Mini Bugshot in Guelph!

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Alex Wild photobombs an assassin shot!

No, it is not as exotic or insect-laden as Belize, but when you have a great instructor and some packages of insects, you can learn a lot about photographing the smaller creatures if Alex Wild is your instructor!

This workshop Mike and I attended yesterday was put on in association with the Entomological Society of Canada Annual Meeting in Guelph Ontario. The workshop was designed to cover the basics of insect macrophotography, and as such a lot of the material was not new to me, but watching a professional instructor was! I was surprised how casual he seemed delivering the basics, with a friendly and casual manner that made everything go down smooth among the mixed skill-level audience.

I even learned a thing or two, with the light-box technique producing amazingly easy and pleasing results with nothing more than three pieces of foamboard and some bounced flashes. To think of all the time I spend littering Adam Blake‘s desk with improvised paper diffusers, when I could have had just a ready made macro box stowed in my desk ready for when I get the urge to shoot a bug!

Unfortunately, it rained pretty hard all afternoon, so we could not go out to the field to practice, but we had some good fun continuing on with our studio techniques. Alex’s approach to teaching is very lighthearted, and it seems he wants to emphasize the fundamentals without pushing a narrow definition of the form. ┬áHis tips are simple, yet will yield powerful images if they are followed.

You can see some of the shots I took below, If you are ever in the market for a fun and informative photography workshop, Alex’s course is really a great choice. Thanks go out to Morgan Jackson and Crystal Ernst for all their hard work helping facilitate the course, and of course to Dr. Wild, for helping us start the conference on a high note.

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Mike shoots in the foamcore macro setup.

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White backdrop on the assassin.

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Dropping it off to black.

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The grasshopper salutes my improving skill!

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A tree cricket!

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The froghopper got that orange glow from a piece of paper underneath the branch.

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Grasshopper with bluejeans-clad butt as backdrop.

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variations.

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A brown lacewing looking elegant against black.

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A pretty Goldenrod Leaf Beetle.

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This widow was perched on a twig with two Lastolites hitting from either end, and the backdrop is a maple outside the window.

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Dr. Evil, the Katydid.

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Mike contemplates Dr. Evil.

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