These things have become the bane of my existence. They’re pretty bad near my house this year. Anyone have a good idea on how to get rid of them?

This image used a technique called focus stacking. I took the photo with a macro lens, and got really close to the mosquito (it was on the other side of the window – you can see the frame on the left side of the photo). I opened the aperture all the way, and it’s a 105mm lens. The distance to the subject, the length of the lens, and the aperture all combined to provide a very short depth of focus. If the end of the mosquito’s legs were in focus, the first joint was far enough away to be blurry!

To create a crisp image, I took 17 photos in all. In the first, I focused on the ends of its legs. I changed the focus a tiny amount after each photo so that by the final image, the furthest tip of its wings were in focus. Using the computer, I combined the sharpest part of each photo to create a single, well focused image.


  1. Did you use a tripod for the shots?And did you use the automatic kind of focus-stacking software, or did you composite the creature by eye?

    I understand that mosquitoes need standing water to breed – everything from small ponds to upturned yoghurt pots to clogged gutters to water butts – but I guess you are well past that stage now :(I guess you have screens on the house, so it is only the outdoors that is a problem?I understand also that mosquitoes are attracted by smell – I remember dousing myself with rose oil in Delhi to avoid mosquitoes at night – only to read later that they love perfumes…

    • Yes, well past looking for standing water. :)

      This is actually hand-held. I leaned against the window frame to stabilize the images. To stack the images, I used Photoshop – one of the few things I actually know how to do with that software.

  2. Second comment – A heads up –

    James, The first time I tried to post the comment above, I got a notification that I must have disabled javascript (I haven’t) – and it invited me to go back and try again.

    I hit the button and it brought me back here and my comment was still there (thankfully not wiped) and I clicked again and it worked.

    But I see that the paragraph formatting has gone and my comment is one big para

  3. # 1 fan says:

    lol… just sent email referencing article in June/July 2012 Mother Earth News – which I’ll repeat here in case others need help repelling mosquitos. For trap building info, go to

    Useful plants that may repell mosquitos are: lantana, rose-scented monarda (aka bee balm), lime basil, catnip, sacred basil and thyme. Article says you can grow them near by, actually use the leaves to rub on skin, clothes as repellent, or put on patio and as people walk over them, they are crushed and scent the air.

    Home ponds and other near by water can be stocked with ‘mosquito fish’, koi, sarasa comets, or shubunkins depending on local regulations and what other water ways might be effected.

    maybe some of these ideas will be useful! good luck.

  4. Interesting technique! Love the results though, I wish you the best of luck with eradicating the little pests.

  5. I hate mosquitoes but amazing! Pic, I’ve never seen like this before, You really did a great job with your photography skills, you have clicked it so well I can see the minute details of the insect, thank you very much for sharing this splendid photo.

  6. David M. Quintero says:

    Truly mosquitoes are one of the insects that everyone wants to get rid of it. But when it comes to this kind of shot using that kind of lens I really appreciate the very detail of the mosquito .

  7. Hello,
    This photos can be named: “Mosquito in Action”
    Best time chosen to take the picture and thank you photoshop for the rest :)

  8. Did you still use flash for this?

  9. I should try this at my house. Thanks for the article link.

  10. Anitte Chanes says:

    It is very important to kill these mosquitoes since these can harm the members of the family. Indeed, I used mosquito killers from the department store to kill these mosquitoes.

  11. Darin Spears says:

    Ha ha, loved the pic.. It is really great to see something that you hate so much so clearly. Well, honest there is no method we can remove them from the face of the Earth! They are a result of our own mistakes and we will have to get used to live with them!

  12. Irene Ortiz says:

    Very captivating photo. You really capture the right position of the subject. Well, talking about mosquitoes, these insects really give harm to every individuals. We must kill these mosquitoes inside our home.

  13. It just goes to show how much art means to you, my friend. Even if I had all of the photographic talent in the world, I’d still be sitting around trying to figure out how to kill these little suckers!

    Although I love the close up I do feel your pain. They’re horrible near my place too – so much so that during summer there’s almost no chance that you can sit outside! I just use those coils that slowly burn – it helps a little. Great shot and best of luck! ?

  14. Nice shot. I’m also an aspiring photographer and I’m impressed on how you managed to take a photo of the mosquito. What lens are you using?

  15. Who knew that a little, creepy thing like a Mosquito could be the subject of such a lovely piece of photography! I’m glad you took the opportunity to show these little guys from a different angle.

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