I was going to skip the usual “best-of” and “thank-you” post this year, as I have been feeling under the weather and somewhat lost lately. However, I do have much to be thankful for, and it would be shoddy not to be grateful for the many good things that happened in the last year.
◊ The hi-lite of last winter was having an article published in the February edition of Photo Life magazine…
◊ February seemed like the beginning of something larger. As a new member of the Continuing Ed. Faculty at MacEwan U., I participated in a workshop on instructional skills. It was both humbling and nerve-racking–an emotional event for me. I survived.
◊ Then in March I had to break out of my comfort zone (you could call it a box) again. Thanks to the good people at the Crop Diversification Centre South, I had the opportunity to speak to large groups of people on how to make the most out of the cameras they have–cell phones and tablets–so they could provide better images for ID. I survived this also.
◊ Later, in April, I blogged on what has to be the world’s first macro-photography fantasy tale. At least my sister appreciated that!
◊ And later that month, I posted on my early focus-stacking experiences. Time-consuming, but I think the results are worth it.
A gift from Gary Anweiler… Bombus vosnesenskii , the yellow-faced bumblebee.
◊ In late April and into May we had a family vacation in Ireland. Outstanding, but damp!
Yours Truly, Arwen, sister Marolin and Yuet at the Gallarus Oratory, County Kerry.
◊ Summer was spent on small field trips, and developing and presenting workshops. Thanks again to Myrna Pearman and the good people at the Ellis Bird Farm for those opportunities, and for hosting the Bug Jamboree!
◊ September found me leading my first evening classes at MacEwan, ending with a day trip to Muttart Conservatory. Good students, but not enough of them…
◊ Generally: a big thanks to all those who helped ID insects, to those who visited and commented on the blog, to those who purchased images or made donations, to those who purchased items through my affiliate stores and to those that have attended workshops. You help keep me going.
◊ And of course, thanks to my wife Yuet, who has supported my photography endeavors since about 2008, and who has lived with my eccentricities and whims for longer. I couldn’t have taken this path at all if it wasn’t for her support. She’s in
Burma Myanmar now, taking a break from her heavy work (and volunteer) load–I hope she slows down enough to benefit from it.
Yuet and I at Devonian Botanic Garden
◊ Thanks also to daughter Arwen, who still never ceases to amaze and inspire me. She makes me laugh and she makes me think.
Happiness in ruins
Arwen on the Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary
I managed about 16 bug-related photography day trips (usually about 3-6 hrs per trip) throughout the season and one two-week trip late September. I am not happy with the frequency or the results. I think I need to spend some time in the field with entomologists:I need to find more interesting bugs doing more interesting things!
This is also the year I will probably have to find regular work somewhere. As much as I have enjoyed my stint trying to make a reasonable income out of this photography niche, it is almost certainly not going to happen. What I do is not popular enough to draw the numbers I need for workshops and courses, and contracts amount to only one or two a year. As with many other photographers, print sales are negligible. I could perhaps develop more areas of income through related activities (presentations, education) but that would mean spending more time not doing actual nature photography. At 53, I think I have to switch back to at least some steady part-time work–somewhere–in order to have some sort of retirement in 15 years. What’s a boy to do?
All the best to all of you for 2015!