Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer insects (Jodie Randall)





Hot, hazy days in the middle of summer always bring an abundance of butterflies and dragonflies and an enthralling assortment of bugs and beetles.

During the summer months the light can be quite harsh, so rising early and being out in the field at dawn produces the best results. At this time of day, not only is the light softer, but most insects are just waking up, proving much easier to approach.

Arriving at one of my favourite locations on a still, dew-covered morning a couple of weeks ago, I began my search for damselflies and dragonflies resting in the long grasses.

Just as I had hoped, four or five bejewelled common damselflies clung to the blades of a tuft of grass - perfectly still. As I took my photographs the sun rose steadily higher in the sky warming the damselflies, some of which began to vibrate their wings sending a flurry of dew falling to the ground.

As the day heated up I moved deeper into the scrubland in search of bugs, beetles, grasshoppers and crickets. Somewhere from a near-by lake I could hear the honking voices of geese, just audible over the din of the grasshoppers around me. I find that concentrating on a very small patch around a square metre in size is the best way to find insects. The more you look, the more you see.

Tips: A small reflector can prove an invaluable tool when photographing insects. I use a home-made reflector, made from a strong sheet of card and a warm gold paper.
Reflectors can be purchased from most photographic stores and are inexpensive. If you do decide to make your own reflector, make sure you crumple the paper well before fixing it to your base so that the light will be reflected evenly.

9 comments:

Nathanael Gass said...

Very nice, I love the picture of the dragonfly especially. (The first one)

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