This is it. My favorite annual Shooting Challenge of the year. You go out into the grass and muck and photograph bugs.
Photograph an insect, bug, arachnid, whatever!
Many of you will dust off the old macro lens this week, which is fantastic. Others might repurpose a telephoto lens for ground-level close-up from a safe distance. Just—one request—please don't photograph dead bugs. It's morbid.
Here are tutorials that have served you well in earlier years:
PopPhoto has some excellent practical tips for you, like shoot early in the morning and be wary of your shadow.
The Flying Kiwi discusses the controversies of flash and depth of field.
Beautiful Bugs dissects macro photography—and specifically its use in bug photography—in a very easy to understand way. It's a good read if you're going macro with this challenge.
Our lead shot is from a previous year, by Jamie Metzger who captured this dragonfly using a Canon 300D, kit lens, and lens reverser in the Mojave desert.
0. No watermarks. They're so ugly.
1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced.
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to email@example.com, not me.
5. Include 970px wide image (200KB or less) AND a native resolution sized shot in email.
6. One submission per person.
7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)
8. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules - though we DO accept non-US resident submissions.
9. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.
Send your best photo by Monday, July 22nd at 10AM Eastern to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Insects" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameInsect.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameInsectWallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions. Include your shooting summary (camera, lens, ISO, etc) in the body of the email along with a story of the shot in a few sentences. And don't skip this story part because it's often the most enjoyable part for us all beyond the shot itself!