Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bees etc at Cambridge Botanic Gardens

Not the best of weather for our club outing to Cambridge Botanic Gardens to practise some macro techniques as it was windy and overcast. We spent a lot of time in the flower beds in front of the glasshouses that have been laid out specifically for bees. A lot of the Bunble bees are infected with mites as in the first image but they seem still to be functioning. 
I also tried some focus stacking changing focus ring manually on a tripod (last two images) but will need to give less exposure next time (I had set half stop over) as the highlights are generally burnt out in my images.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hall Place, Bexleyheath

Hall Place is a stunning Tudor house with magnificent gardens sitting on the banks of the River Cray in Bexley, run by independent charity Bexley Heritage Trust. Not great light for general photography and very windy for macro but a few shots to show the extent of the venue. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hunstanton After the Storm

There was a beautiful sunset on Saturday evening  before yet another band of rain moved across.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Hunstanton Weekend

Ellie, I and the girls are spending two nights at Huntanton with very mixed weather - a month's rain in 24 hour  winds necessitated a visit to the Sea Life centre after a quick stop at Norfolk Lavendar on Friday. Saturday was drier but now 50 mph winds so we had a swim in the Oasis pool in the morning followed by traditional time on the beach and promenade.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Common Wasp Life cycle

I continue to marvel at the intricacies of insect life. We had to have a wasp's nest destroyed as it was in a totally inconvenient place - right next to the lawnmower in a rolled carpet in our shed. Normally I am happy to live alongside wasps as they help control garden pests. Part of the nest remained when we dragged out the carpet and the wasps here had survived and were busy with their daily routine of bringing up the young. The eggs are laid in the paper cells and when hatched fed by the workers on caterpillars etc . They also keep the cells clean and move the grubs around etc. When they are mature the grubs spin silk cocoons and then pupate and transform into the adult wasp, biting their way out. Some of the workers act as guards - in the last two images, a guard wasp sensed my presence and came forward with wings vibrating. I did get one sting in the process of photographing but generally they were unperturbed by a camera lens and ring flash a few centimetres from them.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Lee Valley Cornmill Meadows and White Water Centre

We visited planned a visit to Cornmill Meadows to photograph dragonflies on Monday and ended up with photographs of canoeists, wasps and other insects but no dragonflies. The canoeists were taken at  1/1600th down to 1/15th second showing the very different appearance of fast-flowing water at different shutterspeeds.
I liked both the low-key and high-key insect portraits that resulted from using a small flash gun with dark and light backdrops. More wasp images and still not the one I want!!

Ann Miles Photography - My Favourite Images of the Past10 years or so