An unreliable memoir

Archive for January, 2015

Winter Jasmine

Winter jasmine
Winter jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum, doing what winter jasmine does best, spitting in the face of winter.
Gloomy light so diffused flash fill means the highlights are slightly blown unfortunately.

Nikon D5200 Tamron 70-300mm f32 160mm +68mm 1/60 ISO 3200

When I grow up I want to be an icicle

I still can’t offer you a snowy landscape, but since I was unhappy with my recent ice cube, at least I can offer you some better looking ice.

Nikon D5200 Tamron 70-300mm ƒ32 70mm +68mm 1/60 ISO 3200

The Wrong Sort Of Snow

Porcellio scaber
I had hoped to show you snowy pictures of winter landscapes under a blue sky, or get out there in the flurries and show you my snokeh. But those dreams have melted away because we have The Wrong Sort Of Snow – sulky teenage snow that won’t have its photo taken. So instead it’s macros in the warm. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Porcellio scaber, my favourite woodlouse.

Nikon D5200 Tamron 70-300mm ƒ32 70mm +68mm 1/90 ISO 3200

Porcellio scaber

Pied Wagtail

Pied Wagtail

Very low harsh sun backlighting the subject, so all in all, I’m satisfied with this shot.

Nikon D5200 Tamron 500mm f8 1/250 ISO 400

My second favourite woodlouse

Oniscus asellus
Oniscus asellus. What do you mean, you don’t even have a favourite woodlouse?

As you can tell, I’m making good use of my new extension tubes on cold dark winter days. Having said that, I haven’t really done much experimentation yet, just slapped on the full 68mm and gone for maximum magnification of some pretty small items such as this woodlouse. I have managed to achieve a good working distance though and I’m really looking forward to the challenge of the flying insect season outdoors this summer.

Nikon D5200 Tamron 70-300mm ƒ32 95mm +68mm 1/45 ISO 3200

Oniscus asellus

The bloke with the camera

Mick, you awake?
Mick, that bloke with the camera’s back again.
Mick, are you listening to me? He’s pointing it over the wall. Go and sort him out.

You do it, I’m sleepy.

I’ve only got one leg and it’s your turn anyway. Go on, sort him out.

Nikon D5200 Tamron 500mm f8 1/250 ISO 400


I never promised you a rose garden

Arion distinctus
But I did promise you a slug. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Arion distinctus, the garden slug.

Nikon D5200 Tamron 70-300mm 70mm +68mm ƒ22 1/45 ISO 3200

 Arion distinctus

Arion distinctus

What birds?

Blue tits
For the past few years the birds in my garden have been behaving oddly. There are birds there but we hardly ever see them. They don’t come to the feeders and any food put out stays until it is hoovered up by the pigeons. The reason this is odd is because it is so different from a few years ago when the birds were much more visible.

Over the years we have had a succession of species, with sparrows, greenfinches, blue tits, coal tits, goldfinches as the dominant species. There have been a few changes – a tree cut down in a neighbouring garden – but nothing major, so they shy behaviour is a bit of a mystery. And that makes the Big Garden Birdwatch a bit of a letdown.

Nikon D5200 Nikkor 18-55mm 55mm f6.7 1/180 ISO 200

Wood pigeon
Nikon D5200 Tamrom 500mm f8 1/250 ISO 1000


Ice Ice Baby

Ice cube
You’d think taking a picture of an ice cube would be easy wouldn’t you? Well it’s not. At least, taking the picture isn’t hard – light up an ice cube with the LED torch (giving the nice blue colour), snap on the extension tubes and away you go. Ice doesn’t run away. Ice plays it cool.

But there’s a problem. I wanted a picture of some lovely clear ice. If you just take an ice cube out of the freezer you get this cloudy effect. You need to make special ice cubes with very pure water and boil it before freezing to remove the dissolved gasses. Sigh. Time for a drink.

Nikon D5200 Tamron 30-300mm f22 70mm +68mm 1/30 ISO 100