Well, I had a fun Science Sunday post planned and then I was knocked on my butt all day by a really nasty headache that sapped all productivity. A whole day gone! That post will have to wait until next Sunday. However, I have a posting schedule that I’ve set for myself that I am really anal about keeping, so I feel like I should post SOMETHING. I have just the thing…
Yesterday I registered to go to BugShot 2012! I am beyond excited about this. It’s in a different location this year, Archibald Biological Station in Florida. This is the home of some famous /classic entomological research, and that alone is enough of an incentive for me to want to go. I also bought new gear after the last BugShot, and I’ve found that it’s easiest for me to learn to use said gear properly when I’m out with people who know what they’re doing better than I do. I struggled with my little Nikon ring flash units for several months when I bought them, but everything clicked after talking to Alex Wild for something like 5 minutes! I’ve got new extension tubes, a new flash, new software, a reverse mounting ring – all sorts of toys to play with that I’ve barely had any time to figure out. I also got to meet a lot of really great people last year and I know several of them are planning to go again. And I’ll get to meet new people too. All in all, I expect to have a very good time August 23-26!
I really can’t recommend this experience enough if you’re a photographer or an entomologist interested in photography. It’s a ton of fun, a great social experience, and you’ll go home with a lot of good information and experience under your belt. It’s a little more expensive this year than last ($695 to stay at Archibald, less if you stay off site), but if you look around at how much other photographic workshops cost, this is a total bargain. Plus, you get to massively geek it up with like-minded people! Sound tempting? I encourage you to register soon. More than half the slots are already full, so don’t wait.
I have a massive backlog of photos from the last BugShot, so I thought I’d post a few more, just to give you something to look at today. I certainly didn’t take the most stunning photos of all the participants at BugShot 2011, but I was trying to learn how to use my gear rather than focusing on taking spectacular shots. Still, I walked away with a couple hundred decent shots. Among them are these:
Leaf footed bug. Took this one with my point and shoot Canon G11.
Burying beetle with phoretic mites. The mites don't hurt the beetle and are mostly hitching a ride. When the beetle lays eggs on an animal carcass it's prepared and buried, the mites will help keep the meat fresh for the developing larvae. This shot isn't spectacular as the flash isn't diffused when it should be, but I like the subject.
Tiger moth. They're so beautiful! And fuzzy. Who can resist a fuzzy insect?
Crab spider with honey bee. Ted MacRae at Beetles in the Bush found this spider working its way through a honeybee and was kind enough to share his find with me. I love all the different yellows!
Hover fly, one of about 100 photos I took of them while practicing using my flash. This one was sitting on my water bottle.
And finally, my favorite oh-so-close photo:
Black legged katydid eyes. I love the expression, but the depth of field could use some work. This is my most frustrating photo from BugShot 2011, the one that could have been great if I'd set my camera correctly before it flew away...
Check back next week for an account of a fascinating paper by a colleague of mine on beetles that avoid predation by doing a peculiar thing with their eggs. Have a great week!
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