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Information, insects and people from the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

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Arthur Scott Macmillan, Contributor
Full name:
Arthur Scott Macmillan
Gr¹º where r¹º means 10 r's in a row. There! That should confuse the address harvesters
City, state, country:
Santa Cruz, CA, USA


I am impressed by V. Belov's comment suggesting it would be useful if we contributor's made our images available for any use, if I understand the reasoning he is saying that any use to which an image would be used be it a scientific paper, a book, an article, maybe even a T-shirt would effectively be a spreading of knowledge, and that putting up barriers to information will leave us all the poorer for it. I can accept this, after all it is my interpretation.

At any rate, I like the idea. I'm not a professional photographer. I have allowed photos of mine to be published for free in other genres such as surfing, and outdoors. LOL- be the first to use my bugs!

I've decided to change my license terms for my images here to "Creative commons." I would hope to be informed if any image were to be published. It's just good business. I would be sure to buy the book or magazine!
My EXIF data policy & explanation
(Read only if you wonder why my EXIF is obviously not giving correct focal length, and F-stop info).

-I always leave the EXIF info in my images, though there was a brief period when I removed it, and a very few photos were taken with non-EXIF writing cameras.

Why? So I can double check the date and time. And frankly, I like knowing what lens, camera, and settings were used.

Good News:
If you see 60mm, 90mm (F-stop > F/2.5) or 180mm, those are most likely the real lenses and apertures that is written to EXIF.

Bad News: Many of my photos were / are taken with pre-digital lenses attached to my DSLR bodies.

If you see on of the following:
-50mm, f/1.8
-50mm, f/1.4
-0mm, f/0
-#####mm (a five digit focal length)
-Or something impossible

Then you probable will never know what lens I used, But the time and date are valid (unless the camera make says Sony).

Otherwise most of the info is somewhat correct.
So, the fact is I don't even own a Canon 50mm f/1.4

I do have an Asahi Pentax 50mm, f/1.4 (I like it, and it works fine on my Canon DSLR'S)

I think my camera has GPS, but I leave it off. I usually know where I am. What day it is, I am often wrong about!

I award extra points for photos taken with really old manual focus only lenses!

My Photography History:

2007 I purchased my first DSLR, a Canon Digital Rebel XTi. I pretty much got hooked on macro photography from the start! I bought a nice macro lens, a couple zooms, and seven or eight really old, and cheap, but high quality manual focus lenses.

2009 The good macro lens broke! All that was left were the kit zoom lenses and the 20-40 year old manual focus lenses. I had to develop some technique to allow me to get decent macro photos shooting with 30 year old lenses! For years I shot almost exclusively with the manual focus 30 year old Tamron Adaptall SP 35-80mm f/2.8-3.8 with a doubler. It wasn't perfect...but it wasn't that bad either. Plus, I had an excuse when my photos didn't turn out right!

2014! I finally have the lens of my dreams. It is a Tamron SP AF 180mm f/3.5 1:1 macro lens! It's a little heavy, but it gets you close! It has renewed my faith in AF macro shooting!

2015! An embarrassment of riches! Now I have a Canon EF-s 60mm AF, USM 1:1 macro lens. (I wanted something I could use in confined spaces).

So I shot macro's for 5 years without a macro lens, without AF, without sophisticated flashes or lighting. But then, lots of people here have done a lot more with a lot less. I have played with tubes, diopters, reversed lenses, teleconverters, and ultimate image stabilization. Yes, though it is rare, I do use a tripod once in a while. I still enjoy macro photography. Arthropods and other flora and fauna as well.

I believe we (with noted exception) here at Bugguide share a dream: Expanding our knowledge and skill through cooperation, And adding to the body of scientific knowledge by adding tiny bits of information to a huge puzzle. Experts and their studies further science, but science exists outside the lab, and photographs and observations of photo enthusiasts like my self, with an interest in nature also contribute. Though my role is a small one, I do love being a part of this!

I HAVE SOME "FAVORITE BUG GUIDES" (Some teach me, some encourage, some amaze me) This list is NOT all inclusive and it simply based on who has it going on!

Thank you:
V. Belov (I'll check spellings later - maybe)
John F. Carr
Martin Hauser
John Ascher (must have compound eyes to see so many posts!)
Ron Hemberger
Bob Carlson
Richard Vernier, Thanks for sharing your knowledge!
***Scott Peden***
Jim Moore
Rick and Libby Alvarez
Robert Lord Z.
Kelsey J.R.P. Byers
Hartmut Wisch
Gary McDonald
Charley Eiseman
Aaron Schusteff
Dick Wilson
Harsi Parker (May your bird wings carry you even higher!)
Vespula vulgaris
John and Jane Balaban
Eric Eaton (Really, you'd think you could stop in now and then!)

***I am sorry to announce that Scott Peden passed away on December 5th, 2016. I wanted to say a few words about Scott. He is the only member of Bugguide that I met in person due to our close proximity, and his wonderful enthusiasm. He served as a docent for many of the State & National Parks in the area such as Big Basin, Henry Cowell Redwoods, Natural Bridges (which contains a major Monarch Butterfly winter layover, and many more for over 25 years. We met at Rancho Del Oso Federal Preserve where he is famous for his guided nature walks. He was an expert in native California plants in this region. He was of Scottish ancestry. He played the bagpipes and the guitar. Together with a couple other local bug enthusiasts we gave a bug walk for the public to point out and identify insects. It was one of the best times I've ever had. He was a great and enthusiastic photographer. I had counted on many more years to learn along side of him. Sorry if this seems like an odd or inappropriate eulogy. But...Scott connected with people. It just doesn't seem appropriate to let his presence here fade away without a word.

(I haven't even scratched the surface! I can't decide if I should add more, or just give up because I will surely omit lots of great people like, well peoples names I can't spell off the top of my head!)

By way of background, all of these years my bug photography has almost exclusively been done during my walking of my dogs. As a result I have been in residential neighborhoods more than less artificial natural habitats. That has changed a little recently. I enjoy going to local state and federal parks and open spaces occasionally. Also, I discovered one of my neighbors is a well known naturalist named Randall Morgan, and he welcomes me to stalk insects in his garden, which contains a large number of native Californian Plants. In the past few months it has become blatantly obvious that I see more variety of insects in his small garden than in most of the rest of the city combined. I only recently started designating submissions from his garden as Santa Cruz RMG. RMG meaning Randall Morgan's Garden. That way I can document at least some of the amazing insects I have seen there. I am even thinking of plantings some native plants in my own yard! Seeing is believing!

-Arthur Scott Macmillan
Photography enthusiast
More expert in arthropods than the average American
Less expert in arthropods than most of the people heavily
involved, or formerly trained in the related sciences.

Favorite quotes: "Be the change you want to see in the world"
"It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice"
"Love many, trust few, harm none."
"Disclaimer: I'm afraid the seeds within me to ID all my little subjects have been attacked by seed-head weevils."
"I am me"