Sunday, 16 March 2014

I'm Doing My Own Head In!

I had not planned on going out this morning as the wife was going to a boot fair and the kids were staying home with me but on the chance of a bargain, the girls decided they would go with their mum for a few hours. Well, this gave me the chance of a few hours out but I wasn't sure whether to go birding, butterflying or continue trying out the Sigma 150mm marco lens, I know now I should have probably gone birding as I didn't get far again with the lens testing and other than any butterflies and dragonflies that are prepared to sit and let me approach quite close, I think I'm still favouring the Canon f4 300mm lens. I tried this morning photographing Ladybirds with a tripod to get a decent image but after a while come to my senses and wondered what the heck I was doing wasting my time sitting on the floor when I could have been finding birds on the coast, it was nice however to see 4 Comma together. A call from the wife letting me know that Jasmine was bored and can I pick her up in a while had me driving over to East Blean Woods quickly again in the hope of finding some more Heath Fritillary caterpillars. I must have been so lucky yesterday as I searched and searched and saw none at all but was aware of a calling Lesser spotted Woodpecker nearby. I continued searching when I caught sight of a small bird fly into the tree above me. A quick look revealed the Woodpecker and a mad rush to change lenses to try to capture an image of it. What I didn't do as you can see is change the settings as I was shooting into the sun and I ended up with a couple of dodgy shots, still always nice to see a Lesser spot in my book.


Lesser spotted Woodpecker

With only a Peacock butterfly added I picked the daughter up and spent a few hours in the garden this afternoon looking skywards occasionally. A Common Buzzard was noted but unfortunately none of the Red Kites that seemed to have swarmed Kent today. A mixed morning in terms of results, I wonder what I could have found at Reculver early morning should I have turned up, the first Wheatear or Swallow flying by maybe. I'm not sure this macro lark is for me and time would be better spent birding. I shall wait for more butterflies and then dragonflies to emerge to give it some more thought but initial results with the butterflies suggest you just can't get too close without them flying away before any shots have been taken.

10 comments:

  1. Sounds like the turmoil that goes on in my head Marc!! Shall I do this, shall i do that, what am I missing flying over if I'm in my shed photographing garden birds ? then when i'm out skywatching I wonder what nice shots I would have got from my garden shed!!

    Shall I take the macro lens, shall i take 500mm lens, its a nightmare mate :-)

    Persevere with your macro lens, there'll be so many dragons and butterflies out soon, law ao averages says some will be approachable :-) anyway there's not much else about in July.

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  2. Marc, I had a 100mm Canon macro lens with I.S and I found that having to get so close the butterfly would either fly off or it was covered with my shadow so went back to my Canon 300mm lens. You really would benefit with an I.S lens for macro but then as I keep saying, for butterflies and Dragon's, you have probably the best lens already in your possession. (And it’s got I.S) Also you don't have to keep changing lenses and missing out on Lesser Spot images (lol)

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    1. Cheers Steve for the info. I think it's the thought of carrying tripods, monopods and creeping around that's the problem. As you say with the 300mm, you can stand back and get pretty much the same results.

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  3. Marc,
    You might think i'm taking the piss, but do you know Butterflies are extremely sensitive to smells. If you have deoderant, aftershave, strong shampoo or even too much fabric conditioner in your clothes wash, the butterflies will sniff you a mile away, best smell of old soil and dead wood ........like I do!!

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    1. That must have been the reason then Warren. I got myself all made up, brushed the hair, splashed on the aftershave and all for nothing, except an old lady and her dog I saw. I thought she winked at me!!!!

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  4. A Lesser Spot would make my day a hundred times over. From Findlay

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  5. I have not photographed the LS Woodpecker, in fact, I haven't even seen one.

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  6. Marc as you know i use a set of auto extension tubes (£40 on Ebay) on my 400mm lens and find that works well. As Steve says it has IS and allows you to stand away from the butterfly or dragonfly. I know that others have found a dedicated macro lens to work well. It is still early days just perservere.

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  7. Hi Marc,
    I have given you a lengthy reply about 150mm macro lens in a mail, have you received it or should I send it once more?
    Great capture of the lesser woodie, this is one bird I have only seen once around my neck of the woods!

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