Saturday, 1 October 2016

Black-Tailed Skimmers

I haven't done a huge amount of photography this summer but I did manage a few sessions at a local nature reserve photographing the Black-Tailed Skimmer dragonflies. I was fortunate to find one as it was emerging from its larval stage, something that I never tire of watching.

PLEASE CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGES

This first one was taken with my Tokina 35mm macro lens to show the newly emerged dragonfly in its natural environment:



I also photographed the same scene with my Laowa 15mm wideangle macro lens. This obviously provides a much wider field of view:



and here's a recently emerged individual, photographed with the Tokina 35mm:



and finally two more conventional portraits of a female Black-Tailed Skimmer, this time photographed with my Olympus E-M1 and Olympus 60mm macro lens:






Saturday, 9 July 2016

Practical Photography magazine

I'm afraid things have been a little hectic in recent months hence the lack of posts on this blog. But just to prove I'm still alive here's an article in the latest (August) issue of Practical Photography magazine featuring my images and some of my text.


PLEASE CLICK TO ENLAGE IMAGES






This issue of Practical Photography has a large section on wildlife photography containing images and tips from Mark Hamblin, Laurie Campbell, Ben Hall, Stefano Unterthiner (and, rather flatteringly, yours truly).

I should perhaps add that I wasn't responsible for the use of the word 'minibeasts' in the title (!) or the recommendation to fire a fast burst of images when taking macro. That is not a technique I would ever personally use when shooting static insects and would only consider it for photographing a moving target such as a dragonfly in flight.


Monday, 15 February 2016

Miscellaneous Images

A few miscellaneous images from last summer that didn't make it into any previous blog posts.


PLEASE CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGES


A pair of Red and Black Froghoppers



A Soldier Fly



A Blue-Tailed Damselfly



A Small Skipper Butterfly



A newly emerged Six-Spot Burnet Moth



and finally, a Damselfly freshly emerged from its exuvia




Thursday, 4 February 2016

Top 10 Images of 2015

A house move and significant new responsibilities in my day job have meant it's taken me 5 weeks to get around to posting my favourite images of 2015. Better late than never I hope!

Looking back at my reviews of previous years they strike me as rather self indulgent (!) so I won't bother with a review of 2015 other than to make a couple of brief comments. I took fewer photos than in previous years largely due to house renovation and the job responsibilities referred to above but, for some reason, I published far more articles and images in magazines than in previous years (previous blog posts will refer to some of these). I also had an image Highly Commended in the British Wildlife Photography Awards which was nice. In terms of my actual photography in 2015 I particularly enjoyed playing with my new Laowa 15mm wideangle macro lens and several of the images below were taken with that lens.

Despite not taking a huge number of images in 2015 there were a few that I liked. So what follows are my favourites based on my entirely subjective preferences.


PLEASE CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGES

I always enjoy seeing Tawny Mining Bees in spring and was particularly pleased to capture this female against a blue sky




 The first of my images taken with the Laowa 15mm macro. This is a Blue-Tailed Damselfly photographed early in the morning



Another bee in sunshine, this time an Andrena Haemorrhoa mining bee



A Brown Lipped Snail in its aquatic habitat, taken with the Laowa 15mm



A backlit Drinker Moth caterpillar



A wideangle Blue-Tailed Damselfly



and a wideangle Common Darter



The smaller fly on the left had caught and was devouring the larger fly (more info here)



This image is perhaps nothing special as a standalone image but this was the first time I'd seen a Roesel's Bush Cricket at my small local reserve



and finally another wideangle Common Darter




So perhaps not the most varied selection of images but they're all images that I enjoyed taking for various reasons.





Sunday, 13 December 2015

More images taken with the Venus Laowa 15mm wideangle macro lens

Back in August I posted this review of the Venus Laowa 15mm wideangle macro lens. It's taken me a while to get around to it, but here are a few more images taken with this lens during a couple of early morning sessions in August.

I should perhaps add that my views of the lens haven't changed. I still consider it to be an excellent lens that is capable of taking unique images but it isn't the easiest lens to use. My review above elaborates on these points.


PLEASE CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGES

Common Darter Dragonfly

Six-Spot Burnet Moth

Common Darter Dragonfly

Blue-Tailed Damselfly

Brown-Lipped Snail

Blue-Tailed Damselfly

Common Darter Dragonfly

 Common Darter Dragonfly

and for completeness, here's a Fly Agaric from November



Friday, 11 December 2015

BBC Wildlife Calendar 2016

BBC Wildlife calendars - free each year with the December issue - have adorned the wall of my office for many years. I'm therefore very pleased to have one of my images included in the 2016 calendar. The image is a close-up of a Brown Hawker dragonfly and provides the image for April.

As usual the calendar features some excellent images from photographers such as Andy Rouse, Daisy Gilardini, Stefano Untertheiner, David Tipling, Suzi Eszterhas and Elliott Neep. I'm very honoured to be included in such company.

PLEASE CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE





Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Fly Agarics

I haven't done a great deal of photography lately but here are a few Fly Agaric images from late September.

PLEASE CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGES

This first image was taken with the Venus Laowa 15mm wideangle macro lens:




... as was this image:




 Finally, I switched to my Sigma 150mm macro lens: