It’s the time of year when flowers bloom, veges are growing, the weeds are rampant, the lawn needs mowing twice a day, and the aphids are overwhelming the roses!
Well, I do try to keep on top of it all, but I don’t spray my garden with insect killer. The aphids are mostly washed off with a strong jet of water, which also takes care of the spent blooms. Of course, I never get them all, but then I don’t want to. They attract the predators such as the ladybug. Also, the mantis are out there and growing. These insects are far more interesting and great to photograph. Of course that’s not the only reason I don’t use the killer spray. I just don’t like the stuff and much prefer a more balanced ecosystem in the garden.
This season, I’ve managed to photograph a number of insects. Not always easy as they prefer not to pose for me, but I try my best. I do not subscribe to killing my subjects in order to photograph them, and so I was horrified recently to read in a book about how to make a ‘killing jar’ to quickly and efficiently kill any insect for the purpose of setting them up as photographic subjects. I don’t even like to kill spiders for this purpose although I am arachnophobic.
I will be updating the gallery in due course. 🙂
Sadly the MV Tuhoe went aground on the 27th September 2015, at the Waimakariri river mouth while she was on her way home to her berth in Kaiapoi. A rescue attempt was made to get her off the sand bar, but to no avail. Her age and the conditions were against her and the decision was made to demolish her. It took two days to take her apart, and this photo was taken between those two days. The stern half of her is shown here in the hour before sunrise.
The waves were pounding her rather fiercely here at high tide, although the long camera exposure has smoothed the waters to create this calm and colourful image.
I’ve been experimenting with macro and close up work quite a bit this year, and this seed pod was interesting enough to try with some reflections. The pod was tending to ‘explode’ and as the seeds dried the fluffy bits expanded, and seemed to tumble out.
I seem to have been a bit remiss lately in updating my blog. Life is a bit hectic, but it’s no excuse really. Time to set myself a new schedule I think. 🙂
The latest photography expedition saw me in awe of some unspoiled forest in the Able Tasman National Park. A drive along hilltops on a windy road, then a slow drive on a muddy, slippery and narrow track for quite a few kilometres before finally heaving heavy backpacks on and making our way along a rocky track into the forest.
The lush rich greens of the mosses and lichens was incredible and I suspect that Winter is the best time for them. This pond was a bonus and I fell in love with this site the moment I got there. The rain didn’t bother me, but my feet sure did at the end of the day! But, oh, so well worth the effort.
Fungi come in a huge range of colours. These tiny green ones are difficult to spot amongst the mosses and debris of the rainforest floor because they blend in so well. The caps are aroun 10-15mm in diameter.
Other fungi are brightly coloured and I’ve recently photographed some which are so incredibly white (much whiter than our common culinary mushroom) they seem to glow against the leaf litter and can be seen from a great distance away.
One gets a little damp lying on the wet ground to view and photograph some fungi. But worth it…
Long exposures when it gets dark can pick up amazing colours. We see a bit with the naked eye but as it gets darker our vision fails us. The camera however, will pick up much more using a slow shutter speed to harvest as much light as possible.
My photographer niece Bex, and I spent last weekend at Lake Mahinapua. We managed to beat the snowstorm by leaving Thursday evening instead of Friday morning, but nevertheless we had a deluge and the lake rose dramatically. The jetty completely disappeared and the shrubs along the shore on the bank became islands.
Still, we found plenty to photograph, and I came home with a few treasurers such as this image. Magic!
Our swan plants have been host to many Monarch caterpillars, and I’ve been keeping an eye on emerging butterflies. This one was was almost ready to fly away and proved a very willing model. I love the colour contrast in this image.
Every now and then I get the macro ‘bug’. Making images of things small is fascinating. It’s not particularly easy though, and the concentration is very tiring. If the subjects are small critters, it is especially difficult as they rarely sit still. Once they do sit still, you find the light is bad, they have their back to you and as soon as you move to their front they decide to turn around again, or you can’t frame the shot nicely because you can’t move your tripod closer. And then there’s the background… That’s a whole other issue! But, when everything comes together, macro can be very satisfying.
I am finding fungi quite intriguing. To photograph them can get quite awkward at times though. Although not with this image, I find myself often lying on my stomach to get the ground level angle I like. This has created a few funny situations, like my turning up home with clothes wet down my front, or having some insects like ants and centipedes using me as a public walkway, and once I had a Weka (native NZ bird) peck at the soles of my shoes. Maybe I should invest in an angle view finder…
There’s lots of colour in the garden. Yesterday morning it was bright overcast and calm, and ideal for some flower closeups. I was attracted to the Hebe bush next to the compost bin. The flowers are tiny but very pretty in shades from almost white through lavender and darker to a purple blue.
I’m quite pleased with the result and now I’m motivated to look at some other flower. Hmmm, my lilies are looking good… 🙂
Last night Tom and I attended the opening of an Art Exhibition in a popular Gallery in Akaroa. I had the wonderful privilege of being asked to exhibit in their “Small is Beautiful” Christmas exhibition which will run until the 22nd. We loved looking at all the wonderful art of the other exhibitors, and getting to know some of them.
My own pieces were well received and I was delighted to hear the comments. The most popular were the birds and the one shown here was one of the first to sell.
This little bird is a female Tomtit, a New Zealand native bird, very tiny and very energetic. Difficult to photograph as it never sits still for long. She led me a merry dance before I was able to finally get this image of her.
Small is definitely beautiful, but I’m not ruling out the bigger birds either. I’ve been trying to get close to some pukekos and their chicks, without a lot of success to date. But I will keep trying.