Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Whixall Bug hunt 28th april 2014

For a change i am going out macro shooting , haven't done enough this year so far so as the Green Hairstreak butterflies are emerging a trip to Whixall moss in Shropshire seems appropriate.
arriving early ish , for me anyhow!      i walk out onto the mosses to have a look to see if any Hairstreaks are in the usual places.
  on the way i am constantly looking for any other bugs to photograph and have just found a "March fly"  a bit late as usual lol

 i have used iso 400 to allow more background light into the exposure,using the flash to freeze the fly for sharp detail ,this gives a more natural image.

         arriving at the crossroads area i soon spot what I'm looking for, a Green Hairstreak.
         They are being very flighty and not settling for very long, also a bit out of reach :(

                             a beautifully perched Dungfly , using same method as in previous image       

            At last i have managed a Hairstreak shot, not great but ok.  natural light only for this shot

Moving on now and heading off the mosses towards the canal.  as i get near the towpath a  holly blue flys past but doesn't settle :(     a Nursery web spider gets a quick shot though............

             onto the next Hairstreak hot spot but cant seen many flying here on the edge of the mosses.

                                just managed to bag this Hairstreak shot , a bit lucky!

 There have been a few Orange tips flying along the canal towpath and this one looks great as a wide angle image.

Moving in for a closer view :) 

A Portrait of a Shield bug with Mpe-65 macro lens

                                               and a golden Dungfly to finish of the day

                                                 The end of a good macro days shooting.

Sunsets again 26th april 2014

Another trip to the lighthouse ,  unfortunately i have arrived a bit too late but the light is not looking great, a few clouds are moving so i quickly set up with the 10 stop nd filter to record some cloud movement ,  a 90 second exposure combined with a 62 sec one to produce this image.

 the tide just isn't right, i am not getting any good slow exposures and as the sky has cleared except on the horizon behind the wind farm i get out my 100-400mm and shoot a couple of long shots which have good colour impact.
                                                            a two frame panorama first

                                                                     Sun going down!

never mind, i got three good images and will head home as i am going on a bug hunt tomorrow to Shropshire for butterflies and other bugs hopefully.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Perch Rock Sunsets april 24 2014

 Tonight there is a high tide down at Perch Rock lighthouse at New Brighton on the Wirral . i time it to get there an hour before sunset and hopefully do some long exposure images.

                    starting with a 90 second exposure at f18 iso 100 as its still fairly bright.
   all these long exposure images are combined of 3 or 4 separate frames of different exposures

Think i will try a longer one without the lighthouse in the frame 

143 secs at f18 iso200

         tide is almost at its highest now       148 secs at f18  iso 200  my favorite image of the evening

               a much cooler look now as the sun gets near the horizon.  214 seconds  f18 iso 200

Time to use long lens to focus on the windfarm , i will take a few shots as the sun sets beneath the horizon.  its amazing how the light changes quickly as the sun goes down , the colour temperature goes from red to a cooler blue as in the last frame

                                                               Orangy red first

                                         pinky red hues now as the sun is beneath horizon

                                                                         cooler blue now

                that was an good evening shooting , will probably be back in a couple days i think.

                                    all shot with canon 5d mk2 , 17-40 L  AND 100-400L

Harlech holiday april 18-21

A long weekend in mid wales with Jan and the Terrible twosome in a campsite near Harlech at Llandanwg .  just 2 mins walk from the caravan and we are on the beach , a bit rocky but a small sandy area is enough for the dogs to play in :)

 its a beautiful campsite field with great views over to the mountains in the distance.

                                              looking towards the Snowdonian mountains

                                                                  All wet and posing !

 We have driven down to Harlech beach for the evening and hopefully a sunset , only a short drive and a walk through the sand dunes we are on the beach, the low setting sun is giving glorious golden light . its quite warm and Mollster and Chester are knackered very quickly .

                                   a sand sculpture on the beach  , how cool is that 

                                                                 Chester's ears :D

                                  the sunset is not too bad but not enough cloud to colour up :(

                                                                           Jan silhouette  lol

 The following morning Jan wants to go up into the mountains to a place she has been before ,  I'm not liking the very narrow single track lanes i must admit!    when we eventually reach the car park, look at the view ......  Llyn Cwm Bychan

                  a nice walk up into the hills first then lunch before moving to a waterfall walk

                                                How did you get out their pups?  lol

                                                                          the waterfalls

Back at the caravan park in the late afternoon i take the dogs to the beach and on the way back have just found this Nomada bee , i rush back to get my mpe-65 macro lens to shoot it,   its sitting on a fence post .

                    its in the shade so is cold and cannot fly, so...     on my finger to warm up :D

on Harlech beach again with a more promising sunset looking likely , light on the dogs is wonderful

                                                         a happy  Mollster portrait

                                                  Sunset Panorama -  view larger  HERE

The next morning , our last day we are going to see the castle , its a beautiful blue sky day yet again .  we do seem to get good weather when we go away :)

                                               a last shot looking down on the beach :)

Friday, 25 July 2014

Bodnant Garden Bug hunt April 14 2014

I think its time i went on a Bug Hunt, been far too long , Bodnant gardens near Conwy in North Wales seems a good idea , usually a good chance of Miner bees and one of the few places i know that can see Beeflys which are on the wing now , its early spring and quite warm with a sunny day forecast :)

I have arrived and entered the Gardens , the spring flower borders are looking superb.

                                     Superb view over the Snowdonia mountains

The terrace and the rose gardens are usually a good starting point , a large Saraccoca i think its called, has small white flowers that Beeflys love to feed on is near the steps on the edge of the garden in below photo.    i am heading there first.

Walking down onto the lower terrace i have spotted a Miner bee in the shade on a wall, they need warmth to fly so this one should be easy to photograph with the Mpe-65 macro lens.

                                                                 Its being a good model :)


coming to where the Saracoca Was!  as its been dug out :(       no Beefly feeding shots today it would seem!
Now i head down a steep path lined with Camelias which  goes down to the lower stream in the valley , good waterside planting will attract the bugs hopefully.     i have just shot this tiny moth fly on a Camelia petal :)   they are about 3-4 mm wingspan .

In a sun trap in the valley floor near to the stream i have found loads of bees and a few of these Tawny miner bees, so beautifully coloured

          at last a Beefly  , they are very skittish today and cant get close enough to shoot properly.

                      and another beautiful bee, Ashy mining bee Andrena cinerari.

I have spotted my first large red damselfly of the year, a couple weeks earlier than last year ,this is a two frame focus stack with mpe-65

After an hour shooting, or trying  lol   i am going to have a quick walk around the gardens before going home.                           a lovely hoverfly in a Rhododenron flower:)

                                                         A few pics of the beautiful gardens.

                                                 the end of a great day in wales