One square metre

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One question I am often asked is how I manage to spot all the bugs I shoot. It really is just a matter of training your eye. The more you start to look for the smaller creatures around you, the more you start to find them.

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One way to train your eye is to find a small area of vegetation, say one square metre, and see how many insects you can find and photograph. You will be surprised after a little while just how many are there.

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All of the shots in today’s post were taken in one clump of weeds by the Wey Navigation towpath. The photo shoot took about 15 minutes in total. In fact, I found several other insects in the same clump.

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Why not give it a try and share the results on your blog and/or in comments here?

My Internet is down and I am blogging on 3G, which is expensive, so please forgive me if I am a little slow in replying or visiting your blogs until the pesky thing is fixed.

Quotography

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“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption.

I decided to have a go at the Quotography challenge on Nick Exposed. Each participant submitted three quotations. Then they were jumbled up and we were sent three from someone else with the challenge to photograph them. I can’t claim a great deal of success. I only did two of the quotations I received and one of those is best described as developmental. This is the best.
The problem with this quote was that ‘Hope’ as an abstract concept can be represented by almost anything. My team mate, my eleven year-old daughter, and I agreed that we didn’t want to photograph a flower, or a landscape, or any other random thing simply because its beauty might suggest hope. We wanted to represent Hope more specifically. My daughter, a fan of myths and legends, suggested the story of Pandora’s box, in which hope is sometimes described as a white butterfly. I liked the idea of using a living thing to represent hope as it tied in with the last part of the quote, and having it emerge from incarceration in the box also suggested the movie from which the quote came. Luckily, I owned a suitable box and I had some shots of a white butterfly taken last year. We lit the box from within by placing my iPhone inside with the torch app enabled. In a dark room, with tripod and self-timer, I photographed the box, and then enhanced the light effect and added the butterfly and a texture in Photoshop.

A challenge of distinction

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One year ago today, my heart was pounding and I was gripping the hand of my ever-supportive husband rather too hard for his comfort! What momentous event could have prompted this anguish, I hear you cry? Merely the awarding of a Royal Photographic Society (RPS) distinction! I know, perhaps a bit of an overreaction, but it was the culmination of nearly a year’s planning and I didn’t want anything to go wrong. Besides, watching a panel of ten of your favourite images being assessed by five distinguished photographers in front of a roomful of other photographers would be nerve-wracking for anyone!
The Royal Photographic Society offers three levels of distinction. I was being assessed for the entry level, success at which would make me a Licentiate of the RPS, known for short as LRPS. This is my panel. Each image and the panel as a whole have to satisfy a list of technical and visual criteria. First the five judges look at the whole panel as hung and then approach more closely to examine the images individually. Fortunately, they were quite quick in their deliberations on my panel so I wasn’t kept on the rack too long! It’s a great feeling when they announce your name and everyone claps. My husband commented on what a supportive bunch he found the other photographers to be.
Afterwards, many people asked me if I was going to move on to the next level, or Associateship. But I was happy with my LRPS and just wanted to bask in that feeling for a while. A year on and I am starting to think about the next step. I have some ideas brewing at the back of my mind…
If you fancy a new challenge, then a RPS distinction might be for you. If you want to know more, the RPS website has lots of information. Also, if you put them in a comment to this post, I will happily answer any questions.