Thursday 29 November 2012

More Grasshoppers

A previous post included some grasshoppers in the Meet Your Neighbours style but here are a couple of more conventional grasshopper images.


Unfortunately I'm not actually sure what species is in this first image and on this occasion I didn't manage to take a full body shot to help identify it. I confess to finding grasshoppers difficult to identify, largely due to the variation in colouring and patterning that exists within each species. 

However, I'm fairly sure the second image is of a Common Green Grasshopper.

The image was taken with my 35mm Tokina macro lens and it clearly provides a very different style of image to the first one (which was taken with my MP-E 65mm macro). 

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Homepage updated

I thought it about time I updated the front page of my main website as the dragonflies etc were looking somewhat unseasonal. I've gone with an autumn theme...just in time for winter, lol.


Thursday 22 November 2012

Emerald Damselfly

Here are a couple of images of a male Emerald Damselfly from an early morning start back in the summer. Everything was covered in a heavy dew after the overnight temperature had dropped considerably.

The first image was taken with the sun behind me, the second was taken shooting towards the sun.


Friday 16 November 2012

Autumn Dewdrops

This autumn we've had quite a few misty mornings which have resulted in cobwebs festooned with dewdrops throughout my garden. On closer inspection I noticed that each dewdrop was showing an inverted image of my garden so, once the sun had burned through a little, I decided to try to photograph these.

The immediate problem was that the most attractive cobwebs (and those with some distance behind them to help with the background of the images) were in parts of my garden that were not accessible with a tripod. So I had little option but to shoot handheld and to use my 60mm macro lens rather than the 150mm. The breeze that was gently moving each cobweb meant that it would be impossible to use a slow shutter speed anyway, so there seemed little to lose. In these sort of images, the challenge is to get each dewdrop in the frame to be in focus which can be very difficult at this level of magnification, especially when the web is moving in the breeze. Anyway, the image below was probably the best higher magnification image that I managed.


and here's one at a lower level of magnification:

Friday 9 November 2012

Meet Your Neighbours: Dragonflies 1

This year I took quite a large number of 'Meet Your Neighbours' images of dragonflies and damselflies. In terms of damselflies, I managed to photograph most of the more common UK species (see for example this post and this post). However, as I fully expected, dragonflies proved to be a bit more difficult. At my local sites, dragonflies can be found in much smaller numbers than damselflies and hence I always need a bit of luck to find them when they are cold enough to be photographed. In the end I managed to photograph only 3 species all summer. The first is probably the most common UK species, the aptly named Common Darter. The other 2 will be the subject of a future post.

Here are a selection of 'Meet Your Neighbours' Common Darter images.


Saturday 3 November 2012

New Garden Species

There was a short spell towards the end of this summer when I discovered a number of insects in my garden that I had never previously seen. As a slightly obsessive macro photographer, I was obviously rather excited about this :-)

First up is this rather handsome Oak Bush Cricket (Meconema thalassinum) that was found perched on some foliage early one morning.


Next is this large hoverfly with very speckled eyes (Eristalinus sepulchralis). It looks very similar to a Drone Fly but the eyes are very different.

Then we have a Damsel Bug (not to be confused with a Damsel Fly) which is probably Himacerus species, quite possibly the Ant Damsel Bug (Himacerus mirmicoides).

Then we have a juvenile form of a very common species, the Green Shieldbug. I must have had these in my garden before but I don't ever recall seeing this particular juvenile stage. Quite striking I thought.

and finally a species that I've mentioned in a previous post, the Green Tortoise Beetle (Cassida viridis):

a nice selection and an illustration of what can be found in a fairly typical suburban garden if you keep your eyes peeled.