An unreliable memoir

Archive for November, 2015

‘Er Maj

Er Maj

Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl

But she doesn’t have a lot to say
Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl
But she changes from day to day
I want to tell her that I love her a lot
But I gotta get a bellyful of wine
Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl
Someday I’m going to make her mine, oh yeah
Someday I’m going to make her mine.

Nikon D5200 EL Nikkor 50mm N f4 1/30 ISO 100

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Little Gem

EL Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the EL Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N, the little gem that time forgot. Manufactured for one purpose, this lens has a special ability. When you project an image from a photographic negative onto a piece of flat, rectangular photographic paper, you want the image to be sharp and even all the way out to the corners. And that means you want a planar lens, which is what the EL Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N is. Good planar lenses are not easy to make. If you buy one with Zeiss written on the side you can pay a thousand pounds. But the world doesn’t want to project images onto flat, rectangular photographic paper any more, so the EL Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N languishes on eBay for thirty quid. But what if you took a lens that could project a sharp and even image from a photographic negative onto a piece of flat, rectangular photographic paper and bought a few cheap Chinese metal rings from eBay that allowed you to fit an EL Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N onto a camera the other way round? Why, then you’d have a high quality planar lens which could capture sharp, flat and even optical slices of an object and enlarge them onto the sensor. Which would be perfect for focus stacking. All for thirty quid. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the EL Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N. The lens that the world doesn’t want any more. Thrown on the scrapheap at 60 years old. Not that this is in any way allegorical. No siree bob.

EL Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N. Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f11 1/250 ISO 800


Honey Fungus

Honey Fungus

Honey fungus has a bad reputation which is mostly undeserved. It’s just making a living out there in the woods, turning a fading generation of trees into … the next generation of trees. We need Honey Fungus!

Honey Fungus, Armillaria mellea. Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f16 1/180 ISO 100


Egret Week: Part 4

Little Egret

Saved the best til last? I hope so. I think on balance this is my favourite egret shot.

Little Egret, Egretta garzetta. Nikon D5200 Tamron 150-600mm f6.3 600mm 1/500 ISO 320


Egret Week: Part 3

Great White Egret

Just for a bit of variety, a (distant) Great White Egret (on a very grey day).

Great White Egret, Ardea alba. Nikon D5200 Tamron 150-600mm f8 600mm 1/180 ISO 640


Egret Week: Part 2

Little Egret

Not a bad shot but I’ve still never managed to capture exactly the moment I want whenever I see an egret fishing.

Little Egret, Egretta garzetta. Nikon D5200 Tamron 150-600mm f6.3 600mm 1/500 ISO 320


Never Work With Children or Myriapods

White-legged Snake Millipede

I’ve shown White-legged Snake Millipedes before, but I’ve got no problem doing it again for several reasons. First and foremost, I like them. But being shiny, they’re also quite a good test of my new X-ray Diffraction Argon Laser Quantum Diffuser. Thanks to my almost magical design skills, the diffusing bit worked quite well. But there was a problem – bloody biology! Getting enough light to focus at high magnification meant that the millipede froze – good for focus stacking – but in a rather unnatural pose. When I turned the light off, it resumed normal behaviour, but was moving too fast to get more than one frame off, so no focus stacking. Never work with children – ever. And while we’re at it, never work with Myriapods either.

In the end I couldn’t decide which shot I like best, so you’re getting the 2 image stack above and the 8 image stack below.

White-legged Snake Millipede, Tachypodoiulus niger. Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm+68mm f8 1/250 ISO 100

White-legged Snake Millipede


Egret Week: Part 1

Little Egret

There’s something about egrets. They make my shutter finger itchy. I can’t see one without taking a photo. I particularly like this shot because it conveys something of the cartoon-like, bonkers nature of this bird and its punk shoes.

Little Egret, Egretta garzetta. Nikon D5200 Tamron 150-600mm f6.3 600mm 1/250 ISO 500


BANG

Pheasant feather
This pheasant is phucked. I’m not a pheasant plucker, I picked a feather up from the ground – honest.

Pheasant feather

Pheasant feather