Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Snowdonia Waterfalls 27 th dec 2011

Today i went up into the welsh mountains with Pete,  the Ogwen valley waterfalls that run down the mountain from Cym Idwal , the lake beneath the "Devils Kitchen"  .

The weather was normal welsh mountain stuff!!   wet, cold and very windy up at the lake!   we had to contend with rain constantly splattering the lens filters!!!!!!!!!!!!  a real pain!

                                 Here is the first set of falls that can be seen by the main road.

A little higher up the view opens out with the glyder mountain range over to the left.

The first proper image , taken from the newish bridge that was constructed last winter ,  there was a lot of snow melt water coming down, the ground was completely saturated and i got very wet feet!

            only needed a poloriser and 2 stop nd to get the required shutter speed to blur the water.
                       used 0.8  -  2 seconds for most of these shots, such was the water speed!

                           you can see the state of the weather up on the mountain tops!    lol

we took the right hand path that runs all the way up the waterfalls to the lake at the top, stopping all the way up shooting these pictures :)

                                                         Here i am , yes this is me!     lol    

Getting near cym idwal   , here is a quick shot with Pete in the top left hand side which gives you an idea of  scale the size of this location!!!!!!!

   Once at the top , the wind was horrendous, even the camera was moving on the tripod!!!  not good !

            So only managed this one 3 frame HDR image. Think i have captured the scene quite well!
                                                        This is my fav image of the day!

It was so windy we decided to finish here , and head down to the lower falls underneath the main road!

A long  path!    lyn Ogwen is in the background where the main road runs all way along!

Another shot from the bridge on the way back to road level!   lol

and a last look back up the mountain! quite a few people going up now,bad weather earlier obviously put them off !   the  weather was clearing slightly!  but not for very long :(

The water flows out of lyn Ogwen and goes down into the nant francon valley under the main road.  here are the shots :)


                                                                            and finally !

all images shot with canon 5d2 and 17-40 L

Friday, 23 December 2011

A Review of 2011 Butterfly Adventures April - June

Since its the end of the year,  i think its a good time to post a review of all the species of uk butterfly i have shot this year.     these are just a few of the butterfly shots, they can all be viewed  HERE

So these are a few of my favourites :)    not necessarily the best!

starting off with a back lit Brimstone shot on the canal alongside whixall moss in Shropshire 17/4/11

       at whixall moss 22/4/11 i shot Speckled wood and one of my favourite species, the Green hairstreak!

Next to shoot was an Orange tip,  15/5/11,  shot in my back garden

on 19/5/11 at whixall moss i shot this green veined white on a dandylion seed head, it was quite windy and was very difficult to get a sharp image!

            And a head shot taken with mpe-65 macro lens and focus stacked to increase depth of field :)

                            25/5/11   at Rixton clay pits i found my first common blue of the year

  The first small copper was shot at whixall moss 31/5/11,  got really lucky shooting this!  they are normally quite skittish  but this one just sat on the stem which i was holding in my left hand while sheltering it from a brisk breeze!

In june , my fav Silver studded blue emerged in large numbers at Prees heath in Shropshire,  i will show a few of my best images from a couple of trips :)

                                                                            and a female

and while at prees , shot my first small heath and meadow brown :)

                                                                     and a large skipper!

That was the end of June,  the season really got going in July, with so many new species that i had not seen!

more in next blog :)


all images taken with canon 5d2 and 100mmL macro handheld.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Fairy Glen , snowdonia 28 th Nov

My last trip before Christmas,  another shoot at fairy glen near Betwsy-coed.   It is so difficult to get good light as its a deep gorge and usually only get half hour of nice light early morning!   there was quite a lot of water coming down through the gorge which always makes shooting water trails more difficult!

Here is the first shot i managed, managed a decent water trail shooting at f18  13 seconds exposure, using cokin poloriser and a 2 stop full nd filter.

i then shot down the gorge using 70-300 is,  6 secs at f7.3 @300mm.  love the mistiness of the water!

and another  6 secs at f18  @220 mm

Changing to another position on the rocks, shooting with 100mm L macro

15 secs at f5.3

Then i tried another few water trails shots with 17-40L

this one 10 seconds at f18  @23mm

6 seconds at f18 @ 23 mm

Turning around to shoot downstream across the waterfall

                And a four frame focus stack to increase depth of field,  15 seconds at f22 @40mm

all shot with canon 5d2, 100mmLmacro,70-300 is & 17-40 L

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Welsh Mountain Dragonflies June 20th 2011

This was the second trip to cors bodynydd in the welsh mountains high above betws-y-coed to see the Keeled skimmers.  hopefully the males  will have fully coloured up :)
This species are one of my favourites, especially the blue males which look stunning!  unfortunately when i arrived the weather was not very good, thick cloud and drizzly rain but i was here now, so on with the waterproof coat and off for a walk in the rain! lol    after half an hour i had seen nothing, i searched the area i found them in last visit then proceeded to search a wider area around the boggy swamp and stream area.  then unexpectedly i nearly trod on a snake, a beautifully patterned  adder!!   basking on a grassy mound in the rain!!!   very strange......

They have wonderful eyes :)

Having taken a couple quick shots before it slithered off into the undergrowth i continued over to more dryer ground where heather grows all over the area and it was here i found my target species, male Keeled skimmers perching on the heather bushes.   with the overcast conditions the light was perfect for shooting these dragons!

            The first male was almost fully coloured, you can still see the gold colour showing through!

the next one fully coloured, wonderful!

and another with gold still showing through on the abdomen!

Finding one low down near the ground i put on the mpe-65 macro lens to take a close up shot , this one still had rain drops all over it!

To finish off a great morning , shots of both male and female on my hand to show size of the little dragons:)

all shots taken with canon 5d2, 100mm L & mpe-65 macro lenses

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Welsh Mountain Damselflys & Dragonflies June 6th/20 th 2011

Back in the summer i went up into the welsh mountains to a lake above Betws-y-coed to see the rare Scarce blue tail damselfly -Ischnura pumilio .  the shallow boggy mountain lake has a good population of them along with common blue tails and Keeled skimmer dragonflies.  but shooting is quite difficult because it always seems to be windy up high! 
There are two lakes, the first one   Cors bodyndd   has a huge number of Keeled skimmers - Orthetrum coerulescens. 

i wanted to find the dragonflies before it warmed up too much and they start to fly!  after an hour of not finding anything i had decided to go over to the other lake , but suddenly i spotted one flying, so i crossed a boggy stream area and found dozens of them warming themselves in the sun in a sheltered clearing!

here is a newly emerged female, beautiful colouration!

Then a male , you can just see the colour changing , a mature adult will be all blue!

I then found a male that has really started turning colour!

Having shot enough of this species for this day i made my way over to the other lake 
Llyn Tyn-y-mynydd.

This is the lake that has a good population of the rare Scarce blue tail damsel.  The Most beautiful is the female form "aurantiaca"

Almost immediately i found a couple perching on grass stems ,  i shot these with 100mm L macro, at f5.6 to get a nice clean background to show off these beautiful damsels!

They really are stunning to see!

Here is a male as a comparison!

and another female aurantiaca

This boggy mountain lake also has a large number of the native round leaved sundew.

There were also plenty of the more common  Blue - tail damselflies - ischnura elegans.
The females have at least five  distinct colour forms , here is the "rufescens" form

and a  "violacea" form

and a male

i suddenly found a female Keeled skimmer,with  beautiful lighting!

Then more female scarce blue tails!  cant get enough of these!

Meal time!

The end of a fantastic day , i came back to shoot the Keeled skimmers when they had fully coloured up, another blog to write!   lol

all shots canon 5d2, 100mm L macro lens.