Last week we attended a lecture at Kauffman Center presented by National Geographic Live. The topic was “Beauty and the Bizarre” and it was all about the hidden, strange, but also beautiful parts of nature. The photographer, Anand Varma, showed us a variety of his pictures, ranging from bizarre parasites that live inside other insects to the beauty of a bat’s wings in flight. He told us about the different techniques that he has used to get just the right photograph, like training bats to eat meat off of a stick, or storing buckets of parasites in his hotel room that doubled as his photography studio.
Varma showcased his photographs on a variety of subjects – hummingbirds as they fed on sugar water; honeybees and the mites that are weakening their colonies; huge bats in Mexico; frogs that mutated when infected by a parasite; ants taken over by a fungal stalk; crickets infected with horse hair worms; caterpillars infected with wasp larvae; ladybugs that are forced to protect the larvae of a parasitic wasp. Each of the photographs was done with an eye on what makes that situation unique. While not everything was beautiful, it was certainly interesting! The kids especially enjoyed the dub step video he made of the different ani.
To see these creatures and other examples of Varma’s photography, you can view his instagram feed.
Many thanks to the Kauffman Center and the program sponsors for providing another great learning opportunity!