Costa Rica’s Insects In The Limelight

Green Orchid Bee, Euglossa dilemma. Pablo Piedra

Some of our favorite topics–Costa Rica & insects & photography–are covered in this interview:

A Longtime Military Photographer Has A New Passion Project: Bugs

Digger Wasp, Sphecidae
Pablo Piedra

Field Cricket, Gryllus assimilis
Pablo Piedra

Pablo Piedra is a military photographer turned insect fanatic. After retiring in 2019 from 22 years with the military, he moved to Costa Rica with his family. Here he started doing macro photography of the country’s native bugs as a way of staying creative during COVID-19. His wife Daniela helps him look for insects and his son Jaden loves the final results.

How did you transition from being a military photographer to an insect photographer?

After my retirement in 2018, I began working as the Multimedia Director for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) in Arlington, VA. In 2019, my family moved to Costa Rica and I became a freelance multimedia content creator. In 2020, the pandemic closures ended most of my work. Aside from losing income, I also had a creative vacuum in my life. I started to go a little stir crazy, and needed a creative outlet.

What made you decide to do macro photography?

After seeing the wonderful images of Costa Rican photographer Marco Retana, as well as many other works by photographers in Facebook Macro groups, I knew this was something I wanted to do. It was something that I could do in my home studio without the need to leave the house. Living in the middle of the rainforest in one of the most biodiverse countries in the world gave me a great advantage as well. I started modifying a lot of the equipment I had in my studio, making homemade diffusers and reflectors and scaling down my work area to adapt and work with tiny subjects…

Read the whole interview here.

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