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Thomas Shahan, Macrophotographer, Takes Amazing Pictures Of Arthropods (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 02/06/2012 5:43 pm Updated: 10/09/2012 3:40 pm

Thomas Shahan will probably change the way you look at arthropods.

The Oklahoma-based shutterbug practices macrophotography, taking close-up pictures of his subjects which, in this case, happen to be spiders and insects.

And when we say close-up, we mean close-up: Some of the critters he photographs are just 5 mm (1/5 of an inch) long, but you wouldn't believe it looking at the photos.

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As you'll see, these pictures reveal the incredible detail in the face -- especially the eyes -- of the spiders and insects.

Images like these may seem incredibly difficult to take, but Shahan, who says he tries to capture the arthropods "in their natural environment," says it's actually not that hard.

"Anyone is capable of doing this," Shahan says in a YouTube video explaining his craft. "You don't need the greatest lens, you don't need the newest camera out there. Equipment doesn't matter, and neither does talent to some extent. It's about perseverance, persistance, and, most of all, the sheer volume of shots taken."

"I take hundreds upon hundreds of photos," Shahan told Al Roker on "TODAY" in 2009. "It takes hours to do this."

On his website, Shahan explains the equipment he uses:

I'm currently using a Pentax K200D with either a vintage 28mm or 50mm prime reversed to the end of extension tubes. In the rare chance that I have a highly cooperative subject, I may bust out my macro bellows for some really high magnification shots.

Check out the photos below, and be sure to click over to the photographer's website and Flickr page for more information and images.


CORRECTION: An earlier version of the headline of this story stated that Shahan took pictures of insects. While he does take pictures of insects, he also takes pictures of spiders, which are not insects. It has been edited for clarity.

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Filed by Timothy Stenovec  |