in certain situations where you may be permitted to do so without seeking permission from the owner.



Non-commercial research and private study

You are allowed to copy limited extracts of works when the use is non-commercial research or private study, but you must be genuinely studying (like you would if you were taking a college course). Such use is only permitted when it is ‘fair dealing’ and copying the whole work would not generally be considered fair dealing.

The purpose of this exception is to allow students and researchers to make limited copies of all types of copyright works for non-commercial research or private study. In assessing whether your use of the work is permitted or not you must assess if there is any financial impact on the copyright owner because of your use. Where the impact is not significant, the use may be acceptable.

If your use is for non-commercial research you must ensure that the work you reproduce is supported by a sufficient acknowledgement.



Text and data mining for non-commercial research

Text and data mining is the use of automated analytical techniques to analyse text and data for patterns, trends and other useful information. Text and data mining usually requires copying of the work to be analysed.

An exception to copyright exists which allows researchers to make copies of any copyright material for the purpose of computational analysis if they already have the right to read the work (that is, they have ‘lawful access’ to the work). This exception only permits the making of copies for the purpose of text and data mining for non-commercial research. Researchers will still have to buy subscriptions to access material; this could be from many sources including academic publishers.

Publishers and content providers will be able to apply reasonable measures to maintain their network security or stability but these measures should not prevent or unreasonably restrict researcher’s ability to text and data mine. Contract terms that stop researchers making copies to carry out text and data mining will be unenforceable.



Criticism, review and reporting current events

Fair dealing for criticism, review or quotation is allowed for any type of copyright work. Fair dealing with a work for the purpose of reporting current events is allowed for any type of copyright work including photographs provided that sufficient acknowledgement, such as a mention of the author of link to his or her site, is given.

Be aware that a photograph cannot be reproduced for the purpose of reporting current events, if it is the intention of a newspaper or magazine to use a competitor's art for reporting current events in direct competition with a competitor’s publication. We stress here that this is for current events, and so does not prevent media review or criticism of historic or archive material.



Checking out the Arduino computer boards  Learning how to solder using crocodile clips


WOW, TEENSY COMPUTERS - Photography is also useful to record the important stages of project development, or the career advancement of students as their skills grow and they tackle bigger and more complicated projects. In these pictures Ryan has learnt why electronic parts are packaged in special conductive plastic to avoid damage from static electricity. He also learned that you can melt metal with a soldering iron - and that it gets pretty hot.




Several exceptions allow copyright works to be used for educational purposes, such as:

1. The copying of works in any medium as long as the use is solely to illustrate a point.

2. It is not done for commercial purposes.

3. It is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement, and

4. The use is fair dealing.


This means minor uses, such as displaying a few lines of poetry on an interactive whiteboard, are permitted, but uses which would undermine sales of teaching materials are not performing, playing or showing copyright works in a school, university or other educational establishment for educational purposes. However, it only applies if the audience is limited to teachers, pupils and others directly connected with the activities of the establishment. It will not generally apply if parents are in the audience.


Examples of this are showing a video for English or drama lessons and the teaching of music. It is unlikely to include the playing of a video during a wet playtime purely to amuse the children Recording a TV programme or radio broadcast for non-commercial educational purposes in an educational establishment, provided there is no licensing scheme in place. Generally a licence will be required from the Educational Recording Agency) making copies by using a photocopier, or similar device on behalf of an educational establishment for the purpose of non-commercial instruction, provided that there is no licensing scheme in place. Generally a licence will be required from the Copyright Licensing Agency.



Helping disabled people

There are 2 exceptions to copyright for the benefit of disabled people. These exceptions cover you if you have a physical or mental impairment which prevents you from accessing copyright protected materials.

One exception allows you, or someone acting on your behalf, to make a copy of a lawfully obtained copyright work if you make it in a format that helps you access the material. For example, if you buy a book from a shop then make a Braille copy to help with a visual impairment then you are not infringing the copyright in the book.

You are entitled to make an accessible copy, or have someone else make one for you, if:

you lawfully own, or have the right to use a copy of the work (for example, you own it or have borrowed it from a library), but the work is inaccessible because of a physical or mental impairment a copy that would be accessible to you is not commercially available

The second exception permits educational establishments and charity organisations to make accessible format-copies of protected works on behalf of disabled people. The exception permits acts such as:

making braille, audio or large-print copies of books, newspapers or magazines for visually-impaired people
adding audio-description to films or broadcasts for visually-impaired people making sub-titled films or broadcasts for deaf or hard of hearing people making accessible copies of books, newspapers or magazines for dyslexic people

However, this exception does not apply when suitable accessible copies are commercially available.

Please note that no-one can make a profit out of helping you make an accessible copy, but they are able to charge a fee covering any they costs incur in making and supplying such a copy.




A recording of a broadcast can be made in domestic premises for private and domestic use to enable it to be viewed or listened to at a more convenient time.

The making of a recording of a broadcast for purposes other than to time-shift a programme for you or your family is likely to be illegal.



Alexander Wild, macro photographer 


ALEXANDER LEWIS WILD - Alex Wild is one of our featured professional photographers. He is also the Curator of Entomology at the University of Texas/Austin. Alex holds a Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of California/Davis and has photographed insects as an aesthetic complement to his scientific work for over a decade. His research concerns ant taxonomy and evolution, and his photographs appear in numerous natural history museums, magazines, books, television programs, and other media. Despite him being on the other side of the Atlantic, there is thus a common bond from the shared interest. We feature only a small number of low resolution examples of Mr Wild's work by way of a review of the art. If you are interested in insects or macro photography, we would recommend a visit to his websites where you will see just how amazing pictures can be if you work at it. There are many links to his sites from our pages and reference text below.



Parody, caricature and pastiche

There is an exception to copyright that permits people to use limited amounts of copyright material without the owner’s permission for the purpose of parody, caricature or pastiche.

For example a comedian may use a few lines from a film or song for a parody sketch; a cartoonist may reference a well known artwork or illustration for a caricature; an artist may use small fragments from a range of films to compose a larger pastiche artwork.

It is important to understand, however, that this exception only permits use for the purposes of caricature, parody, or pastiche to the extent that it is fair dealing.



Certain permitted uses of orphan works

Orphan works are creative works or performances - like a diary, photograph, film or piece of music - for which one or more of the right holders is either unknown or cannot be found.

An exception to copyright allows cultural and heritage organisations (publicly accessible libraries, educational establishments museums and archives, film and audio heritage institutions and public service broadcasting organisations) that hold certain orphans within their collection, to digitise and place them on their website for non commercial use. This does not include the use of standalone artistic works such as an exceptional photograph.



Sufficient acknowledgement

In relation to certain exceptions, if you are making use of that exception to copy someone else’s work it is necessary for you to sufficiently acknowledge their work. For example, where you have copied all or a substantial part of a work for the purposes of criticism or review, or where the use was for the purposes of news reporting.

However such acknowledgement is not required where it is impossible for reasons of practicality.



The world's largest anatomically accurate animatronic ant


HEAD, BODY & TAIL - December 12 2015 - The artwork for the master moulds for the three main body parts of the world's largest animatronic ant are shown here together some time ago.  The project only progresses in lull periods, usually at Christmas time. Last Christmas no work at all was completed, fingers crossed for Christmas 2018. Please note that this photograph is copyright © Jameson Hunter Ltd 2015. You will need permission from Jameson Hunter to be able to reproduce it except for media review and educational use or private research & study, for which no permission is required. If you would care to cite your source that would be appreciated. Without photography and projector enlargement techniques, this giant hexapod would not have been so anatomically accurate.



Fair dealing

Certain exceptions only apply if the use of the work is a ‘fair dealing’. For example, the exceptions relating to research and private study, criticism or review, or news reporting.

‘Fair dealing’ is a legal term used to establish whether a use of copyright material is lawful or whether it infringes copyright. There is no statutory definition of fair dealing - it will always be a matter of fact, degree and impression in each case. The question to be asked is: how would a fair-minded and honest person have dealt with the work?

Factors that have been identified by the courts as relevant in determining whether a particular dealing with a work is fair include:

1. Does using the work affect the market for the original work? If a use of a work acts as a substitute for it, causing the owner to lose revenue, then it is not likely to be fair.

2. Is the amount of the work taken reasonable and appropriate?


3. Was it necessary to use the amount that was taken? 


Usually only part of a work may be used, but this would not apply if examining methodology and result in  comparison review, such as may be an educational reference or criticism, or praise for said methodology. 

The relative importance of any one factor will vary according to the case in hand and the type of dealing in question.





Any form of media may be used in litigation and the result of that litigation reported in any media format, including online publications, where court documents are in the public domain and caselaw is one way of helping people to understand what is and is not considered to be lawful, and such activity may also fall into the educational category as well as reporting current events.















This webpage is Copyright © 2020 Jameson Hunter Limited.  The name DinoBot™ in relation to educational robotic kits is a trademark, though these articles on insects and hard and software is not-for-profit and may be freely quoted with or without a back-link but that a credit would be appreciated. All other trademarks are hereby acknowledged. The design of the Robot Ant on this series of pages is design copyright © December 23 2016, all rights reserved - Jameson Hunter Ltd. IMPORTANT NOTE:  Jameson Hunter Ltd (JH)  is not associated with Bluebird Marine Systems Ltd, except only that BMS carried out an engineering study for JH in 2015 in connection with hexapods.


For the avoidance of doubt, Alexander Wild (including his group and/or sister companies) is/are in no way connected with Jameson Hunter Ltd or (unless specifically mentioned) any other company or concern using his photographs, but is simply included here by way of review of media articles or internet postings (to include images and image searches) and/or ownership of those marks and trade names, of photographers working in the field of insect photography. See the provisions of the Trademarks Act 1994 and the Copyright Designs and Patent Act 1988. In addition, Articles 9 and 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998 provide that any person or corporation has the right of freedom of thought and to receive and impart information. Please also note that if any of the above information is incorrect for any reason, such as alterations in any official register, that we will publish corrections on receipt of details, which should be independently verifiable. Information is thought to be correct at time of publication. We do not accept liability for quoted/reviewed third party errors in publication - where those third parties should be contacted directly to seek corrections, etc.


This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this page is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.