Hmmm. Eleven days without posting. At least not to the blog. I have posted a bit on G+, dropped in a few times on Flickr to see if anybody is still there, checked FB now and again and posted to the Wildlife Group plus one iPhone shot of Lulu. I was wiped out for 5 days with a stomach bug. Did a little work-related stuff and finally picked up a camera again. I think this image may have appealed to my predatory instincts. Half an hour maybe playing with apertures, speeds, flash settings, trying to get the image sharp as the breeze blew the web.
This buggly thing was a similar challenge, trying to beat the breeze. Flash doesn’t do well on these shots because of the shiny surface. Shooting at an angle helps a little but not too much. I have one similar shot where I can clearly see a photographer reflected on the shieldbug’s back. I should have taken my diffuser with me.
I guess what I am grappling with right now is what I want to do photographically. I’ve been told several times that its impossible to do multiple genres. Specialisation is the way to go. Whether I can stretch ‘natural history’ to include both macro and birds is a different question but for now that is where I want to concentrate.
Occasionally I find I have photographed something for which there are precious few images on the web and in this particular instance, none that were taken in Hong Kong.
After a quick search I knew this was not a butterfly larva as it was not in any of the excellent reference books I have. I checked the HK Wildlife.Net site and drew a blank. Same on Flickr’s HK Moths, where I am a moderator. Next stop was the fount of all lepidopteran knowledge in HK, Dr. Roger Kendrick. He told me he recognised it as someone had once bred it through from caterpillar to imago (adult moth). He had to go back to 1989 I think and gave me an ID. More trawling suggested the ID was wrong!!! Impossible. Yet more hunting and I discovered that the original reporter had the genus right but the species wrong. I found several corroborating images on Japanese moth sites. And there is the buzz. A gentle stroll with the macro gear and I end up with a larva that led me a merry dance and turned into something useful. Hence the trip to Flickr to post to the image database, which others use for identifying their finds.
My other fascination of the last week or so has been the not-so-slow motion crash that is the global
casino stock market. It seems that in the past bad news was good news as it meant Helicopter Ben would scatter QE largesse upon us. Now good news is bad news as HB might take the punch bowl away because things are getting better. Like the proverbial deer trapped in the headlights I did nothing except watch the pension fund diminish in value each day. Its amazing how fast you can lose money without trying. I should put it all on black next time. Anyway, tapering is the buzz word and the Fed doesn’t like it because QE tapering suggests it only goes in one direction. The Fed wants us to know that it could go either way and therefore we should not over react. Some hope. The unknowns seem to be Japan and China. Japan is occasionally and cruelly referred to as a bug in search of a windshield (TM. John Mauldin) and China is simply a black box, out of which data are spewed, which may or may not bear some semblance of reality. Probably not. Europe is now officially resolved. We know that because M. Hollande told us so on a trip to Japan. I wonder what he smokes behind the bike sheds. Britain is now also officially one rank higher than basket-case. The USA is showing signs of life even though the housing recovery seems to have been driven mainly by investors purchasing inventory on the cheap. As long as nobody realises that it is fine. So we slowly climb the wall of worry.
Another rugby game to watch tomorrow and then next week I am off to Bangkok for a few days – work related. The rainy season is upon us in HK so I have to grab the odd hour now and again when the clouds look like holding off, trying to cram in a few shots whilst I can. I am all for staying close to home and working my local patch so that is no great hardship. To close here are two bird photos from the back garden. We don’t see Tree Sparrows all that often here, which is odd as they are very common in HK. At least one family is using our back garden as a restaurant though. Here they are – adult and juvenile – and very welcome they are too.