Friday, 16 June 2017

Kassiopi pt2 Butterfly Heaven

Today we are going to the beach at Avlaki, which is about 20 mins walk in the opposite direction to the Village and it is hot already , i have my macro gear with me so while Jan goes swimming i can go on a butterfly hunt around the surrounding pond area.

Walking down the narrow roads the sides of the road are full of crickets and other insects , butterflies mainly meadow browns are everywhere.

 Our first view of Avlaki ...................  say no more :)

The grass is alive with grasshoppers and Crickets  , and i have just spotted beautifully coloured lizard.

              Newly emerged teneral Dragonfly , quite small , similar to the uks Black Darter in size.

                                  Best shot i could get of this Lizard , they are so fast   lol

 Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   my first Scarce Swallowtail image , i spotted one on the walk down here and a couple flying past but this one settled right in front of me .

                 The large pond is just behind the beach , i am walking around the scrub behind it.

                           There must be thousands of hoppers around here , they are perched on leaves and fern fronds everywhere i walk.   this one perched nicely for me .

 There are a couple of white butterflies just near the beach feeding ,   i have id them as Eastern Dappled Whites , but could be a similar species as they all look very similar.

       Its boiling hot here now ,   i can hear Cicadas chirping in the trees but cannot find or see one!

Another Dragonfly that actually perched in this hot bright sunshine ,  but since its raining back home i cant complain :)

            This Scarce Swallowtail flew past me fast , but eventually settled to briefly feed .

 I have been chasing Clouded Yellows all over the place, but they are just not resting   but this Painted Lady stopped for long enough to shoot this single frame .

                           There are quite a few Fritillaries , later id as Spotted Fritillaries

                                                                          Stunning colour!

There ai a wide variety of plants and flowers around this area , plenty of daisys but are not being visited by any butterflies.

                                                     A Small Copper perches in the sun

                          Not a clue on what this one is , very nice though .

At last i have managed to shoot one of the many Clouded Yellows ,  this one is quite pale.   there are also some much smaller ones again very pale in colour but i have not managed a picture yet.

Tiny Beeflies are buzzing loudly while feeding on these yellow flowers , a fast shutterspeed froze the action here .

             Another Clouded Yellow ,  this one was fairly slow and feeding constantly for ages .

                        Its too hot , i need a rest and go back to the beach to find Jan swimming

I have taken a walk around to the next beach down a track through the trees  , another stunning bay .

On the way back to the hotel  , i pause to shoot one of the many wild cats that seem to be all over the place .

Time to head down to the Harbour to find somewhere for dinner , the setting sun is lighting up Albania in the distance as we sit eating dinner

                             The castle is illuminated on the hill in front of the harbour.

          The resturant we have just left , its very quiet here as the season has bairly started and we got Free deserts :)

                                   The crowded main street on our way back to the hotel.

We have just seen our first Fireflies  YAY      i have tried to shoot a video , and can hear the Scopps Owl in the background,  bloody noisy things which kept us awake at night for hours!!


                 Phone pic of a firefly  about 1 cm in length , but the intensity of the light is amazing!

                                                     The end of another busy day in Corfu.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Kassiopi Corfu pt1

We have flown to Corfu for a week in the sun, hopefully! Leaving the rain behind., we are staying at Kassiopi, a small quiet village about an hour and half from the airport.   upon arriving in Corfu a coach connection was supposed to be waiting for us , and a few other people . But no one was there!!!   the small "office" in the airport was un attended!      Eventually 40 minutes later we where on a small mini bus heading to our apartment , fortunately the driver was dropping a family off on the way to Kassiopi which meant we were 2 nd stop , the others were heading to the opposite side of the island so they would be hours away from their destination.

                               The view from our veranda  , olive and Oleander trees

 A quick look around the garden and i have spotted loads of butterflies  ,  macro lens on and lets get some pics .

                                                                     Common blue i think .

  A Copper ,  bright orange upper wings while flying but didn't get a close enough look at it .

The beach is just at the bottom of the garden , 3 minutes walk.      just look at the water clarity   wow!

                                                      Albania looks so close from here.

Think i will take the drone for a quick fly , Yes i brought it .

                                                   straight up above the garden .

 Down onto the beach ,   i have been flying for less than 5 minutes and someone has just fired a shotgun at it!!!!!!!  WTF!!       Mad Greek woman is now running down the beach towards me shouting her head off!      shouting if i see that drone again you will not see it again and you will be in big trouble with the police!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!         i have been flying out over the sea 200 mts from any property , totally legally ,   stupid bloody bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 I have just taken this last image before landing and having a shouting match with the bitch!      i will look for police tomorrow as i and my property have been threatened!

  I'm really bummed now, cant even risk flying again here. Jan even heard the shotgun back in the apartment.

Time to walk down to Kassipoi village and the harbour to take a look around.  pics taken with my new  i phone 7 plus  except first one .

                                                             What a beautiful harbour.

                               Walking around the headland on the right side of the harbour.

                                                                       a beautiful beetle :)

On the way back through the main street this is on a low wall ,    looks like it has 2 wounds on its body and isn't moving , a quick pic is taken .

                           The end of an eventful day in Corfu.   what will tomorrow bring?  

Monday, 24 April 2017

I have a Drone !

I have been thinking about getting a drone/quad copter for about 6 months, DJI the main company making these machines announced a new smaller foldable design called Mavic Pro last year , after pre ordering one it became apparent that supply/delivery was going to take quite a while, with numerous delays from the factory.  After about 6 weeks the company announced another drone, the  Phantom 4 pro  , which has the renowned 1 " Sony exmor sensor. adjustable apperture, shutterspeed and iso .   hearing this i immediately cancelled my Mavic order and pre ordered this one , after all image quality is more important than portability!
Eventually i received my P4p the second week of January this year, after a long wait and hearing all sorts of problems with the new drone i hoped that all these problems would have been fixed in firmware updates.

Setting it up was done in no time, new updates installed easily and now i just had to go and test it out in beginner mode at first :)              There is a field nearby next to a golf course where i can safely make its first flight ,   i have been practising with a small cyma xc5 so it should not be too difficult .

                                               My first drone image , WOW   impressed already .

 After a short test taking a few images and short video clips i have gone home , re charged the battery ( need to be careful not to go below 50% for the first 4 or 5 re charges to prolong battery life)  i have taken off directly above the garden to take a topdown shot .

A few days later i took the drone down to New Brighton to try out on the beach over the groynes

     Looks pretty good from above . i have been shooting at f5.6 which appears to be the sharpest apperture on this 28 mm lens

My next trip out was to Talacre beach for a quick try in a wide open space ,   i now have a second battery so will have about 46 minutes flying time now , approx 23 on each battery.     Its quite breezy but not a problem , but it started spitting with rain so only managed a twenty minute flight.

One of my favourite images taken so far ,  topdown over the lighthouse with the Terrible Twosome running into the water .

              Newborough Beach on Anglesey  next stop on the Drone tour ,     a fabulous location.

A video test on Moreton shore came next , i have not a clue about video but i shot this at 60fps so i could do a couple of slow motion clips in the finished film.

 Finally a view of Colwyn Bay pier just before the end was destroyed by a storm a few days later.
yes i took of from the beach straight over the sea !

                                                       and Parys Mountain on Anglesey

 That is a selection of practise shots of my first 6 weeks of flying the Drone ,  its has amazed me how different everything looks from high up and how easily you can get good compositions 

all these have been shot at less than 200 ft ,  the maximum allowed in uk is 400ft for safety reasons obviously .

Next stop a Snowdonia shoot with the Drone in the mountains.