For the Love of Insects

Oct 29, 2015

We love looking at insect images.

Drum roll...the winning images for the Entomological Society of America's Photo Salon, a global competition, have just been announced. They will be shown at the ESA's meeting, Nov. 15-18 in Minneapolis, Minn. (The ESA theme this year is "Synergy in Science: Partnering for Solutions.")

You can see the list of winners and their images here:

You'll see the best of show, a stunning butterfly image taken in Croatia. You'll see pests, prey, and predators. You'll see insects having a "happy meal." You'll see bug porn, or insects love caught in the act of reproducing more of the critters we love to shoot. You'll see insects you've never seen before--and probably will never see again.

They're spectacular. They're awe-inspiring. They're amazing.

As an aside, two of my photos were selected for the Photo Salon: One is of a bee fly that I titled "Pollen Power" and the other of two praying mantids ("Giddy Up").

Next year, you enter! Track that robber fly, follow that moth, and dash after that Blue Dasher. And don't forget the spiders. They're not insects, but arthropod images are also welcome in the Photo Salon competition.

If you want to learn more about macro photography, check out the Bug Shot Macro workshops at The instructors include noted insect photographers:

Alex Wild
John Abbott
Thomas Shahan
Piotr Naskrecki
Nicky Bay

We attended the four-day workshop May 7-10, 2015 at Hastings Reserve, a biological field station owned and operated by the University of California, Berkeley. Texas-based Alex Wild  and John Abbott and Oregon-based Thomas Shahan served as the instructors and shared their knowledge and research.  By the way, Wild received his doctorate in entomology from UC Davis and recently moved from Illinois to be the curator of entomology in the College of Natural Sciences, University of Austin. Wild specializes in ants; Abbott, dragonflies; and Shahan, jumping spiders.  But they, of course, focus on other arthropods, too.

It was an incredible four days. More will come.

Ready, set, focus! Oh, no, where did that yellow-faced bumble bee go?