Thursday, 26 July 2012

Congratulations Mr King - it's a blog!

So here it is, my very first blog post! It's something that I've been meaning to do for ages, and yet a combination of being genuinely busy and when not, a little bit lazy, means that it has spent a good few months gestating in my mind. But now, after going through the pain and anguish of blog-birth, it has arrived into the world. More gently mewling than kicking and screaming, but there's definitely a pulse.

The idea behind this is to share my experiences of photography (and art and other things, but mainly photography). Taking pictures is pretty much my favourite thing to do in all the world and it's great to be able to share them on Twitter and other social networks. However, I'm really quite verbose, so having a limit of 140 characters (less whatever space the photo uses up) means generally I share very little with my followers, other than the picture and its title. I thought you may find it interesting to know a little more detail about what I've been up to and how I arrived at the pictures I've taken.

For starters here is a picture I took yesterday (July 25th 2012):

'cling on' Nikon D5000 with Nikon 40mm macro lens

Sometimes I really struggle to come up with a title for a picture - in fact, often they don't really need one. But personally I don't like a tweet that only contains a link to a photograph and nothing else. Therefore I always give at least a hint of what's lurking behind that URL.

Even when taking this picture though, I had the title of 'cling on' in mind. Looking very much like an alien, this little fellow was gamely making his way up and over the thistle, burying his head deep inside where he could know doubt ingest tons of thistly goodness.

Now, at this point I must tell you (if you haven't already guessed) that more often than not, I know very little about the subjects I shoot. I don't know what sort of creature that little guy is, or even if he is a guy. Funnily enough, I really quite enjoy this state of ignorance. When I see something like this, my mind doesn't whir around thinking about its name or scientific classification. Instead it's free to observe its movements in a purely pictorial way and doesn't start worrying that this creature is actually well known for flying into one's ear hole and burrowing into one's brain.

That's not to say I'm not happy to learn about new species. I just don't think it's important to know that kind of thing in order to take a good photo. However it is actually truly enjoyable to observe the behaviour of a creature like this and make certain discoveries for myself, rather than having read about them in a textbook first.

Anyway, back to the picture. What I liked was it has almost an aquatic feel. Insect X reminds me of a lobster and the the wavy thistle bits (aha! another absence of proper terminology - I'm not even sure it's even a thistle to be honest), remind me of the tentacles of a sea anemone, dancing to the rhythm of the ocean's sway.

He was fairly straightforward to photograph. Although constantly on the move, there were also occasions where a slight struggle ensued, slowing him down enough to get a fairly decent shot. As ever with macro photography, the big enemy was the breeze. With such a narrow depth of field to play with (literally a mm or two), the slightest movement in any direction will ruin the shot. Yesterday's trip along country hedgerows was carried out in the searing heat (despite having set off fairly early), so although the breeze was merciful for much of the time, being able to turn it off would have been very welcome.

So there we are, the first day in the life of my blog. If you made it this far, I think you deserve to be a god-parent. Please feed it with nice comments and change its filthy nappy (that's a diaper to my pals in the US) if needs be. If you have any questions or requests for further posts, please get in touch.


  1. I love it that you have a blog! I have missed your 'wordy ways'. Also the fact it's about my very favourite thing to do, too, makes it even better hehehe! Gotta love the 'translation' at the end too, made me think of times of old. I'm sure I need say no more ;-)

    Love and excited bloggy sparkles, god-parent/fan/groupie-
    Laura xx

  2. Anemone is truly one of the hardest words to say, even in my head I struggle with it!

    I too have missed your way with words, I'm glad to have something to read from you again, love Ru xx

  3. Aw, thank you both ladies, very kind & lovely of you :-) xx