About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

M is for Macro

A bit of a test tonight, these are all taken with the new camera. My old Samsung, which had given sterling service for about two years to date died last week and with me having A) no money and B) a need for a camera last Wednesday, I couldn't get another Samsung, or whinge quickly enough to get a replacement from them. So having written Fuji Finepix off as being shite years ago after two of theirs failed me, I managed to find a cheepie on Wednesday.

These are taken with a Nikon compact - currently £49.99 in Argos. Like the previous three and following Moore's Law it is nearly twice the power of the old one and smaller, so from now on all (new) images will be around 16 Mpx. These also took a while to load but seem much clearer/sharper and the detail - when I get them in focus! - is in a different league.

Various Hover-flys, often mistaken by children for Wasps, they are mostly pretty harmless nectar eaters, with some of them having a rather horrid aquatic larval stage known as the 'long tailed maggot'. Other larvae feed on Aphids and look like shortened Caterpillars! Or; green hairy Leeches!!

More of the same, these are three standard House-fly sized larger ones and another (top left - Sun fly?) which was the biggest Hover-fly I've ever seen, it was the same size as a Hornet and that's what I thought it was as it buzzed my ear on the way into the Buddleia!

Little buff-beauties or whatever they are called, medium sized wild bees of the small colony type (50-odd to a few hundred individuals). The detail on some of these is fantastic and I'm wondering if they are worth anything to the image libraries? I take thousands of these types of shots and it would be nice if I could earn a bit of cash from them?

This is - I know - Bombus (probably 'lucorum' but with a buff tail?), our largest true Bumble-bee, and when it gets to it, it weighs the whole candelabra of flower-heads down, again the detail on these makes the thousands I have on disc from the last four or five years look poor!

This I am very pleased with, I have a vague memory of finding a red-tailed fly all dead, crumbled and dusty in an old web as a kid, but this is the first live one I've seen and I can't find it anywhere on the web ID pages? It's actually a crimson/vermilion colour changing to a more common green at the head end with a metallic sheen, the flash took some of its prettiness away! I don't even know which type of fly it is, I'm guessing on of the House/'Bottle', Flesh, Dung or Coffin flys, but several other groups have similar but less colourful members?

These were the first shots with the new camera and I was still getting used to it, the flash on macro is a bit too 'hot', but it takes better macro pictures without flash in good light so I may change the way I shoot figures...I've yet to try toy soldiers with it.

If you're thinking of a camera, or looking ahead to Christmas you can't beat this deal at Argos, 16 mega-pixels for 50-quid? Downsides so far - bright flash in macro, standard double-A batteries that may prove expensive over time and slow response on focusing compared to previous models. In a few years this type of 'compact-digital[ camera will probably have been replaced by smart-phone cameras of the same spec, so this may be one of the last?

I'm never sure of the rule re. names - common or Latin so have capitalised everything! I know it's a mess, it looks a mess, but I have Asperger's and it's only a Blog so I don't think anyone from Oxbridge will be harrumphing me down the phone first-thing tomorrow!

[Added 12-Sep.-2013] Turns out it's a North American Sweat Bee, and a less common one at that, must have stowed-away on a flying machine heading for Gatwick or Heathrow and flown along the M25 to Leatherhead! Or it might be one of these imports the tomato-growers are bringing-in to pollinate poly-tunnels?


Ed and Bettina Berg said...

Hugh, you have quite the variety of insects - and a knack for getting them to pose for you! I look in my backyard and see the same four types (perhaps they're the same four - period!). My FujiFilm is four years old but as it hasn't been used much it's still workin'. Except that it has a high pixel count it's not as good as my old Canon.

Maverick Collecting said...

Hey Ed, sorry about the insects, I got some lovely ones too; today and yesterday!

As to the camera, it's only my Asperger's, when something expensive fails me I really get 'the arse'!!

Also, with the second one it was the on-board computer failing (CMS or something) which have suffered a lot of recalls, especially about the time I bought mine...when I eMailed Fuji with hot-links to the Wussoline post here and the Rambling Rector pics which were on the gardening Blog but are here now - the reply was "We can't find your Blog"...rubbishy excuse for cutting a customer loose!