Do Robot Fireflies Dream of Electric Lights?

Rick Lieder's astounding backyard photography has inducted us into the worlds of bees, birds, and bugs, but his firefly photos (captured in his book Among a Thousand Fireflies, with a poem by Helen Frost) were astounding, even by his own high standards. In this piece, Lieder explains how he captured the intimate lives of the fireflies in his backyard to create a remarkable book.

Step Gently Out: kid's poem illustrated with gorgeous macro-photo portraits of backyard bugs

Step Gently Out is children's picture book in which poet Helen Frost's verse accompanies the incredible garden insect photographs of artist/photographer Rick Lieder. I've written here many times about Rick's Bugdreams photos, and they never fail to impress and move me. Lieder's photographic portraits of bugs are all the sweeter for his method, which is to patiently crouch in his Michigan back-yard for hours and hours, waiting for the shot; it's a wonderful alternative to the traditional dead-bug-on-a-pin photos I grew up with.

Frost's poem is a sweet accompaniment to Lieder's pictures, a very light narration for photos that really speak for themselves. We got this book this week, and it's a real favorite with me and my four-year-old, and has sparked many conversations and bug-watching expeditions on the way home from day-care. To this end, there's a nice entomological appendix with interesting facts about all the bugs featured in the book.

Stunning close-up photography and a lyrical text invite us to look more closely at the world and prepare to be amazed.

What would happen if you walked very, very quietly and looked ever so carefully at the natural world outside? You might see a cricket leap, a moth spread her wings, or a spider step across a silken web.

In simple, evocative language, Helen Frost offers a hint at the many tiny creatures around us.

And in astonishing photographs, Rick Lieder captures the glint of a katydid’s eye, the glow of a firefly, and many more living wonders just awaiting discovery.

Read the rest

Prints of Rick Lieder's WITH A LITTLE HELP cover

Rick Lieder, one of the four talented artists who produced covers for my new DIY short story collection With a Little Help, is selling prints of his cover-art, which illustrates the story "The Right Book," (which Neil Gaiman narrates on the audiobook edition).

With a Little Help by Cory Doctorow  With a Little Help launch! - Boing Boing My DIY publishing experiment, WITH A LITTLE HELP - Boing Boing Read the rest

Detroit Zoo exhibits Rick Lieder's extraordinary bug pix

Rick Lieder's extraordinary photos of insects are now on display at the Detroit Zoo. Lieder's work is fantastic -- he patiently waits in his suburban back yard with his camera until the insects he finds there assume pleasing poses and then shoots them. This approach -- in situ, natural -- is what makes these shots so amazing. Link (Thanks, Rick!) Read the rest

Macrofocus bug photos for sale

Last spring, I blogged about Rick Lieder's incredible macro-focus insect photos. Instead of shooting bugs in a studio under lights, Rick crouches motionless in his garden for hours at a stretch and waits for his moment. The results are naturalistic and outstanding -- breathtaking, even.

A lot of people asked Rick if he had art lithos of his photos available for sale. He took the hint and has started to offer large, limited-edition prints of his bugs for sale via PayPal. (NB: Rick is also a talented and prolific science fiction and fantasy illustrator whose paintings and drawings grace many of the finer books at your local bookseller) Link Read the rest

Insect photos in naturalistic macro-focus

My pal Rick Lieder is one of the best science fiction and fantasy artists in the field today (he's also the husband of fantastic splatterpunk turned young-adult author Kathe Koja), but he got his start as a photographer. He's returned to his roots, and has taken his camera to his Michigan backyard to shoot intense, macro-focused pictures of insects walking on leaves and twigs, using natural light, without a tripod. These shots were compiled over two and a half years by Rick, who crouches patiently and silently in his garden, waiting for the insects to strike the perfect pose before he hits the shutter. I spent half an hour today looking at printouts of these and giving out involuntary exclamations of surprise and delight. Link

Update: Here's an alternate link -- Rick exceeded his bandwidth limits. Read the rest