If you read any of the nature blogs I imagine that you have heard about the BugShot 2011 workshop. Over the labor day weekend I had the opportunity to attend this event. I rolled out of the house at 6:30am Friday morning and after a very smooth drive I arrived at the venue by 2:00pm. Most folks were checked in by early afternoon and I hooked up with another attendee TK from Canada and we went out bug hunting. We all met for an excellent supper, brief introductions by the instructors, and general socialization. After dinner we went out to some black lights that had been hung up for more bug photography. Bright and early Saturday morning things got under way with presentations by each of the leaders. The workshop leaders were Alex Wild, Thomas Shahan, and John Abbott. Each instructor had a very different style and I was very interested to learn from them. The instructors had a challenge that the group was split between entomologists with cameras and limited photography experience and photographers who shoot photos of insects. The instructors did a good job balancing the two groups with maybe a slight bias to towards the less experienced photographers. Saturday and Sunday were a good mix of classroom presentations and field work taking pictures of insects. The field work consisted of splitting into groups with the instructors with them providing field instruction. Monday morning came far to early and by 1:30 in the afternoon I was head home. The drive home was not as a smooth as the drive over but still I was home by 9:30. The high points for me were the instructors, the wonderful people I got to meet, and some of the lively discussions we had. The low point was probably some of the basic equipment discussions and some of the photography basics. However saying that I don’t believe the instructors had much choice in the matter as a lot of the people in attendance got something from those discussions. The food was excellent and a special thanks should go out to all those involved in selecting and providing the food. Shaw Nature Reserve provided an excellent venue and the onsite cabins were very nice. I will admit I headed out to a hotel after the first night as the mattress in my bed didn’t provide enough support for my bad back. I’ve had a couple of people ask me if I would attend a second BugShot. The answer would be it depends, if it were a repeat of this year I would say No. However if the instructors were to provide a second track targeted at the more advanced photographer I would be very interested. I think with the talent of the leaders it would be very easy to cover both groups. I really hope to see this workshop succeed.
Now for some pictures from the event.