• Macro,  Wildlife

    Up close and personal (Warning – Spiders!)

    A while back we had the builders in, so I needed to be around the house all day to answer questions and advise.  This meant my photographic radius was somewhat reduced.  It was like lockdown but much more expensive and noisier! I could still have a wander round the house and garden with my macro lens.  It’s surprising what turns up if you look closely enough. This charming creature is a Box Tree Moth caterpillar.  It looks rather like a Large White butterfly caterpillar, but instead of ravaging brassicas it ravages box hedges; it’s an invasive pest.  This one was, for some reason, climbing up one of our lounge windows. …

  • Macro,  Wildlife

    Just hanging – or waiting – around

    In my Close-up and Macro Photography talk I have a few images of spiders.  They are fascinating creatures, and contrary to popular belief, most don’t actually hang around in orb webs.  Most spiders hunt for their prey using their excellent vision and very fast jumping or running ability.  Having said that, the stereotypical spider in the UK must be the Garden Spider.  They make lovely webs that are very effective at catching insects. Here’s the biggest Garden Spider I’ve ever seen.  She’s a female, and is probably what’s called “gravid” – or full of eggs.  She’s caught a common wasp in her web and is finishing off what’s left. I…

  • Macro,  Travel,  Wildlife

    Up close and personal in Sicily

    I recently went to the sunny island of Sicily.  Whilst we were there trying to tolerate roasting temperatures of 28C the UK was shivering with just 30C.  I took my trusty Olympus macro lens of course, and it was very useful. One of the insects we wanted to see on the trip was the Violet Carpenter Bee.  These are pretty chunky things and not only did we see one, but I got close enough to photograph it.  It was covered in pollen from other flowers, which gave it a lovely golden sheen.  When it flew off right past my ear it was very noisy! Another impressive insect was the Asian…

  • Macro,  Wildlife

    It’s a bug’s life

    In the garden we get various critters of various shapes and sizes.  On our chive plants I recently saw a green shield bug*.  The white painted house wall behind it made for a simple background, so it was out with the macro lens on my Oly E-M5 mk3.  All I needed to do was to wait till it was facing the right way… * no stamps were available.