Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Wednesday 12 March 2014

Mad - looking and learning?

I have no idea as to the timescale - I would have been a very young child when my parents first pointed out a ladybird, a butterfly, a squirrel - I think you get the picture. There was no specific id, just the seeds of desire to look at and enjoy the natural world. Fast approaching 60 - I still find that same fascination. An e-mail exchange, with Seth Gibson, has been quite enlightening as we realised that there is a massive gulf between a passionate observer (me) and a naturalist (him) although we both derive our enjoyment from the same source. What was also obvious from the exchange was that there can be no right, or wrong, way to appreciate our natural heritage. Very much a case of each to their own. I think that we are all guilty (me especially) of judging others by the standards we set ourselves? On the strength of this contact, via a mutual acquaintance, there is an excuse for a "light ale" and a cordial exchange of opinions - just the ticket!

I don't know, or care, what this fly is called!
The most important thing is that I've discovered another method of recording the
wonders of the world in which I am part.
Out in the garden this morning, the sun wasn't ever likely to put in a proper appearance, yet there was still enough warmth to stir a few insects into action. I decided to fit the extension tubes to my small lens and have a play around with my camera. I've owned it for over 5 years and still have never read the "user manual" - anyone else out there recognise the situation?

The depth of field is miniscule - yet the results are far better than any I've previously managed.
There were a couple of flies (sp.) enjoying the early morning conditions on a plastic sheet. They were docile enough to allow me close approach and play around with camera settings and assorted tube/lens combinations. The outcome has been quite a dramatic learning experience, with some rather pleasing results.
Another "string to my bow" as I continue my voyage into the unknown world of the garden invertebrates and beyond!


  1. Good results with the camera Dyl, I'd be pleased with those.

    1. Praise indeed Sir, many thanks! I have been pratting about with my 170 - 500mm Sigma for far too long, without getting to grips with this macro lark. I might have possibly opened up another avenue of exploration with this 14mm extension tube and my 18 - 55mm Canon lens? Only time will tell - one thing is for sure; it will be fun trying.
      Take care - Dyl

  2. Very much looking forward to breaching that massive gulf between us, Dyl. Not sure a lilght ale is up to the mark though as I'm sure we've plenty to chatter on about. We may need to hire the bar for a day or three.... :D

    Also, have you heard of image stacking? In macro-photography you focus on, for example, a fly (as above) but the tiny depth of field will only have an antenna and eye in focus. Take the pic then focus on the back and take the shot. Then focus on the near wing and take the shot etc etc etc until you have several images of various in focus parts. A clever bit of "computer programmery stuff" will merge the focussed bits together and hey presto - one perfectly in focus fly!!!! No idea of the software you'd need and have never tried photo-stacking but the effects can be stunning!

    Catchya sometime in June for those Heath Frits.

    PS - the banner at the top, that must be the largest Barbel in the world??? - no wonder you look so bloody knackered yet happy!!! :D