The agony and the ecstasy

Picture the situation if you will.

I have been photographing a butterfly (Exhibit A below, m’lud). I have the gear on the tripod and the front two legs are fully extended to provide stability in the grass. The third leg is shortened as it rests on the elevated walkway.

The heat is draining me already and so I decide I need some water from my pack. I move a few yards around the corner and put the tripod down as I slip the pack strap off my shoulder. You may have realized faster than I did that tripods need, not surprisingly, 3 legs and “two and a short one” do not balance well on flat ground. My heart sank as I gazed at the fallen kit. The camera had somehow also sprung out of its quick release catch and had detached from the tripod head. A quick examination showed some scuffing in two places but no sign of major damage to my new-ish 5D mk 3. The lens showed no damage at all, the trusty 180mm F3.5 Canon macro beast. The lens hood was a bit battered and bruised but I can live with that.

What I could not tell was whether the insides had survived the fall as well as the casings. I assumed from the damage that the weight of the lens had ensured that the lens had been the initial point of impact and the hood had absorbed much of the shock. The scratching  to the camera body was probably the result of a cushioned fall rather than a full 4-5′ drop.

So this is what I did before the accident:

Heliophorus epicles

Yes it is our old friend Mr. H Epic-loss, the Greek Finance Minister.

And this is what the battered combo produced after its fall:

Gold leaf

Now the tip to the leaf is less than sharp but I would suggest it is as likely to be operator error as it is lens or sensor damage. Lets put it down as 18 rather than 24 carat gold leaf, shall we?

And as a further test before I retired to the pavilion with heat stroke and shock:

Oxyopes sp.

Hmm, not brilliant but not sure whether that was  down to the spider, me or the heat. It is apparently what is known as a Lynx spider and I am hoping somebody will tell me the species to go with the genus Oxyopes.

Note the imbalance in the spider-leg department. Four legs good, two legs bad as they used to say down on the farm. This chap seems to have lost a couple of his so he presumably runs in circles better than in straight lines. Quite a cute little thing – the eight eyes on the head seem to offer 360 degree vision and his face has a sort of hot cross bun pattern. I was certainly hot and cross and I guess he was too after losing a brace of legs. To lose one leg may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose two looks like carelessness.

As soon as the temperature falls a bit, possibly in October, I shall have another go and see if the kit still seems ok. Thank you for reading my 200th post.



5 thoughts on “The agony and the ecstasy

  1. The picture of the butterfly is absolutely fantastic hats off to you, the sharpness of the the flower and the butterfly popping out of the out of focus background like that, great. The same with the leaf after your cameras trip.

I'd be delighted to hear what you think

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