For most of my career in entomology, I was only interested in economically important arthropod species in agriculture and disregarded the rest. In July 2015, something "clicked" and suddenly I wanted to learn about every local invertebrate and document them through macro photography. For the first six months, I used a point-and-shoot camera (Coolpix L820). Later, I started experimenting with a Canon 7D body, a challenging Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5X lens, and a Yongnuo ring flash. The Venus Optics KX‑800 Flexible Macro Twin Flash VEKX800 has proven hard for me and produces a low rate of acceptable images. It gets very little use. However, I suspect the problem is not the flash, but my technique. In regards to flash systems, the game changer for me has been my recent acquisition (June 2017) of a Yongnuo YN-24EX TTL Macro Twin Lite Flash. When coupled with a home-made flash diffuser, this flash unit consistently produces acceptable results (and its low price is hard to beat). For bugs over 2 cm long, I use a Canon Macro Lens EF 100mm 1:2.8 paired with a Canon EOS 70D. I am never satisfied with my bug pictures and I am always hoping to find ways to improve.
I am not a taxonomist, but I am passionate about learning to recognize as many insect species as I can as well as to educate myself and others about their lifestyles, relationships, and diversity. I am grateful to BugGuide Editors and Contributors who constantly help me identify and better understand bugs. I post all of my bug photos on BugGuide and the ones of invertebrates in Far West Texas, southern New Mexico, and southeastern Arizona can be found at:
Southwest Bugs Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Photos from El Paso, Texas:
El Paso Bugs Facebook
In a nutshell: I have experience in extension, research, teaching, administration, and agrochemical industry. My applied entomology background includes IPM in cotton, pecan, small grains, field crops, and vegetables.
NOTE: If I were to die, I would like my photos to remain here on BugGuide.
Setup # 1
Canon 7D body, Canon MP-E 65mm lens, and Yongnuo twin flash -YN-24EX
Setup # 2
Canon 70D body, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM macro auto focus lens, and Yongnuo ring flash YN-14EX
In the hunt at Hunter Canyon, AZ: