"A few dozen men had gathered in the forest to dig the grave of a beloved schoolteacher in rural Ghana, West Africa. The deceased was affectionately called Bright, a name conferred by the community in recognition of his intellectual gifts. The men took turns with the pickaxe, teasing each other about the best techniques, laughing amidst their loss. When the grave was a deep rectangle, this grasshopper emerged from the red earth. Three inches long with his face painted like a warrior, he emitted a potent stink to announce his presence. The men gathered agreed gravely, 'this is Bright's spirit.'"
An educator and photographer living in Oakland, California, Becky Jaffe teaches biology to Bay Area high school students and leads environmental science tours for children and adults of all ages at the University of California's Botanical Garden at Berkeley. Using techniques that stretch the photographic medium to create painterly effects, her photographs fuse an artist's sensibility with a biologist's curiosity. She enjoys photographing tropical insects in particular, and relishes those moments when the insects appear to be studying her.
Her award-winning photographs have been recognized by the California Academy of Sciences and the Center for Fine Art Photography and have been published in The Buddhist Poetry Review, Bay Nature Magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle.