Bence Máté, Hungary
Máté chose to work at night in the Costa Rican rainforest, which is when the leaf-cutter ants are most busy. To get an ant’s-eye view, he lay belly-down, with two flashes lighting the branch used by the workers and two flashes behind to backlight the ants. Here, one of the smaller ants, referred to as a minim, is hitching a lift. But it has a job to do, too. Parasitic flies patrol the workers’ lines, trying to lay their eggs on the ants, and it is the minim’s job to protect her larger sister against the danger. She also removes any micro-organisms from the leaf so it is clean before it is taken into the nest.
Technical specification: Nikon D300 + 28-105mm lens; 1/250 sec at f16; ISO 200; four linked SB-800 flashes; Gitzo tripod