Friday, 23 August 2019

Sunset Images Wirral Beaches

After the Scotland holiday I have been shooting Meols and New Brighton sunsets with dslr and drone, here are a few images...…..

First we have a stunning cloud formation over the docks looking from New Brighton

                                                                     5dsr  17-40L

                           Now for a Phantom 4 pro drone image taken a couple of minutes earlier.

                              Flying back behind the lighthouse to get the entire view in frame .

A multi frame Vertorama , sand patterns are very interesting on this side of the breakwater at low tide, always different.

                     Meols beach for this next series,   the boats make good subjects at low tide.

                   Topdown over the sands near to sunset, the low sun showing all the textures nicely.

                                                                   Fabulous cloud formation .

                                                               9 frame panorama merge

    Perch Rock lighthouse at New Brighton     one of the most dramatic sunsets of the year so far.
                                                                   multi frame merge.

                               Meols beach flying the drone at about  6 - 8 ft to get these  images

              Perch Rock for another cracking sunset , just 2 frames merged for this drone image.

      5dsr with 17-40 L  6 stop nd  and 0.9 soft nd grad for these 2 images from the same evening.

     Two final images from Perch Rock , high tide and superb clouds moving fast in strong wind.

                                    5dsr  17 - 40L   f14   90 seconds 6 stop nd and 0.6 soft nd grad

                              5dsr 17-40L    f14  60 seconds with 6 stop nd and 0.6 soft nd grad

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Silver Studds at Prees Heath june 2019

Today I have driven to Prees Heath in Shropshire to photograph the Silver Studded Blue butterflies, one of my favourite species.   The weather has been alternating warm and cold with no settled warm spells so the butterflies may be late this year. Walking from the car park there are plenty of thistles in flower among other small flowers,  but no sign of any Silver Studds!   they would be very easy to see if a big emergence had occurred.

After walking almost the entire length of the main runway stretch I have only found one newly emerged male .    Its not looking good today.

I have now found a small patch of Bell Heather with a couple more males perched.  The light is quite nice this morning but its getting increasingly breezy now which is going to make it quite difficult to get good sharp images.

                                                              5dmk2   f5.6  iso 250

                                                                          A closer view.

The runway which has been seeded with Bell Heather a few years ago to hopefully increase the butterfly's  population.

I have found a newly emerged male and placed it on a nice flower which is held in a clamp on the ground where I can get a nice clean background.

                                                                 f5.6  iso 100  1/125 th

I have found another and moved it onto another flower to shoot with back lighting, this is a handheld focus stack of 6 frames     f5.6  iso 250    1/10th

Now I have put the mpe-65 macro lens on to shoot a couple of high magnification images ,  both are focus stacked 8 frames.
This one you can still see debris on the eye from where the butterfly has emerged from its chrysalis.

These are shot lying on the ground with the butterfly placed on a suitable stem with a pale leaf placed directly behind to give background colour, without that the flash falloff would give a black background with is not very natural.  The lens barrel is resting on my left hand to keep steady while taking the multiple frames each with a slightly different focus point to combine in Zerene stacker software which increases the depth of field in the finished images.

Back to the flowers near the entrance  now and looking to see if I can find a female,  after half hour I have managed to find one, perched deep down in the Heather.

                                                     This is the best image I could get.

                    A male, clearly showing the colour difference to the female in above image .

               One last image with the beautiful heather flowers surrounding this male silver studd.

Its been a hard morning shooting , but have managed some nice images...………….

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Macro shoot River Dee may 28th

Today I am heading to the river Dee at Aldford near Chester to photograph the Common Clubtail Dragonflies which have just started emerging.
The weather is mixed cloud ,sun and rain showers along with a slight breeze so as I will be shooting handheld as normal with natural light I am taking my old canon 5dmk2 with the 100mmL macro lens.  the 5dsr would be no good in this situation as the huge number of pixels needs a much faster shutterspeed to get sharp images.

Parking by the church I have walked over a couple of fields and down towards  the river, the path runs next to this beautiful bridge.

Almost immediately I have spotted a male Banded Demoiselle, and its perched superbly with really nice light.  
                                                           f5.6   1/80 th    iso 400

And here is a female ,  a lovely brownish colour  but I have not managed to get a better composition.

                  Looking down the field next to the river, it is a fabulous insect rich environment.

 Looking for the small Clubtail  dragonflys is hit and miss, usually the first sighting is when they fly off when disturbed.      Which is exactly what has just happened,  I followed and managed this image.

I have got it on my finger and after a quick image I have taken my mpe macro lens out for a close up

                         This is the best I have managed before it flew off.   still on my finger !

I continue down the field edge searching for another Clubtail and after spooking one have almost straight away found another , its looking like a good emergence over the last couple days.

                                                                  f6.3  1/80 th   iso 100

Further down I have been trying to shoot the female Bandeds but they are quite skittish , this is the best i have managed.

A pair in cop.

Yet another Clubtail make an appearance .f6.3  1/250th  iso 200 

                                         A male Banded Demoiselle in classic Obelisk pose
There is light rain in the air and that is helping keep them less active   and the light is really soft  perfect for shooting this species which have quite a reflective metallic sheen to the body.

I have walked right to the end of the third field,  that is usually the best area so will make my way back now to see what other species I can find.

                                                        Female common blue I think

          There has just been a rain shower, and this Red eyed damsel still has drops on its wings.
Its taken me ages to get a shot of this species, very active even in these overcast conditions.

Looks like more rain is coming, its getting quite dark compared to earlier.  Better light for photographing the damsels but harder to get sharper images.

                         A quick shot of a Nomada Bee, not great but its another species shot.

                   A Mayfly, hard to get sharp images at the moment in theses dull conditions.

         Here is one of my favorite sawfly species,  beautiful coloured species Rhogogastor Viridis

During a very light rain shower i have found this male Banded Demoiselle beautifully perched low down on a grass stem , shooting at f2.8 to reduce dof so the stems in the background are blurred out has worked perfectly.   this is my favourite image of the day.

The rain is getting heavier now so time to walk back to the car after a great couple of hours .

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Scotland Kilchurn castle

Having left Castle Stalker we have travelled along to Kilchurn Castle,  is still rather gloomy and misty unfortunately,   so black and white images will be the only option.

             We have walked down to the LochAwe , along the wrong path which was quite boggy.
   Using the lone tree as a focal point for a few images with my 5dsr and 17-40L lens
Converted to b&w in lightroom

                            Rubbish light, but at least there is some mist over the mountains.

                                           A close up of the castle with 100-400mm lens

                                                    The sign by the car park , no drones!

                                                                       a phone image

                                         We have just found this huge tick on Chester!

                                                                       Poor Chester

On the way back along the A819  heading towards Inveraray I spotted this beautiful waterfall, so it was a quick stop to take a couple of images.

                                                                        1/4 second f14

This is the last image of our first trip to Scotland, and its been fantastic...……………………….