Justin Brosey Captures Tiny Micro Habitats from his Makeshift Forest Home

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All images by Justin Brosey. Used with permission.

Images can show us a whole new way of looking at the world whether it’s an image that captures the big picture or an intimate scene typically hidden from the public eye. Likewise Justin Brosey, a passionate passionate photographer and mycologist (a biologist specializing in plant diseases) who shows us the hidden beauty of nature’s tiny micro-habitats that surrounds us all.

The Florida-based artist specializes in taking macro images of small animals like insects and spiders as well as mushrooms growing in the forest. If these gorgeous images themselves aren’t enough proof of Justin’s work, the 26-year-old photographer has been published in National Geographic in 2013.

Justin says his curiosity has been piqued since he was a child watching ants and other small animals go about their lives for hours. “I always tried to put myself in their shoes and wonder about how the landscape looked from their tiny perspective,” Justin expounds. “I see micro-habitats everywhere and I like to make these little worlds visible to others who don’t observe so closely.”

More recently, though, Justin has fallen on hard times having lost his old job as a plant doctor and eventually losing his home. His photography is not only his passion, but also his only means of supporting himself, his wife, and their daughter. Currently Justin and his family are homeless while they temporarily live out of a small camper parked in the forest. Justin explains that the camper gives his family enough shelter from the rain, but the heat and mosquitoes are torturous.

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Hoping to get back on his feet, Justin is working on building a website, called Symbiosis Photography, and business out of selling his photography. Justin says he uses a Canon 60D with a malfunctioning Canon 100mm 2.8 EF macro lens and a homemade DIY flash diffuser to more evenly spread the light coming from his camera’s built-in flash.

“A diffuser is great for insect shots but still creates very harsh shadows on everything else,” Justin explains. “Sometimes in tricky lighting situations I’ll wait until dark and light-paint certain subjects.

Just a few days ago Justin came into the good fortune of getting a Canon 100mm L-series macro lens and ring flash from an anonymous donor. “My photography may be looking even better in the coming days with these new tools,” Justin quips. In the future Justin hopes to get a full-frame camera that will let him do more with his work.

You can see more of Justin’s work on his website. You can also follow Justin on Twitter, Facebook, and this Facebook group page. Also if you have a few dollars to spare, please support Justin’s GoFundMe page.

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Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Brooklyn.