Smiler

insect close-up

f2.8, 1/640, ISO 100, 100mm

It’s been a while since I posted a bug shot. Well, at least a couple of weeks, which is a long bug-holiday for Focused Moments! These are shots from 2010, found today while trying to clear some space on my hard drive. I recently heard someone describe dragonfly faces as scary but I think they’re rather cute; they always look to me as if they are smiling.
insect

f.13, 1/80, ISO 400, 100mm

    The Dragon-fly

Today I saw the dragon-fly
Come from the wells where he did lie.
An inner impulse rent the veil
Of his old husk: from head to tail
Came out clear plates of sapphire mail.
He dried his wings: like gauze they grew;
Thro’ crofts and pastures wet with dew
A living flash of light he flew.
-Tennyson

Fruits of the Forest

mushrooms

37mm, f7.1, 1/20, ISO800


Last weekend I enjoyed one last fungi foray. This time the location was West End woods, near Esher.
mushrooms

27mm, f9, 1/9, ISO 800


I had hoped for some more colourful toadstools but although I found a few red ones, they had all been trampled by previous walkers and their dogs. But I rather like these less showy specimens.
mushrooms

31mm, f5.6, 1/13, ISO 800


I am travelling at the moment and posting one I prepared earlier. I will catch up with comments etc on my return.

Lace bug

insect macro

100mm , f13, 1/200, ISO 800

This bizarre creature is a lace bug, probably stephanitis rhododendri, which is bad news for the rhododendrons and azaleas in my garden.  Or it might be stephanitis takeyai, which is bad news for the pieris in my garden.  So it is bad news for me as a gardener either way!  I don’t know why it was posing in my sumac tree instead of one of its preferred meals, but I thought the colours worked rather nicely.

The secret waterfall

waterfall
A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by a photographer, Jenifer Bunnett, based in Surrey who had found me on the internet and suggested we might go out on photo safaris together. We met up for a coffee and a chat and found we hit it off. Jen is a super photographer whose interests are similar to mine. On Tuesday we had our first adventure together. I have already posted my shots of fungi from the woods around Friday Street in the Surrey Hills. However, our main quarry was this waterfall, something Jenifer had read about but hadn’t yet found. It seemed to be something of a secret, mentioned mysteriously on the internet but without directions. It turned out, to my surprise, that I had been there, several years ago, on a family hike. Surrey isn’t known for its waterfalls, but this one is pretty and tranquil – we had it to ourselves. Although most of the trees around it are laurel, and so evergreen, we did notice a few birches so a return visit in a couple of weeks is very much on the cards.
If you are interested, do visit Jen’s website and/or her Facebook page.

More forest secrets

mushrooms

55mm, f7.1, 1/25, ISO 800

It’s a grey, drizzling day here, the sort of weather that people imagine when they think of England. A day for editing images rather than shooting them.

mushroom

55mm, f8, 1/40, ISO 800

I hope you can forgive yet another mushroom-related post. There were so many toadstools and other fungi in the woods near Friday Street yesterday. I snapped a few of the nicest, or strangest, depending on your point of view.

fungus

55mm, f4, 1/150, ISO 800

The last couple of days have been bad back days so I only had my little Fuji along. But it coped well with pretending, using the 18-55mm kit lens, to be a macro shooter.

mushrooms in leaves

55mm, f 4.5, 1/80, ISO 800

One or two of the mushrooms were kind enough to pose above ground level.

mushrooms

55mm, f4.5, 1/60, ISO 800

Using a wider lens than I would normally gave me the chance to try something a little different from my usual shallow depth of field, isolated subject, loads of bokeh style. In the shot below I wanted to make more of an environmental shot, using the log to lead the eye into the frame.

mushrooms

18mm, f5, 1/40, ISO 1600

It was while I was taking that shot that I noticed the cute little toadstool posing on top of the log featured in my post yesterday. Here it is a bit closer. Well, I couldn’t keep the bokeh at bay for long.

toadstool

55mm, f7.1, 1/12, ISO 800

Despite having now edited all of the images from the shoot, the image I posted yesterday remains my favourite of the day. But I have made a better edit of it, muting some of the brightest highlights in the background.

fungi

18mm, f.5, 1/50, ISO 1600

Tomorrow, one more secret of the forest, but not a mushroom in sight.