I live in a camper van with a West Highland Terrier for company.
My passion is creating images but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN

Monday 12 August 2013

HALF A DOZEN. (12/08/13)

  I have a choice of macro gear. Yesterday I was reasonably pleased with the 100mm with a 36mm extension tube. It ups the magnification about 30%. Tomorrow weather permitting I’ll pop the 400mm on a tripod with a 2x extender and about 60mm of extension tubes. This won’t give anything like true macro ie. 1:1. But it should make life easier. I wont be in the little insects faces.

Today I used the MP-E 65mm lens hand held. Aperture was f11 and shutter speed was 1/250s. I used the MR-14EX ring light on ETTL. I must have missed about twenty shots. This lens doesn’t have a focus ring. You set it to the magnification you want which can be 1x to 5x. Then whilst holding your breath you move the camera till focus is achieved. Half the time the subject gets sick of waiting and flies away. The other thirty percent get hit by the monster flash ring or the front lens element. It is a nightmare but good fun. 

I pressed the shutter six times and here are the six images. None are totally horrendous, none are cropped and all are at twice life size. The ETTL consistently under exposed by half a stop but I’m happy with that. It’s easier to recover shadow than highlights.

_V0G7566  I’ve no idea…..I suspect one of the Hoppers. It can fly as I found out when I tried to turn it round with a blade of grass. This frame is 35mm on the diagonal. I’ll try and think of a way of popping a scale on these pictures.

_V0G7567  A Flesh Fly. This is about as good as I get.

_V0G7568   This cocoon is on a grass stalk. It’s a beautiful colour and around 3mm diameter. 

_V0G7569    This moth has fantastic eyes. It’s about halfway between a micro moth and the Silver Y in size.

_V0G7570    Another Flesh Fly.

_V0G7571    This was a Needle Fly on Bramble Blossom but it flew off just as I fired the shutter.

_MG_1063     This is the set up. It weighs a ton. I’m exhausted. I can’t think of any way to make life easier. A pair of those trousers that plumbers have with knee pads in would make life more comfortable.

The next image was taken yesterday with the same set up and again hand held. It’s not for the faint hearted…..I hate these damn things.

_V0G7565      It’s a female Sheep or Deer Tick. The little white strings are Molly hairs. It’s a daily job at the moment is de- ticking the dogs. I see this one has a leg missing it fell off whilst I was turning it onto it’s back. This is at four times life size and cropped. When fully engorged with blood she will be two or three times this size. Revolting things. I bet God made them on a Friday afternoon.

That’s all for today, I’m off for a rest.


  1. Thanks for showing the camera set-up. The flowers look best. I know you hate AF, but it works for me with the 25mm tube and good light of course. Are your tubes manual? If so the insects might be hard to get, at least the fly? Flies are so erratic.

    1. Maria, I use auto focus on the 100mm and the extension tubes are fully wired.
      I sometimes use auto focus but if you look at these.
      I would have gone for f16 and mega ISO focus manual and just blasted away and prayed. Douglas is young and fit. He can Hold a 500mm lens long enough for it to find A1 lock and then swing it to follow.

      I have no choice of auto anything with the MP-E. I lie TTL works fine. The big problem comes when I stop down to f16. I can't see what I'm looking at through the lens. It is great inside. I use a torch to find focus and a Velbon Macro plate but look on Flickr. There the group get used to it and as a lens it's a class act.
      Practice makes perfect. I've some way to go yet.

      The Tick is revolting and I've another month of having to find them. They carry all known diseases.

  2. I think they were made so vets could charge a packet , just to remove them.......thank god for those little plastic hooks that you twist the buggers off with.


    1. Peter, you are paranoid. Vets are expensive and despite seven years training....They do two years more than a doctor...Quite right too. Animals bite and kick and can't tell you what's wrong. I use the wee plastic forks and 'One Spot'. If your dog becomes lethargic then it has been bitten by one with Lyme's disease. It needs antibiotics and summat else. The vet will know what the summat else is. That's why they are on mega bucks.

  3. depending on hairy your dogs are you can simply burn the blighters off with a lighter, you can also get a special ointment from a pet supermarket that comes complete with special hook thing, but lighters are better.
    I like the blue thing, what is it?

    1. Douglas for an artist with a camera you are a rock ape. I can't even imagine going near mine with fire.
      The blue thing.....It's a cocoon, already told you that. What's in it I hope somebody will tell us. I thought it was a bit of blue tack on grass but it's insect made....By a spider is my guess.

  4. HI Adrian That tick looks gross. rather you than me but I supse it have to be done. The camera etc looks too heavy for me and I have to be happy with what i have.

    1. Margaret, ticks are a pain. I get them on me. This warm summer is gods way of telling us. Little bastards they are and so is god for inventing them.
      It's too heavy for most folk but I cheat. I only have to pull focus and the flash dictates the shot......As you will have seen focus is the problem to a perfect image.

  5. Hi Adrian... Your are to much...love that set up,but I would not want to carry it far, I'll stick with my low budget, camera set up ; )
    I hate tick's we have deer ticks, dog tick's and wood tick's yuck!!
    I have gotten then on me, but only one got hold damn thing!!
    My daughter would love that cocoon and color !! She would probably try to
    spin it in with some of her wool lol!
    Have fun playing with your photo's!!

    1. Grace...I purchased it as job lot, not the camera. It is awful heavy but quite well balanced.
      I detest ticks. This time of year they creep up my trousers. Lyme's disease be buggered I firmly believe they also carry Erectile Disfunction. Though to be fair to Ticks my EX was good at that.
      It's an amazing cocoon. I haven't pissed about with the colour. It looked like a bit of Blue Tak.

      Wash your mouth out....I don't play with Photo's, well only a bit and now and again.

  6. My friend in Wales is plagued by sheep ticks. Forever getting the two dogs. Cover them in Vaseline. Kills the buggers, and makes it easier to get rid of them.

    Pictures are great, especially the moth.

    Impressive set up.

    1. How does she get rid of the Vaseline? I hate ticks but slimy dogs would be worse for me. I really don't want to know what she and you get up to with Vaseline. I'm far too old for such shenaigins.
      I like flash it gives me the image at 1/30,000s. Bastard is it still has to be in focus at that millisecond. Is that a peco second?
      I'm scratching my head and working on that wee matter. The focus matter. I can make the strobe sing and dance.

    2. The trick is not to use the whole pot all at once; save some for another time.

    3. Keith, it's me. It's far from perfect but it's me and my diary.
      As for the Vaseline. Personally I prefer KY Jelly.

  7. Hey Up Here!!
    This is Adrian on his Blog.
    Enough about bloody Ticks,it's not a veterinary write in column. I see five a day. What about the Macros or in this case Micros? I spend more time getting off focus images than I do ridding bloody ticks.

  8. It must have been a sight...you kneeling in the undergrowth slowly swaying back and forth like a praying mantis stalking it's pray, only for the pray to take flight at the last moment!...Ahhh!...the frustrations of being a mini beast photographer!
    You got some good results...the Flesh Fly, the spider's blue ball and the moth (1388 Pale Straw Pearl - udea lutealis) (Keith and me had trouble IDing one of these a couple of days ago!)are the best...[;o)

    I hope you noticed..I never mentioned ticks, or how ticks are such a nuisance, and how ticks are horrible annoying little buggers, once!...or Vaseline!!

  9. Adrian, your spider balls..er!..I mean..your spider's ball. Try this www.uksafari.com/combfooted.htm ...[;o)

    1. Trevor, I conserve my shutter count. It's hard work being an idiot.
      The link is nothing like as good as my spider ball.
      Is it to wrap a meal in or to conserve eggs? I have never seen anything like it, I'll keep trawling the undergrowth.

      Isn't that moth a cracker. Is mine 1389 or are the numbers relevant to some arcane moth language. Did you see it's eyes and gob.

      It's hard work is macro and micro but amazing what a camera can see that I didn't even know was there.

      Many thanks for the ID.

    2. The little ball is the spiders way of keeping her eggs all in one basket, as the saying goes!

      And the number, as every good mother (that's moth..er..or lepidopterist to you and me) knows is taken from the Bradley list (the Bradley Checklist of Lepidoptera Recorded from the British Isles) which assigns a number to each species, beginning with the most primitive moths. See!..you learn something new every day!!...[;o)

    3. Ta Trevor, I do fancy giving them a number.
      Sorry for the delay in replying but I had a rough day yesterday and the internet was very hit and miss.

  10. No no no, I don’t want to know. Haven’t you got any pretty furry things, like kittens?

    Sheep ticks, yuck. Poor dogs. Are you against parasite treatment?

    1. Friko, I dose 'One Spot' once a month. I do my best. Then when I've done my best I do me. Ticks are the very devil. The devil incarnate they are. Look at the beautiful insects what I snapped.

  11. The fly really does have hair! And I think keeps in combed in a kind of punk rock style. That's probably appropriate. It (the first fly) is a really excellent picture.

    I'm too color blind to tell if the cocoon is blue or purple but it is surely a pretty color.

    If God created ticks on Friday, I don't think I've run across anything he created on Saturday...well, maybe I have, there have been a couple of managers...

    1. David, of course flies have hairs. Some are punky but others are more grunge. Flies don't mind what you call them....they don't have ears.
      My first wife was conceived on a Saturday. She was a witch.

      I love insex such tiny things. I really love them. That's weird.
      One has to be careful with language.
      I really love them is not to say I want to make love to them.

  12. Superb first Flesh Fly. As for God making ticks on Friday afternoon - I nearly cried laughing.

    1. Graham, these macros and micros can be improved upon.

      As for the Ticks.....Well what good do they do?

      I never thought I could get so many comments about Ticks.

      I struck a chord here Graham. Perhaps I'll start a new blog
      Tics Dot com/'
      I would really appreciate your niece being in charge of the mail. She brightens up a mail box.
      Sorry the mail box is better with her.

      I love insects just the delicacy and complication of them.

  13. I like magnified photos of insects. We get to see things that are not possible with the naked eye. the last series of photos have been first class.

    1. Red, I love getting them on the computer. They are amazing.
      I can see room for improvement.

  14. Ah, ticks - they would be a fine example of extinction not always being a bad thing!

    There is endless fun and games to be had with macro! Thank goodness we don't have to pay to get all the wasted shots developed anymore!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    1. Stewart, there was no waste today. I can see there ought to have been.

  15. Adrian, these are great to get such magnification. Most of us would never stop to look, let alone see the detail your lens is capturing. My eyes are not good and I have trouble reading normal printed text, let alone see this kind of detail. I hate ticks too ~ I lost a beautiful male ginger cat to a tick a few years ago. You probably should be checking your own person too, crawling around in the scrub. My boss came to work a few years ago and had found one in his armpit after doing some regular suburban gardening.

  16. Carol, I assume the cat caught Lymes disease. It is a worry. I pick the odd one up. Two so far this year. I'll have to dose myself with One Spot.
    I'm hoping that with a lot more practice I'll get better. The lens is a beauty but very frustrating.

  17. Piece of equipment you ... watching the cameras that have some, I'm ashamed to teach mine: ((
    The macros are very good, the flesh fly, is very ugly :))
    A hug.

    1. Laura, old people have to have toys....This is a young persons toy but young people cannot afford them.
      The Flesh Fly is disgusting but beautiful.

    2. Laura, los ancianos tienen que tener juguetes .... Se trata de un joven juguete personas, pero los jóvenes no pueden pagarlos.
      La mosca de la carne es un asco, pero hermoso.