Skip to main content
How I got the shotShowcase

2023 Showcase Winner: Alexandre Andes Gascon

By April 25, 2023No Comments
Adult stink bug exhibiting parental care over its eggs. , Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil, 2023 Showcase Judges' Choice, Macro/Micro/All Other © Alexandre Andes Gascon

Adult stink bug exhibiting parental care over its eggs. Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil, 2023 Showcase Judges’ Choice, Macro/Micro/All Other © Alexandre Andes Gascon

Judges’ Choice: Macro/Micro/All Other

Why is this photo special?

The focus of my photography is to document diversity and behavior in a way that makes the subject more charismatic and relatable to an audience. Invertebrates, especially insects, are often overlooked and can even be viewed with a certain amount of disdain by the general public. I want to change that narrative and showcase that insects are of extreme ecological importance and are something to be admired. When I saw the subject in the photograph I instantly knew that it could fulfill all of my photography goals with a single scene.

If you look closely you can find insects just about anywhere. This situation was no different. I wasn’t deep in the rainforest but rather at my uncle’s farm property just outside the center of Manaus. With that being said, a certain amount of knowledge on insect ecology was required to not disturb the insect and its eggs. Additionally, I knew a single shot wouldn’t suffice to capture the detail I wanted and thus the technical skills of stacking multiple images into one final composite was also necessary.

The technical stuff

I took this shot with a Canon 80D, Laowa 100mm 2x macro lens, Raynox DCR-250 filter, Neewer TT560 flash, and a DIY diffuser. My settings were as follows : ISO 250, f/13, 1/200 second. The final stacked image consists of nine images.

About me

I am currently a hobbyist photographer based in Miami, although I have moved several times in the past few years. I have been shooting nature photography for approximately five years and my favorite subjects are insects and arachnids. If I had to narrow it down further, I would say weevils, jumping spiders, and wasps. My favorite locations to shoot are in the neotropics although I will shoot insects anywhere I can find them. As I write this I am currently in the Ecuadorian Amazon at Tiputini Biodiversity Station searching for new insect subjects.

My first experience with nature photography came when I was acting as a research assistant on an anthropology project within the Kayapo indigenous territory of Brazil. I was fortunate enough to borrow gear from a colleague and I was instantly hooked. Shortly after, my girlfriend bought me my first macro lens as a gift and I’ve been photographing ever since. In all honesty, she deserves most of the credit. My interest is fueled by biodiversity and wanting to photograph as many species as I possibly can.

I have been a NANPA member since August, 2022. This is the first time I have been recognized in the Showcase competition.

Memorable moments

To be completely honest, it is very difficult to pinpoint any one moment in my photographic journey. Every time I look through the viewfinder at a subject I get the same feeling of excitement and joy as I did when I first picked up a camera. The day I stop getting that feeling will likely be the day I stop picking up a camera.

Instagram: @alexandes.jpg

See all of the Top 26 winning images from NANPA’s 2023 Showcase nature photography competition.

Top 26

See all of the Top 250 images from the 2023 Showcase competition in the 2023 edition of  NANPA’s Expressions journal.