Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Visitor in the yard

  Dragonflies aren't the most frequent visitors in our yard, but maybe once or twice in a summer they'll make an exception. This yellow fellow landed on a dry branch on one of the apple trees. I saw it from the window, jumped up from my chair, picked up my camera and tripod and rushed out. I was pretty sure he'd be gone, but no, there he was still on the same twig enjoying the sun. First I tried to approach him from the other side, just to shoot him with a nice rim light, back lit, but he was too faraway. A new approach from the other side, with quite a bit of branches and apples in my way. Carefully I managed to place my tripod and camera between the branches and make a few frames, but still I felt he's too faraway. Nowadays I usually don't shoot macros without my tripod. But what can you do when the tripod becomes more than an obstacle? You'll shoot free hand and that's just what I did. Luckily I ended up with at least one decently sharp image.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bush and a bush cricket

  A fig tree in the yard can be full of surprises and photo opportunities and of course figs too. Today I found two bush crickets on the same branch. Sad to say I was two slow to shoot, the other one moved away before I managed to make a frame of the two on the same leaf. Here's one shot made with a 150 mm macro lens, wide open f4,5, @ ISO 800 (bad light)...

Friday, August 22, 2014


  I think there is quite a bunch of garden keepers who wouldn't like their roses to be eaten by caterpillars. I don't care. If there is roses I photograph roses and if the roses are eaten by caterpillars then I photograph caterpillars. That's pretty much what happened today. Finally I forced my self to do something in the garden and dug out the lawnmower from the shelter. Half of the job was done when I noticed a couple of nice caterpillars feeding on one of our roses. What can you do? Leave the lawn, get inside, grab your camera and make a couple of images.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


  Just did a test out in the yard. FX / full frame and DX / crop sensor. Not really a big test, just to see the difference in the images taken with the same 150 mm macro lens, from the same distance with a Nikon D300s and D700.

                                                                Nikon D300s, @ f11

                                                                 Nikon D700, @ f11

  As you can see, there's a small difference. At the same half of the life size magnification (1:2) the crop sensor gives you bit more reach, a nice thing to have when you want to shoot tiny small things like bugs. Otherwise when shooting @ ISO 200. there's not too much of a difference in quality. Not really a big thing, but just to kill time a nice small test.  

Sunday, August 10, 2014


  Had to get my feet wet literally for these images, but I think it was worth it.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Butterflies, butterflies and butterflies...

  My search for snakes ended up in a bunch of butterfly photos. Most people will think that that's nice, because snakes are bad and ugly. I guess everybody have right to their opinion. So, anyway, My favorite spot was full of lumberjacks so only a few pictures from there...
 Silver-washed Fritillary (Argynnis paphia)
Hummingbird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum)

Couldn't stand the noise, so I decided to hit the road and move my self to the next spot. When photographing these blackberries, suddenly a butterfly landed on it... and only for a second.
 Purple-shot Copper (Lycaena alciphron) ???

What I really love, is to photograph something new, and today I got lucky...
Jersey Tiger (Euplagia quadripunctaria)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014

From there to here...

 In the beginning it's enough to have a camera and just to shoot. Resulting images are often a bit boring. Not always, but too often. With the time you'll get to know your equipment better, catch the idea of shutter speeds, iso, f-stops and , much more of that technical jargon. Then you start to understand that you need to think about the composition, subject and so on. Then you understand that most of the first images you've taken were quite a bunch of garbage. You start to rethink your photography and the results finally start to get there were you want. And how long will all of this take? Some people will never get there. It all depends of you as a photographer. How much are you willing to sacrifice of your time and energy to learn the art of photography. For me it has taken a while and still I'm not where I'd like to be, but slowly, ( I hope )I'm getting there. Here's a few images to show you from where I have come and where I'm at this point of my photography life.
                                Not too bad, but could be better...
                                A few years later.

                                and a couple of babies a few years later.

My first adder. Definitely insitu. I was pretty scared to go enough close
                                A couple of years went by. This is not insitu.

                                A slow-worm. Really wasn't sure how close I could go.
                                And one from this year.
 More knowledge and know how and you will improve. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014


  Sometimes you end up photographing not only beautiful things in the nature, but some not so nice things. We have a good friend who is feeding birds around the year. When visiting her place, it's always nice to watch all kinds of birds and even animals visiting the yard and having their share of the goodies provided. Not all birds are lucky enough to be healthy, sometimes the bird feeder is visited by sick birds too. This small fellow in the picture was suffering of some kind of a tumor. Usually sick birds don't last too long in the nature. They'll die because of the sickness or decease or because of weakness predators take them down. This guy at least had enough of sunflower seeds as a last meal.


Friday, August 1, 2014

  I don't know how many times I've looked under the same cover during last and this year when on walk with our dog. Sometimes there's a mouse or two, a shrew or a green lizard. Usually it's empty, zero, nada, nyama ni6o... Today I was happily surprised to find a juvenile aesculapian snake. Finally after all that flipping.

Good to have a smartphone with you... just in case :)