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Brave Thightrope walkers on a wire

Interview / Tutorial by Editor Michel Romaggi in collaboration with the author Ridho Arifuddin 
Published the 28th of July 2021

Ridho Arifuddin's portfolio is full of superb macro shots of animals with beautiful light and pretty colours. These four brave ants, carrying heavier loads than them, like tightrope walkers on a wire, made me want to know more about how Ridho works. He kindly agreed to talk to us about it.




Congratulations on this picture and all the wonderful ones in your portfolio.
First could you tell us who you are and where did this taste for macrophotography come from?
Hello, my name is Ridho Arifuddin. I come from Indonesia, born and raised in a remote village in Kalimantan, located in Balangan district, South Kalimantan province.

I have been doing macro photography since 2013, when I accidentally joined friends involved in the Indonesian macro world mania community.  Since then I have never stopped pursuing the macro photography genre.




Where and when do you take your pictures? …
I usually look for subjects around my house. Fortunately, my home environment is mostly forest, so in this forest  I can capture a lot of various kinds of insects.  I'm taking most of my pictures in the morning, because then, the light is better and the insects are still a bit tame.




Can you tell us in which circumstances you did take this one and some more about the way of life of ants?
For the photo 'strong' published and awarded on 1x, I actually prepared and arranged the set-up.

While in the original photo ONE ant was hanging down, I flipped it vertically to have it upside down so that the ant seems to lift the fruit.
When you bring something near the mouth of an ant, it will bite very hard and it is rarely necessary to take a picture again.  I approached the fruit of the ant’s mouth and she bit.

Then I took her and moved her to a branch I prepared before. 

I repeated this several times so that it looks like there were several ants in the final result.


Which gear do you use? Camera, settings, tripod ...?What about the light? Natural or flash?Which post-processing?
To take this photo, I used a Canon 550D camera and a Sigma 180 mm f 3.5 macro lens, without using a tripod . I used my knees to hold my hands so they didn't move because my position when I was shooting was sitting squatting. For lighting, I mostly use natural light, usually in the morning between 07:00 to 09:00 because at that time the light is still not too harsh.

Before publishing an image,  I always edit it in Photoshop, resetting the brightness, contrast and levels according to my taste.







Thank you very much for this interesting info about your work, Ridho!

Excelente selección de imágenes. Enhorabuena a los autores y muy agradecido a los organizadores de esta selección, que nos sirve a todos como inspiración