Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Insects in Sunshine...

I've been a bit slow updating my blog recently, in part because I haven't done a great deal of photography lately. But here are a couple of springtime images taken over the last few weeks. The first is a Tawny Mining Bee feeding on flowering redcurrant and the second a Seven Spot Ladybird.


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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Article in Digital Photographer Magazine

The current issue (issue 160) of Digital Photographer magazine contains a large article on macro photography. I've contributed a couple of pages of images and text with some specific tips on wideangle macro. Some of my images and text are shown below.

Unfortunately, a couple of the captions for my images were swapped during the design process and I also have concerns that one of the images included in the article is of a dead wasp (it's not one of my images obviously, and isn't shown below). But those reservations aside, the article is quite informative!


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Sunday, 15 March 2015

Fungi images (better late than never)

While waiting for spring to begin properly I've been finishing off the processing of some fungi images from last autumn. Here are a selection of my favourites, the majority deliberately showing the subject within its environment.

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Friday, 20 February 2015

In the Bag...

Ever wondered what I keep in my camera bag when out on macro shoot? No? Well I'll tell you anway, or rather Wild Planet Photo magazine will :)

The magazine has started a new feature which shows what different photographers keep in their camera bags and they decided to kick off the feature with yours truly.

More information on the latest issue of Wild Planet Photo magazine can be found here.


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Monday, 19 January 2015

Digital SLR Photography magazine

February's issue of Digital SLR Photography magazine features my review of the Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens. It's a unique lens, capable of between 1x and 5x magnification and the article provides my opinion of the lens and some tips on how to use it.

It's perhaps worth mentioning that the star ratings at the end of the article are slightly erroneous. Even the most loyal fans of this lens wouldn't give it 5 out of 5 for 'ease of use'!



Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Article in Outdoor Photography Magazine

I'm pleased to have an article in this February's Outdoor Photography magazine. It's the magazine's 'Moment with Nature' feature in which they invite a photographer to reflect on a particular image or an issue related to their photography. In mine I discuss the thorny issue of photographing in public parks or nature reserves and how to deal with interactions with the general public!


Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Top 10 Images of 2014

It's new year's eve and since I'm not down the pub it's probably as good a time as any to briefly summarise my photographic year.

I've had a number of images and articles published this year but there are a few that stand out to me for various reasons. I'm always pleased to see my images published in BBC Wildlife magazine and so  I was particularly proud to have 2 of my images published as double page spreads (here and here). I also had a short article and one or two other images published in BBC Wildlife. I enjoyed writing a couple of articles for Wild Planet Photo Magazine including a review of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera (more on this below). I was also pleased to have one of my images included in the national Wildlife Trusts 2015 calendar, a charity I'm always keen to support. Other images and articles appeared in the press, photography magazines and books.

I entered two wildlife photography competitions this year (the British Wildlife Photography Awards and the Wildlife Photographer of the Year) but despite having images shortlisted in both competitions I failed to make it amongst the prize winners. There's always next year....

In terms of the images I have taken this year, I would never have predicted that so many would have been taken by a camera that is not a DSLR. But having tested the Olympus OM-D E-M1 (a mirrorless 'compact system camera' rather than a DSLR) for Wild Planet Photo magazine I realised what a capable and enjoyable camera it is for macro portraits (see here for my review of this camera). As a result, once the test camera was returned I decided to purchase one and I ended up taking a significant proportion of this year's images with it.

I have taken a variety of styles of close-up images this year including traditional macro portraits, high magnification images and wide angle 'macro' images. However, I confess to having taken very few Meet Your Neighbours 'outdoor studio' images, for reasons I'm not entirely sure of. Maybe that will change next year.

In recent years I have listed my 10 favourite images taken each year (see 2013, 2012 and 2011) so without further ado here are my favourites for 2014. A caveat that I like to make each year is that my reasons for choosing these images are varied and highly subjective. As a result, this is not intended to be a list of the images that I think other people will like most...


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I had never previously seen a 22 Spot Ladybird in my garden and so I was particularly pleased to find this mating pair back in June.



I have a bit of a thing for Marbled White butterflies and so I enjoyed taking this habitat image of one in golden early morning light.



A common butterfly that I have always struggled to photograph is the Orange Tip. I was therefore pleased to photograph this one on Cuckoo Flower.



I know this one isn't everyone's cup of tea but it's a mating ball of toads with one female and 3 males. I like how peaceful they look even though mating balls like this can often result in the death of the female.



Another butterfly I enjoy photographing is the Green Hairstreak. Here's a very green image of one.



The Scorpion Fly is a notoriously difficult insect to photograph as they rarely sit still for more than a second or two. I was therefore pleased when this male specimen posed for me for just long enough to take this image.



This dragonfly in flight is not a very original image but it was my first attempt at photographing these in flight for several years.



I really enjoy showing subjects within their environment and like the light and woodland setting of this group of fungi.



Another Marbled White image...



A habitat image of a mating pair of blue-tailed damselflies.



number 11 in my top 10 images (!), a small jumping spider on a dandelion, just because I like the composition.



and finally a Fly Agaric in habitat. These are one of our most photogenic fungi species and I was pleased to capture this specimen in nice light and showing its Birch habitat.




So there you have it. I couldn't decide on 10 images and so these are actually my 12 favourite images of the year. I'm already looking forward to 2015...

I'd like to wish all readers of this blog a very happy new year!