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Antrey - Photos of Ants by Andrei Pavlov!

Updated on June 5, 2014

Photographer of the St. Petersburg Andrei Pavlov, under the name Antrey makes wonderful macro photography of ants living near his summer residence [dacha]. Andrey Pavlov was born in Moscow, Leningrad, graduated from the Faculty of the Arctic, has often been on expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. Currently lives in St. Petersburg.

Andrei got engaged in digital photography of ants seven years ago when he started to have problems with his spine and could not move a lot.

As a result of this spine problem he started to make pictures of small ants living not far from his house. Andrei prefers to shoot red ants in an ant hill, 50 meters from the house. All ants are REAL! There is no computer animation involved. So we can say, all ants are real trained actors.

To the main question how do you train those insects, Andrei says, "Grabbing the attention of an ant is easy enough, you just have to show him

a fake prey or an enemy. And If you managed to persuade one to perform the trick, others will do the same. It's easy. Definitely not all ant-artists are good. Sometimes you have to expel fools and idlers from the set. But the main thing is not to train an ant, it is to learn myself ;)).

To get in touch with with those little creatures (in order to be close and personal) it took me two to three years. "


Hey, Hold On This is My Turn to Drink Pepsi! - By Antrey

Kindle Fire HD - 7" HD Display, Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Dual-Antenna Wi-Fi, 16GB or 32GB

Antrey Says "Good Morning" to His Ants-Actors Crew

Interview With Antrey (Andrei Pavlov)

by Vasil Hlebokazov [ ]

Honestly. When I first saw the macro-photography of the series "History of Ant", "Ant House " with the scenes where insects pose and clearly perform "reasonable"steps I had different ideas about how does the author was able to realize such tricks, including Photoshop, or computer animation, or three-dimensional visualization. The reality was much more incredible: "It's all real, albeit staged photography with live models!"

I contacted the author of the photographs and we have agreed to an interview. When the conversation took place in response to the dry preform photography questions I have received a wonderful and heartfelt story of a man with an interesting and challenging fate. The hero of the publication asked to call him simply - Andrei (on the Internet - Antrey). Born in Moscow, Antrey graduated from the Faculty of Arctic (Makarovka), and traveled with many expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctica, with occasional returns to his wife and daughter in his native St. Petersburg, Russia.

And then all my words are commonplace, and you will find exciting, filled to the brim with love of life and optimism history of the relationship between man and nature with the real fairy tales in photographs.

- Can you say to yourself that "born with a camera?

- I was making photos occasionally during all my life, but started to take seriously for the past seven years.

- Is there a hobby, not related to photography?

- I love good music in any genre.

- What inspires you to create such a wonderful images of ants?

- Probably in my childhood I have not read so many fairy tales. That's why now I am trying to create them :)).

- In addition to the macro is there any other favorite genres?

- My work is rarely just a macro (in the classical 1:1), I shoot stories (and fairy tales) about little people, and there is space, and portrait and landscape and teamwork coming all together.

- Looking at your pictures, I am surprised by your patience and perseverance. And do you really possess such qualities?

- The sign of Taurus oblige ;).

- What other skills help you in your work?

- Many things artistic and do-it-yourself - from painting to stamping. And I had decorations experience in the student theater - a good experience to create a layout stage.

- The interest in macro photography, and ants in particular, is somehow related to your profession or it just happened by accident?

- I began to comprehended digital photography more clearly in a state of a vegetable - seven years ago, when I had problems with my spine

so I could not move a lot. And everything what I had at that time was within the reach of a square meter of grass in the suburban area, with all its inhabitants. And then, like many, I fell under the charm of these wonderful earthlings. Ant community that cares for the weak - children, pensioners and the disabled - should get respect. This biological civilization of 150 million years of existence, has mastered a lot of environmentally friendly methods of life support and has developed a strategy for survival. And they will live forever, if a technological civilization of humans finally would not kill the planet.

- What equipment, optics, accessories, in addition to the camera, helping you to solve creative problems, and especially in the macro?

- 1. A Scene-transformer with adjustable height, tilt, and fasteners for the props, able to perform lots of functions;

2. Raynox-250 macro-lens of all time; 3. Flash - more like intelligent power METZ mecablitz 28 cs 2, but mostly I use Yongnuo 460 ll, at Metz Sync there is only light, but on a sunny day it is not good (clarify - I have always use a pulsed light. In this case the vibration of the antennae of ants does not look blur.)

- Scenes are shot on one location, in studio or combined? How the workplace is arranged?

- I prefer to shoot my favorite pets - red forest ants (Formica Rufa) at 50 meters from my house. I am working in some places where the trail is clearly structured, the movement of ants carried out strictly along the path, where you can settle down comfortably on the sidelines is not suppressing the little people and left without bites. For the free rotation of the cast the scene is set right on the trail, flash, backgrounds and reflectors on wire pegs stuck into the ground. When I can not walk because of my spine problems and I can not shoot directly at the site, I make shots just outside my house. Where I have the benefit of different population - 5 species of ants :))).

When the door is open - sometimes they come into my house (if they are not rude they can get a picture). I shoot my plots in the technique of multiple exposure: a series with a fixed camera, stage and light, and then pile - in the editor, and rub with the eraser the most talented artists. With the experience of pile is getting smaller, sometimes missing one or two frames (selected from hundreds). I do not do a collage out of laziness (except for desperate cases, such as the moon to the stars).

- It is noticeable that every picture is made with a large entourage of love - the scenery: moss, fungi, different things, etc., and it's all done very carefully. How much time do you spend on the preparation of such scenes and where to dig props?

- With the entourage and the props are no problems - in May I am taken to the cottage until October, and I live in this all :)). Most of the time spent on thinking through staging - ants-actors must be willing (and be able to) perform the necessary movements in the proposed decorations. In addition, the action should take place in one dimension. Because of this complexity half of my work is no good.

- How do you invent stories, which are then embodied in the works?

- Usually I am not making this up, just trying to depict the behavior of ants in humanoid form, well, trying to get some fun.

- How do you manage to "train" these small models like ants, "persuading" them to perform the necessary tricks?

- There are two authoritative views:

1. "Their ability to obey ... - The dream of every dictator! "(B. Werber" Ants ")

2. "It is proved that ants learn faster than birds, while they afford the invariant problem '(A. A. Zakharov, "The ant, the family, the colony").

Grabbing the attention of an ant is easy enough, you just have to show him a fake prey or an enemy. And If you managed to persuade one to perform the trick, others will do the same. It's easy. Definitely not all ant-artists are good. Sometimes you have to expel fools and idlers from the set. But the main thing is not to train an ant, it is to learn myself ;)).

To get in touch with with those little creatures (in order to be close and personal) it took me two to three years.

- Is there a book or online resource that helps professional?

- Makroklub [ ] - community of enthusiastic, technically very competent people, where I am a diligent student from 2006. And where I am flattered that my teachers consider my work as a computer animation ;)). And also "ant literature":

Khalifman, Zakharov, Werber. Favorite - a novel by Werber "Ants."

- Is there a favorite photographer?

- Salvador Dali.

- Do you have a "creative crisis" sometimes, and if so, how do you cope with it?

- When I can not translate the story and start raving about my helplessness. I just get by - and dare throw another shot.

- Do you have plans and projects for the future?

- The plans for the summer - I have a dream - to combine ant stories into a coherent whole story - but still do not know how to work it out, and have some kind of lack of global thinking. I will be very thankful to those who could help me out.

Books by Werber B. About Ants

Don't Eat The Mushroom You'll Turn into a Man! - By Antrey

Going to Houston? - by Antrey

Don't Worry Anty My Flight to New York is On Time! - by Antrey

Kiss Me Baby One More Time! - by Antrey

Collegues, Lift it Up and Hold it Straight! - by Antrey

Are We Ambushed Again? - by Antrey

Finally Payday! But Not in Russian Rubles, Please! - by Antrey

Remember: Drink & Drive - Go to Jail! - by Antrey

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    • jupiter justice profile image

      Asher Socrates 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Very unique lens, I learned how to have a positive photo shoot with theses red hot biters. Great job!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      I am quite thrilled to see all these industrious ants in photos ... er, rather than in my yard. For some reason, I have got a plethora of ants.

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      jtbmetaldesigns 5 years ago

      What can I say? So odd, yet entertaining.