I'm Going to Bug Shot Florida!
Updated: May 22
I've been selected as one of only 2 students to receive a student waiver for attending the Bugshot photography course this summer in florida! So I decided To Post about it!
A wedge shaped beetle (macrosiagon limbata) used as one of the cover images for the course
Bug Shot is an invert photography workshop with expert instructors in invert macro-photography from around the world. The Florida course features Alex Wild, John Abbott, and Thomas Sahan as instructors. All three of which are amazing macro photographers who I'm excited to learn from!
Clicking On any Image, other than those belonging to me (bottom of post), Should Bring You To Its Respective Source
Edit: bugshot had to unfortunately reschedule to May 20-23, 2021 due to covid-19
I am grateful to be one of two recipients of the student waiver for this course. I don't have to pay for registration fees, food, or amenities for the course. But I will have to pay for a plane ticket and lodging. I applied for this waiver with my 10 image portfolio I made specifically for the application. I will make a point of not editing the top ten images and just adding more on below.
About The Course
Bug Shot started in 2011, with Alexander Wild, John Abbott, and Thomas Sahan as the instructors. It has been hosted in various locations globally, as well as the United States. It has been hosted in locations like Mozambique, Texas, Ecuador, Belize, California, and even Alabama! From what I can find, this is one of the few times the location has been the same as any other Bug Shot course. The second Bug Shot course ever was in Florida at Archbold Biological Station. Same as the 2021 course.
The course is 3 days (May 20th - 23rd) and takes place at the Archbold Research Station which boasts a great variety of habitats. The area is often hot and humid, but due to the grasses and habitat in the area, I will likely be bringing hiking pants! Participants will all be required to bring a macro capable camera, lense, and off camera flash. I personally will be bringing my usual setup including my EOS 70D, Neewer flash, diffusers, as well as my new 60mm lense, extension tubes, and two zoom lenses.
The course will cover various topics, which I'm super excited about!
- Macro & macro photography equipment - Composition - Lighting & flash - Working with live insects - Special techniques: focus-stacking, high-speed flash - Field sessions in forest, meadow, and aquatic habitats
There will also be photo sharing presentations, black lighting, and diffuser construction as well! Various techniques will be taught specifically by instructors, including white box use, diffusion, and photographing insects in flight!
since the course was rescheduled as part of the make up, participants will get to participate in an online video panel. This will last one hour. I elected to take Alex Wild’s class, about outdoor flash use.
Thomas Sahan was one of the first photographers I learned about in photography class for a project on macro photography. I learned many of my macro techniques and tips from some of the videos he is in on YouTube. I am Super Exited to work with him during the upcoming course!
A photo taken by Thomas Shahan. Jumping spiders are his specialty
Thomas primarily focuses on photographing spiders, particularly jumping spiders, but is very versed in various types of photography. His primary account and secondary account are both on flickr. Because of the way flickr works, most photos there are hard to retrieve for blogs and such. I will update the post with more after I have received a response from him.
John Abbott and Kendra Abbott
John along with his wife Kendra are professional nature photographers, educators and outdoor enthusiasts who based in Alabama. John Abbott focuses primarily on dragonflies and damselflies as well as focusing on capturing insects in flight.
This image of a glorious scarab beetle in flight was taken by John Abbott.
This image of a mayfly in flight was taken by John Abbott.
Kendra Abbott is an ecologist and focused on endangered species and conservation, she is the main logistics manager and organizer for bugshot as a whole. In charge of finding locations, receiving applications for student waivers, and planning the events.
Alex wild is one of my favorite entomologists because of his photography. He has a PhD in myrmecology and studies ants in Austin, where he is the curator of the insect collection there at UT Austin. I got the privilege of touring his collection recently, during last October (2019). I was first exposed to his images when I discovered the world on myrmecology through youtube.
This is an image of a strumigenys emmae queen found at archbold station (where the course will be hosted) taken by alex wild. Strumigenys is one of my favorite genuses of ants and has been since I discovered myrmecology in 2015
When It comes to ant photography, Alex wild is the most famous photographer out there. He has photographed over 1,000 species in around 170 genera, Including some first live photographs of certain species. He also did research on the genus Linepithema. And described quite a few species in his research.
Below are some of my Favorite Images of his, clicking on them will bring you to their respective pages on his website.
A Floridan turtle ant (Cephalotes varians) was taken by alex wild in 2010.
A north american dracula ant (Stigmatomma oregonense) was taken by alex wild.
This is one of my favorite alex wild images, but I couldn't really say why. It depicts a tasmanian backyard ant (Rhytidoponera tasmaniensis) it was taken by alex wild.
What I'm Looking Forward To
I am super excited for this work shop and I am particularly exited to work with Alex Wild and learn some of his photography tips and techniques involved in getting better ant photos. I'm also excited to visit the research station, and compare the myrmeco faunas of Florida, to those of Colorado and Texas. Fingers crossed, Maybe I'll flip over a log and find a colony of Strumigenys, Discothreya, or something even more interesting!
I'm also exited to learn some of the diffusion techniques from Thomas Shahan, as getting the right light in the field is very complicated and requires great skill. Thomas is an expert in this subject and I look forward to studying this!
And Finally I am excited to learn how to take photos of flying insects, I am very curious as to the best way to capture them in movement, whether it is with a flash, or just a quick shutter!
Some of my Images For Comparison
I will make a post after Bugshot Florida 2020 and link it here. There will also be a link to this article in the one after the course. Below I will post some of my Favorites as of 17/3/2020.