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Archive for July, 2013

How I take photographs of wildlife


This will be a bit like watching paint dry, but I thought I would post the photographs I took of a Common Blue Butterfly. I used an Olympus 820i Compact Digital Camera, with a limited zoom. Usually I only use the ‘Super close up’ facility on my camera. My zoom isn’t good enough for close up shots of small creatures. This time though, I thought this was a Silver Studded Blue Butterfly and I wanted a shot  even if it was a small pic, just so long as it confirmed it was a silver studded blue. As it turned out, this was a Common Blue Butterfly, the black line around the edge of the wings on top and underneath are thicker on a silver studded. So the first pic is on zoom from a distance. What I then did, was set it up for ‘super close up’ and took pix, slowly getting closer and closer, until i got a pic that filled my view. 

A steady hand is needed for this, which I don’t have, but I take enough pix so I usually end up with a couple of good shots. Another problem is the distance I begin to take the pix. As I edge my hand forward for the next shot – you move a leg or your body and the creature is off! – my balance goes forward making it harder to keep the steady hand to keep ‘super close up’ focused. I eventually, when I am lucky, get to within two inches of the creature, in this case a Common Blue Butterfly, still taking pix. I found that it also helps to keep your arms in to your body. Stick them out sideways and the creature is off again. Also look where you are kneeling. Bramble thorns are painful.

 

It has been suggested to me I make my life easier by trapping the creature, photographing it and letting it go. But where’s the fun in that!

Anyway, below is the entire set of pix I took of this Common Blue Butterfly. I took a risk towards the end and changed position, which worked. Enjoy!

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At this point the Butterfly began fidgetting so I stopped taking pix and kept still until it had settled down. I then began to move the camera above it to take pix looking down onto its wings. Near the end I slowly stepped behind it to try to get in closer.Image

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Pictures from a Nature Reserve on a drizzly day, Kent, England


 

 

 

It was quite windy but warm here in Kent today. With a smattering of very light rain. Below are pictures of a few moths and butterflies, insects and plants. The first picture is not very good, but I am curious if anyone knows why ants would climb up this flower? It is called Ragwort, poisonous to horses and cattle. You will often see this being dug up and removed from farmers fields where they keep livestock. But, the Ragowrt Moth uses it to feed its young, so we can’t remove it from nature completely. I took pix of the caterpillars too. There are also a couple of pix of the Common Blue Butterfly. I had hoped it was a Silver Studded Blue, but the black line surrounding the wings above and under are not thick enough. Never mind, but just look at the state of it from above. It has been through a lot in its short life!Image

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The Green Veined White Butterfly. Tricky to photograph.

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I posted this plant, the Mullein Plant, being mullered by the Caterpillar of the Mullein Moth a few weeks ago. It survived and is now flowering.

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Below is the Wild Flower Ragwort, with a Caterpillar from the Ragwort Moth feeding on it.

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Pictures from a Nature Reserve, Kent, England


Below I have posted pix of an assortment of Butterflies, Bees, Moths and Insects. But mainly this is about the Six Spot Burnet Moth. Below are images of them mating, feeding, sadly dying in the middle of hatching and waiting to  hatch.

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The following pix show a failed hatching of the six spot burnet moth ( above ). 

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The pic below shows two chrysalis of the six spot burnet moth yet to hatch on Agrimony. The failed one above was on giant knapweed, not that this was the problem.Image

 

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The pic below shows a pair of mating six spot burnet moths, while in the foreground you can see the failed hatching of another one.Image

 

Pictures from a Nature Reserve, Kent, England


Below are pix of two Butterflies and some Wild Flowers, including a Lizard Orchid. The Butterflies are the Marbled White and the Gatekeeper. Both were difficult to take pix of. I use an Olympus 820i compact digital camera. The zoom is limited so these are taken on ‘super close up’. Sometimes I can slowly manouver myself to within a finger length to take a pic. Not with these two unfortunately. But at least I managed to get the pic! The Wild Flowers are Eye Bright, St. John’s Wort, Yellow Wort, Lizard Orchid ( finally flowering ) and some unknowns.

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