Tikal Centipede

Tikal is one of my favourite places in all of Central America. It is here that nature and human history are so locked together that they just crawl all over each other. Coatis chase you down the path of ancient causeways, howler monkeys sing throughout the jungle, a vast variety of birds call out through the trees, and centipedes, like the one featured below, crawl through the pre-colombian brick work of temples. It really is something to be standing on the top of a pyramid constructed 2000 years ago in the middle of such an activity laden jungle. Tikal pulsates with life. Now that the 150,000 some people that once lived here have left, the jungle has reclaimed their territory. Photos and article from Tulum to come.

Centipede

Tikal Centipede

 How I got this Shot

I have always loved macro photography, but have been unwilling to spend 1000$ for a specialty lens which is heavy; my camera bag is heavy enough.  However, after doing a lot of research I found that there is an alternative, something that can make every lens a macro lens: extension tubes.  I had a friend bring me a 60$ set of tubes to Colombia along with my new camera body and have been playing with them ever since.  The results are amazing, although it does take a lot of patience since one needs to manual focus everything.  Normally my 70-200mm lens has a minimum focusing distance of about a meter.  With one of the three tubes I can get within about 10cm.  Using one of the tubes is how I got this shot of the centipede.


Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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3 Comments

  1. That’s impressive being able to get within 10cm with your extension tube. I know the other alternative (aside from buying an actual macro lens) is to use close-up filters, but I’ve heard those aren’t as good as extensive tubes. For $60 I should consider getting some myself.

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    • @Samuel – The difference between tubes and close ups is quality. The close up lenses can reduce the image quality, whereas with tubes there are no optics involved so the quality can’t be hurt.

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