Bug Shot 2016 in Austin was a three and a half day course that took place at McKinney Roughs Nature Park. The course itself was really good and pretty well put together. It was organized, well put together, and you got time with each of the three main instructors. Everyone was knowledgeable on the topic and I learned a hell of a lot almost to an intimidating degree. Testimony from a few of the regulars who show up to these courses believe that this is one of the best insect photography classes out there.
Apparently there's been a need for a course like this for quite some time. Most photography workshops that deal with macro have people shooting things like coins and flowers, which are nice and I'm sure there's a market for, but few focused on just shooting insects. And what's more the few workshops that do focus on insects, aren't necessarily being taught by an entomologist. Some of the regulars who have been attending Bug Shot since it began 5 years ago, tell stories about courses where they were just in an annex room to some hotel and watched a man take pictures for a few hours with no hands on training what so ever. So Bug Shot is a great value for your money.
McKinney Roughs served as a wonderful biodiverse hot spot for our photographing needs. The buildings are landscaped with mostly native flora that drew in things like stick insects, black swallowtails, fire ants, and a whole host of spiders, dragonflies, bees, etc... They also have several patches of wildflower meadows setup which were teaming with other lovelies a lot of which were things rarely photographed, such as blind snakes, and a particularly fun lichen orb weaver.
Shots in the Field
Light Box Outdoor
Actually that was kind of a problem the whole trip. I was the only ant guy there aside from Alex Wild, while most of the other students were general entomology majors. So I learned what it's like to be in a room full of people spouting Greek and Latin names and having no idea what they were talking about. At one point someone came in the room shouting, "Agkistrodon contortrix! Agkistrodon contortrix!" or as it's otherwise better known, A Copperhead Snake! which would have been beneficial to know before I started running out along a dark trail to find out what a Agkistrodon contortrix was. (There were people already there with flash lights pointed at it but you get my point.)
Black Lighting at Night