A Toddle Through Tenterden

Whilst in Kent I went to visit the Tenterden Camera Club for their social meeting.  It reminded me a lot of my local club in Port Charlotte, the Photo Adventures Camera Club.

Their social format was pretty much the same as hours a projector for showing images and a discussion of recent and upcoming activities and photographers helping each other.  One of theirs was a photowalk through Tenterden and their monthly theme is to be macro and closeup.  It made me wish I was staying a bit longer.

I decided to take the walk through Tenterden though to see what I could find and here are the results.  The dominant building on the skyline is St. Mildreds COE Church.  I went to it to find an ancient church in the midst of an ongoing reconstruction and renovation.  It also seemed to be the day for organ practice so all my shooting at the church was accompanied by appropriate music.

Hanging model ships was apparently a common thing in churches to celebrate launching, successful voyages, etc.  After a while at the church I started down the High Street and found the Quill House along the way.  It had an interesting chain and anchor in the front and a passageway that made for an interesting image.  I’ll need to look into this one a bit more.


This isn’t the best angle to show the anchor but I always think that passageways are interesting subjects.  On the other side of the street the houses had deep gardens most of which were attractively maintained offering another sort of passage.


And finally, the theme of macro and closeup is something I enjoy so I did manage to get a few of those to fit the club theme.  Too bad I won’t be around for the next few meetings of this interesting group.

Thank you Tenterden CC, you made me feel welcome.


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A couple of birds from an English Farm

We are on our annual trip to the UK and after a couple of days in London we moved on to our first stay on a farm in Buckinghamshire.  It’s a couple of miles out of town to provide some peace and tranquility but still close enough for shopping or dining out when needed.

The birds were a bit skittish so I often had to shoot through the cottage windows.  Just walking across the window or opening them was enough to frighten them away.  These were shot with a Nikon 1 V2 and the 70-300mm CX lens.


This is an English Robin.  It’s a lot smaller than the American Robin and a completely different species.  Our robin was named after it because of the red breast but the American robin is a thrush like bird and this is more of a flycatcher.


This is a Little Owl.  That’s the actual name.  After capturing the shot I posted it for ID on a British site as a little owl and discovered that all I had to do was capitalize it.


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More Flying Flies

I found a pair of   Four-spotted Aphid Flies (Dioprosopa clavata) in  a mating flight at a pond near the intersection of Marion and Ponce De Leon Blvd in Punta Gorda.  It’s actually a nectar eater as an adult but it lays it’s eggs near aphids and their larvae prey on the aphids.B2W2DSC_6150c - Dioprosopa clavata

They are small (about 1/2 inch) and I needed to use manual focus to keep the camera from jumping to another subject.  Since they were moving, I’m quite happy to have gotten two shots that are halfway decent and this is the best of those two.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid there are going to be more aggressive mosquito control measures with the Zika Virus scare so we may be losing more of these beneficial insects.

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Catching a fly flying

This is a Dolichopodidae, also known as a Long-legged Fly.  There are over 137 species of them in Florida and  18 of those have only been found here.  They are very small.  Less than a 1/4 inch and even less than 1 millimeter.  You will see them flitting about everywhere.

They are carnivorous and eat even smaller flies (think no-see-ums).  They will often return to a preferred, predictable observation spot when feeding.  When they take off, they leap backwards and I noticed they did so every time I clicked the shutter.  I expect it was reacting to the movement of the lens and iris.

For this picture, I set the focus point on the edge of the leaf to the right and waited for a fly to return to the leaf.  I set the camera for a fast series and started shooting.  Eventually, I found a couple worth keeping.


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Fading Tulips

We had a pot of Tulips decorating the house but, as all flower do, they began to fade and wilt.  There are some potted plants that do well here in SW Florida but tulips aren’t one of them without a lot of care.  So, they were off to the horticultural recycling bin.  As I took them out though, the texture of the wilting leaves caught my eye and I decided to take a few shots.  I had the Nikkor 70-300mm VR on the camera so I just picked it up, put the pot on a ledge with grass and plants in shadow and took a series of images.

Here is how they turned out.

DSC_5461sq DSC_5483sq


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A Better Day at the Rookery

My camera club had a followup visit to the Venice Rookery last Tuesday.  It was a much, much better morning for shooting with plenty of activity on the island and the surrounding area.  The hard part wasn’t what to shoot but deciding what to set up for.  The range of plumage colors from the deep black of an Anhinga through the middle greys of the Great Blue Heron to the pure white of a Great Egret certainly kept my EV control finger busy.

The Anhinga below was shot at 0.0 EV with a Nikon V2 with the 70-300mm CX lens and still managed some feather detail  in the dark areas.

I switched to the D750 with 70-200mm VR (Mk 1) and TC-17E II and the Great Egret needed -1.67 EV to keep from blowing out highlights.  The Great Blue Heron was shot at the same -1.67 but needed a bit of brightening in post processing.



Just another wonderful morning in paradise:)



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A Foggy Morning at the Venice Rookery

My camera club had a field trip to the Venice Rookery  this morning.  It was set up primarily to have a learning session for the many folks using the Canon Powershot SX40, 50 and 60 bridge cameras.  I’ve seen some impressive result with them but prefer sticking with Nikon for a common user interface.


I went along just to be sociable and because I hadn’t been to the rookery for a while.  It turned out to be a foggy morning when I arrived at about 8:00 AM and it was just beginning to clear when I left at about 10.   Still, I took a few shots to capture the mood.

1041 - web 2622c - web

I was disappointed to find that the island had suffered some damage.  As you can see from the first shot some of the larger trees have been damaged.  It is still mostly Brazilian Pepper and there are still plenty of places to nest.

The last image shows a young Great Blue Heron on the right getting fed by an adult.

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