I’ve always been fascinated by carnivorous plants. At a young age, I begged my mum for a Venus fly trap, eagerly awaiting the moment when I could watch as the plant trapped an unwitting insect in its jaws, slowly ingesting its prey. Sadly, I was not green-fingered enough to keep the plant alive long enough to watch this happen.
Luckily, Jens from Another Perspective does have some talent with plants, and he shot this mesmerizing time-lapse over a period of 30 days (I know! He actually kept the plant alive for a month!).
The time-lapse shows the plant from multiple angles. We see a few unsuspecting innocent victims exploring the leaves. A maggot squirms, a ladybird crawls, totally unaware of their impending doom.
Jens tells DIYP that he did not exactly feed the insects to the Flytrap. “Sometimes I just watch my traps (with the camera turned on) and wait for something interesting to happen,” he explains. “Sometimes, I release insects near the traps. If they fly away, they are saved!” he adds.
As for the maggots, they were fair game as far as Jens was concerned. “There was a huge storm in Germany which flooded many cities and uprooted a lot of trees,” he says. “The destroyed trees in my garden showed that green longhorn beetles and their huge larva live inside my trees and totally destroyed them (they eat 2cm diameter tubes into the trees until the tree dies or collapses). I decided to collect all the larvae and fed them to my plants.” I suddenly feel less sympathy for the rogue maggot.
To shoot the time-lapse, Jens took one image per minute (which he says was a mistake as he had to exchange the 128GB SD card twice!). It resulted in about ~6000 x 4000-pixel video footage (shot on a Sony A7riv, 90mm lens, crop mode, 27MP resolution), which then was cropped to 1080p to get the largest depth of field possible without losing too much resolution.
The time-lapse was illuminated with a simple ring light which ran at 10W LED, the live footage with a huge softbox and Soluna 300W led.
I’d like to say that no insects were harmed in the making of this film, but, well, I can’t! At this point, I am impressed and grossed out in equal amounts. You’ll have to watch the time-lapse for yourself to find out if the maggot makes it out of there alive, no spoilers here!