February 3, 2020
Photographing insects by Jim McCormac
Bugs Make the World Go ‘Round
Insects often get a bad rap. A hostile perspective regarding the world’s largest group of animals is unreasoned, and sparked by a handful of problematic (to humans) species. Yet insects form the underpinnings of ecology, providing much of the grist that feeds higher animals. “Bugs” play major roles in pollination, predation and control of other insect populations, and drive active evolution in plants, and other animals. No true tale of conservation can omit the Earth’s largest group of animals. Over one million species have thus far been described, and in any given year about 10 quintillion individuals crawl, fly, swim, or wriggle about the globe.
For the photographer, insects are easily found and fascinating fodder. Groups such as butterflies and dragonflies are well known and celebrated for their beauty. But scores of lesser known bugs are perhaps even more photographically interesting. Giant carnivorous cannibal flies, parasitic wasps that make zombies of their victims, little known moths of indescribable beauty, ghillie-suited dragons stalking tree trunks, and gargoyle-like assassins lurking in flowers – one will never want for interesting subject matter among six-legged arthropods. This talk will include many of Ohio’s most fascinating insects and their roles in the environment, interspersed with photographic tips and techniques for finding insects.
Jim McCormac – Bio
Jim worked for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for 31 years as a botanist, and later specializing in wildlife diversity projects for the Division of Wildlife. He has authored or coauthored six books, including Birds of Ohio (Lone Pine 2004); and Wild Ohio: The Best of Our Natural Heritage (Kent State University Press 2009). The latter won the 2010 Ohioana Book award. He is a coauthor of the Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas II book. Jim writes a column, Nature, for the Columbus Dispatch, and regularly publishes a natural history blog. He has written numerous articles in a variety of publications, and has delivered hundreds of presentations throughout the eastern United States. He was named 2015 Conservation Communicator of the Year by the Ohio League of Sportsmen. Jim is an avid photographer, shooting a range of natural history subjects. He has had hundreds of photos published in various forums.