Out with Romany again……..

Well after a bout of the common cold I finally managed to get out today. I didn’t feel great but better than I have for several days. I also broke my new year resolution not to buy any new cameras this year. Stand by for some tests with the new Canon 5D mk III soon. It is a full frame sensor and I am aiming to use it for my macro work and I shall also see what it is like for bird images. It is definitely going to Antarctica with me.

I have also tried several more times to see any meaningful benefit in the LR4 chromatic aberration tool and I have failed miserably. Has anybody seen this work successfully? That aside I continue to like the upgrade very much.

Here are 3 images from today. First up, a very dozy lizard. I actually walked past it, gazing intently around me but not downwards. My wife called me back and dutifully pointed out the “horrible thing”. I need scarcely point out that she is not a great fan of insects, reptiles, amphibians and pretty much anything else I find fascinating in the natural world. She does however have sharper eyes than I and she will see things I miss, as today. I took a couple of shots from a metre or so and then, deciding the lizard wasn’t really going to do much, I  lowered the tripod right down and moved in closer. This is my favourite.

Mabuya longicaudata is very common around here but rare to see them sit still for any length of time.

Next one of my ‘trademark’ stacked shots of a fungus. I am reasonably sure this Auricularia auricula, a jelly fungus. Of course I could be totally wrong.

I have toned down the sharpening on this from my first effort as although it looked amazingly sharp it also looked unnatural to me. For the curious this is a stack of 20 images.

Finally, a small plant for which the vernacular is The Skullcap. Its Latin name is Scuttelaria indica. From sharp to deliberately choosing to have only one point in the image sharp and allowing the rest to blur rather nicely, I felt.

One thing I have learned very quickly using Live View is that even if with the naked eye your subject looks to be still it is often moving. Certainly too much to get sharp images. I mean really sharp.

A number of shots today would have been great if there had been no breeze. I photographed a spider sitting in its web. Eyes glistening and staring at me. All eight of them. (Maybe). However although it looked still enough to me the Live View revealed that it was in fact moving quite a lot. When shutter speeds are low this becomes a problem. I contemplated using the flash and a diffuser but the spider must have read my mind and 8-legged it away. So no spiderman shots for today. Hopefully I can get out again tomorrow.

If you are wondering about the title, there was a series of books featuring Romany written by G. Bramwell Evans. These books were essentially nature stories for children and I read many of them. They caught my imagination as a youngster and sometimes I feel taken back to those days of the early 60s when Romany and Raq led me through the woods and fields introducing me to natural history in a time of innocence and curiosity. My rambles with a camera are my Romany walks of today.

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