Focus stacking – the ideal occupation for a rainy day. Over the last year I’ve spent more and more time taking photographs of smaller and smaller objects. The problem with this is physics – when a lens magnifies an image so that it becomes larger than life-size (i.e. macro photography), the depth of field decreases. Focus stacking gets round that issue, but requires a set of well-aligned images, and for me that’s an issue because the creatures I like to photograph tend to fly away when you poke a lens in their eye. But not this 4mm long insect, sadly deceased on my windowsill when I opened the curtains this morning – the ideal object for stacking (from my perspective, not his)! I haven’t identified this one yet, beyond the fact that it’s a Myrid bug, but that’s another guilty pleasure – spending hours with dichotomous keys figuring out a Latin name. Rainy days? Bring ’em on.
Update: it’s a Birch Catkin Bug – Kleidocerys resedae.
Hoverfly, Volucella zonaria. Sony DSC-HX20V f3.5 7.5 mm 1/640 ISO 100
It’s enough to turn a chap’s head – although based on the shape of the abdomen, I think this Lady is a bloke?
Interesting Painted Lady fact: This is the only butterfly species ever to have been recorded in Iceland.
“Short photographic holiday” turned out to mean a few days when I didn’t take any photographs. It rained and it rained and it rained. Then the next day, it did the same. On the last day it rained and it rained and it rained so we went to take pictures of dragonflies. There were a few, but no useable pictures (it was raining). But I fell in love with the Marsh Frogs (Pelophylax ridibundus). These evil Central European frogs were introduced to several sites in Britain from the 1930’s onwards. Evil because they eat anything that fits in their mouths, including our native amphibians. Not only the largest European frog but almost certainly the loudest too – they loved the rain to the extent that protective ear wear was probably a good idea. But so, so beautiful, and so much character.
P.S. I’ve always wondered why the loudest frogs have the largest ear drums.
OK, so Landseer got there first with his “ultimate biscuit tin image of Scotland“ but I’m still quite pleased with this shot.
Nikon D5200 Tamron 150-600mm f8 600mm 1/750 ISO 200
Bonus shot: Mr Monarch with Mrs Monarch and Monarch Jnr:
Our old pear tree is an unreliable cropper, carrying a crop of delicious pears about one year in three, even though it has a fine show of blossom each spring. This is because we are really a bit far north for pears and because it suffers heavily from pear rust. For the past year however it has also been our main bird feeding station, bearing a nice crop of garden birds every day.
This is a two image stack for a little added d.o.f. And it made Flickr Explore, so at least one good thing has happened today.
Disclosure: Composite shot.