Thursley Common Visit

Thursley Common in Surrey is a great place for shooting macro images of insects, (particularly  dragon and damselflies), as well as basking lizards. The lizards can easily be seen in good weather in very large numbers basking on the large expanse of boardwalks that are present at the site.  See the end of this post for some shots of the environment.

I also had taken another diffuser setup made from the holders of some cream slices, which I fitted a loop of vellum paper around.

I experimented with this and the MPE-65mm on a grasshopper, which I spotted early on.  The results are quite pleasing, I will add a post later on this setup and my findings after a bit more usage of it.

Grasshopper at 1x Magnification
Grasshopper at 1x Magnification

Grasshopper at 1x Magnification.  Taken on Canon 650D with Canon MPE-65mm Macro Lens.  ISO 200 F11 1/200.  Flash from MT-24ex Twin Flash with Cream Ice Diffusers and extra vellum.

Grasshopper at 2x Magnification
Grasshopper at 2x Magnification

Grasshopper at 2x Magnification.  Taken on Canon 650D with Canon MPE-65mm Macro Lens.  ISO 200 F11 1/200.  Flash from MT-24ex Twin Flash with Cream Ice Diffusers and extra vellum.

Further round the boardwalks I found a male Emerald Damselfly on a bit of vegetation.

Male Emerald Damselfly
Male Emerald Damselfly

Male Emerald Damselfly. Taken on Canon 650D with Canon 100mm USM Macro Lens.  ISO 400 F4 1/1000 in Natural Light.

Next up – I found some Black darters which are fairly common here at this time of year.  The next two shots are of the two sexes.  Firstly the male.

Male Black Darter
Male Black Darter

Male Black Darter.  Taken on Canon 650D with Canon 100mm USM Macro Lens.  ISO 400 F5.6 1/800 in Natural Light.

And later on a female which is shown below in a shots from the 100mm, but also I was lucky enough for it to pose with the MPE-65mm.

Female Black Darter
Female Black Darter

Female Black Darter. Taken on Canon 650D with Canon 100mm USM Macro Lens.  ISO 400 F6.3 1/320 in Natural Light.

Also around the boardwalk was what I think is a Brown Heath Robbery fly – seen below eating an ant.

Brown Heath Robberfly with Ant Prey
Brown Heath Robber fly with Ant Prey

Brown Heath Robber fly with Ant Prey. Taken on Canon 650D with Canon 100mm USM Macro Lens.  ISO 400 F6.3 1/320.  Flash from MT-24ex Twin Flash with Cream Ice Diffusers and extra vellum.

Of course walking around with so many lounging lizards it was too good an opportunity to miss to take one.

Lizard Basking on the boardwalk
Lizard Basking on the boardwalk

Lizard Basking on the boardwalk. Taken on Canon 650D with Canon 100mm USM Macro Lens.  ISO 400 F8 1/200 in Natural Light.

And I also found one basking just of the boardwalk.  Note the shot was taken in dimmer light, and the shutter speed used picked up a slight motion blur when it moved its tail.

Lizard Basking
Lizard Basking

Lizard Basking. Taken on Canon 650D with Canon 100mm USM Macro Lens.  ISO 400 F5.6 1/250 in Natural Light.

As mentioned earlier in this article, I also took some snap shots to show the environment at this reserve.

This first one shows one of the many sandy path trails, with the heather on either side.  Good for finding dragonflies on the edges.

Thursley Common late August 2014
Thursley Common late August 2014

Next one of the boardwalk paths.

Thursley Common Boardwalk late August 2014
Thursley Common Boardwalk late August 2014

And finally, one of the many small pools in the heath.  These being great for encouraging the breeding of the dragonflies.

Thursley Common pools late August 2014
Thursley Common pools late August 2014

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Chris

I've been taking macro photography from 2004. I use both Canon film and digital cameras.

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