Monday, July 28, 2008


No not the sportscar, although one of those would be nice too! Picked up a Lotus plant for the pond this weekend, I hope it enjoys its new home. They are beautiful, with the most amazing blooms, almost surreal looking. Even the leaves are interesting, with their waxy coating causing any water to bead into the centre. I'll post more picture when this bud blooms. Shot taken with a Nikon D300, Sigma 105mm f2.8 EX DG Macro an an SB800 at camera left.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bullards Bar Reservoir

Decided it was time for a relaxing afternoon at the lake last Saturday, so we took a trip to Bullards Bar Reservoir. It's a beautiful lake with emerald green waters and amazing scenery. The lake exists because of a very large concrete dam, in fact I think it's one of the largest in the United States. One of the other reasons this lake is great is that they limit the number of boats, so it's never too crowded.

I also found out that Max, a 5 year old Golden Retriever loves to sun bath on water hammocks. As soon as he saw it floating in the water, he swam over and seemed to instinctively know what to do. Needless to say, he hogged it all afternoon.

One of the other reasons I enjoy visiting Bullards Bar is that there are lots of opportunities for some great macro photography. There are many different species of insects that inhabit the lake so my camera is always with me. I saw quite a lot of Dragonflies but it was a Bee that caught my eye most on this visit. It had the most amazing green eyes and was a species I had not seen before. After a little research on Bug Guide I believe it's a Sweat Bee.
I'm sure I'll be visiting Bullards Bar often this summer so look out for more information from future visits.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

No actually it's not....

Bee-Fly, originally uploaded by photofox78.

Is something I hear quite often when chatting with fellow photographers about macro images, especially those with a bug as the subject.

This shot is a classic example, I was sure it was a Hoverfly of some variety only to find out it's actually a Bee-Fly. To some this might be obvious, but I'm still a complete amateur when it comes to insect identification.

I suppose the more shots I take and the more help from the experts I get, the easier it will get to make my own accurate identifications.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Araneus Spider

Araneus Spider, originally uploaded by photofox78.

This was a bit of a challenge for me, I'm not particularly fond of Spiders (a bit of a understatement), but this spider caught my attention because of the two "humps" seen on it's back.

After a little research I'm fairly certain it's some sort of Araneus Spider. Apparently females of this species often have these bumps, but I could not find any information that indicates what their purpose is, if they have one. (Please post if you know!)

This was lit using fill flash mode on a Nikon SB800.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Variegated Meadowhawk

Variegated Meadowhawk, originally uploaded by photofox78.

Found this variegated Meadowhawk Dragonfly resting on a Fern branch in my garden. I'm trying to work on a way to reduce harsh flash refections in my macro shots, but it's quite difficult with Dragonflies. Their eyes tend catch any kind of light you throw at them. So far I've tried highly diffused flash, reduced flash output and even angling the flash head away at about 45 degrees. But no luck so far.

My next step is to try a modified version of the Better Bounce Card. I'll post some results when I test it out.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Collecting Pollen

Collecting Pollen, originally uploaded by photofox78.

Found this large black Bee collecting pollen from a Day Lilly bloom in my garden. I think bugs in general have quite obvious "expressions" and to me this guy looks pretty happy.