Welcome back to the Week on Sunday!
Spiny Oak Slug by C.M. Ernst. Image used with permission.
♦ LOOK! The BugGeek is reborn, with a dazzling new photographs of one of the most bizarre buggy sights you are ever likely to encounter! “This caterpillar is so ridiculous that it got me to pick up my camera (and a short tale about teaching).” I am thrilled to see Crystal back and hoisting a camera once again!
♦ And speaking of rebirth, Alex Wild’s blog Myrmecos has suffered a near-fatal crash. He has had to rebuild his site, and he has come up with a new design. Want ot learn more about how Alex switched tracks from ant sicience to bug photography? Listen to a great interview on Age of Discovery Podcast by Adrian Smith that will tell you more about his firefly photography, piloting airplanes(!) and the origins of Myrmecos. Don’t miss this interview!
♦ Matt Cole does great macro work on the other side of the Atlantic – check out some of his jumping spiders – click to enlarge and take a close look at the highlights in the eyes. Can you guess what flash and diffusion system he is using? See the details of his system at Macro Flash Diffusion.
♦ Sunsets are a great to work with when it comes to making dramatic insect images. One of my most popular shots at recent exhibits has been the Sunset on a Bumblebee. The trick here is to balance the flash-output with the warm light of the sunset – go take a gander at how Ted MacRae handles it with his cool photo of a male Agrilus walsinghami preparing to bed down for the night.
♦ Now here’s a sequence! We often hear about the possible consequences of affinity when it comes to spider courtship. Now Sean McCann peeps in on the wooing of a pair of Cross Orbweavers, Araneus diadematus…and it turns out to be a case of fatal attraction.(…for the spider, not for Sean!)
♦ Piotr Naskrecki never fails to delight with his photographs, taken on his world-wide travels as a photographer with the International League of Conservation Photographers and in his role as an entomologist. Recently he visited (relatively) close to home and photographed another relict species – the fascinating Greater grig (Cyphoderris monstrosa) that he found in the Cascade Mountains near Seattle.Beautiful photographs and fascinating natural history.
♦ I think as macro photographers we all have to occasionally wrestle with the black bug of depression. Why do we continue with this often frustrating hobby/business when the world seems to be saturated with excellent bug photography? For myself, I go through this regularly. The best remedy: I recall my original motivation: bugs are fascinating! Then I go out and observe and photograph more bugs! For another perspective on photographic image overload (newly coined by me – let’s call it ‘PIO’), see: Why Bother?
♦ Canada has bugs in amber too! Ryan McKellar and co. have a paper on a new trap-jawed ant from Canadian late Cretaceous amber. Read Chris Buddles’ interview at ESC-Blog to learn more about it, and see the paper available for free during the month of September.
♦ Now that’s old! Check out this 350 million years old fossil scorpion, from Gondwanaland, when Africa was still part of the super-continent Pangaea.
♦ And to close, a brief video on the rare Grylloblattids, which hopfully still have populations here in Alberta. I will be in search of these soon…