Attenborough Nature Reserve

June 3, 2012 Comments Off on Attenborough Nature Reserve

Yesterday I was invited to Nottingham so visit a nature reserve I hadn’t previously been along to. The Attenborough nature reserve is just south of Nottinham and is a vast area of old gravel pits now run by the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. The weather was overcast and cool, which means that if you do find any insect then they are going to be quite torpid and allow you much better access than on thosee warm sunny days. Perfect for a bit of macro photography.  I loaded up the Canon EF180mm f3,5 L lens onto my trust 1D mkIII, set the metering to ‘spot’, aperture priority and f6.1 and set off with my family for a wander.

Many of the visitors are out for a bit of cycling or bird watching and the visitor centre provides good information about whats been seen recently, however they are not quite so well geared up to provide information for insect lovers. It’s a case of wandering around and looking out for the habitats and doing a quick search, eyes pinned to the vegitation alongside the paths.  So much so that I almost missed the Heron in the trees.


If there are quieter paths than the main ‘tourist’ paths I tend to favour them. There is usually more to see.  Walking along the bank of the Trent I stepped off the main walkway to a parallel track just a few yards away and slightly down slope. This gave a slightly more sheltered habitat and proved a great source of sheltering insects. One area in particular had dozens of banded demouselle, all fairly torpid and not easily ‘put up’.

Banded Demouselle

Banded Demouselle

Banded Demouselle

Banded Demouselle

The family were growing impatient with me as I spent a good 15 minutes taking these images and eventually left me to it. I would have spent a lot longer with these beautiful insect but felt compelled to follow on fairly quickly. The trouble was there was so much to photograph. Just a few yards further along the track, again in the shelter of the bank I found an Orange Tip butterfly, also torpid and forgiving of my ‘gardening’.

Orange Tip

Orange Tip

It just goes to show that even on days which look unpromising there are images worth capturing. Don’t miss out, get out there and find those gems. I can recommend the Attenborough Nature Reserve for photographers. Lots to see, lots to photograph.


Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)

July 2, 2010 Comments Off on Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)

A trip over to Manchester gave me an hour in my favourite place, the Peak District, on the way home today. I’ve been trying a few things with a macro setup and so parked up on the slopes of Mam Tor to shoot some butterflies.

As the sun started to drop, these butterflies started to look for somewhere to spend the night, which gives me a chance to get in close with the camera.

I used a Canon 180mm f3.5 L with a 1.4x converter, giving a focal length of about 250mm. f5 with a diffused flash so soften the harsh flash lighting. Just need an arm or something to hold the flash now.  They key to this type of shot is as always with wildlife to get the camera down to your subject’s eye level.  Which meant laying down in the grass for an hour in the sunshine 😉

Anyway, a very pleasant way to spend an hour instead of sitting in traffic watching the tail lights.

Sea Pinks

June 1, 2010 Comments Off on Sea Pinks

Taken this last weekend in Pembrokeshire, a small stand of Sea Pinks (Armeria maritinum).

As with the gosling shot this was taken from ground level with a reasonably shallow depth of field in order to reduce the background to a blur.  The background is actually the sea cliffs of Pembrokeshire, but you would not know that from the image.

Post-processing in photoshop has created the very white and blurred effect, which for this subject I quite like.

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