My Fotospeed challenge entry this week is of the humble garden spider, araneus diadematus. Our garden is almost overflowing with them at the moment! Fortunately I’m not afraid of spiders, they genuinely fascinate me. I’ve been meaning to try focus stacking for macro images for quite a while now. This spider was in a sheltered spot on the back door, keeping nice and still for me to get close with my 30mm and capture 20 frames, handheld, manually adjusting the focus. I combined the images in Photoshop, using masks to brush away the unfocused areas and reveal much more detail of my subject than I would have been able to capture in a single frame. I have a long way to go to get to where I’d like to be in this area of photography and processing techniques, but I feel like I’ve made a relatively good start. Lots to learn and even more equipment to acquire! Any advice would be gratefully received.


Ready For The Close-Up

Dragonfly Macro

Ready For The Close-Up

I suspect that this dragonfly, at RHS Wisley Gardens, had only recently emerged when I found it yesterday. I wouldn’t usually be able to get this close to one! They have incredible eyes that take up most of the head, allowing them to see almost all around them and in higher definition than we mere humans could ever hope for. This is my entry for the Fotospeed challenge this week. Good luck everyone!


Blue Monday: Soothing Scabious

Blue Scabious

Blue Monday: Soothing Scabious

Sometimes called the pincushion flower, it is believed that Scabious may have come by it’s name as it was once used as a folk medicine to treat scabies. Whether this is true or not, I certainly find it a very soothing sight in an English Country Garden during the summer!

Blue Monday is hosted by Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor in honour of Smiling Sally
Smiling Sally


Weekly Photo Challenge: Details Of The Scarce Swallowtail

The Scarce Swallowtail Butterfly

Weekly Photo Challenge: Details Of The Scarce Swallowtail

Jen has asked us to discover the intimate details of something unexpected, and share our images. On returning from snorkeling in Kos one day, I discovered this almost perfect example of a Scarce Swallowtail butterfly, that had sadly expired just outside our apartments. It’s not often that I get the chance to get my 30mm macro lens out to study a butterfly’s wing in such close detail! I believe it had just reached the end of it’s natural lifespan, having mated and laid its’ eggs on the citrus trees in the garden. I was very fortunate to find it before the ants did! Nature always recycles it’s own. I’ve saved the images at a slightly larger file size than I usually would so that you can see the extraordinary details of the scales on the wings. Click on the individual images for a closer look!

The hind-wing edge detailsClose up wing detailThe overlapping section of wingsClose up wing detailDetails of the patterning on the hind-wings


101 Reasons To Visit Kos Island

Kastri Island viewed from the ruins of Agios Stefanos

101 Reasons To Visit Kos Island

Pictures speak louder than words, so I have 101 photographs that I believe will speak directly to your hearts on the beauty and appeal of this fascinating Greek island.

My piece of advice to you all this week, as part of the WordPress Discover Challenge, is to believe what your eyes see through my images of Kos and not what the world’s media would have you believe! Visit Kos and other Greek Islands, they are affordable, welcoming, enthralling and perfectly safe. You won’t regret it!

All these photographs were taken between June 21st and July 5th 2016. Most were shot on the Sony a6000 mirrorless camera, NFC transferred to my Sony Xperia Z5 smartphone and edited in Snapseed and Adobe PS Touch Apps.

Part of WPC: Look Up for the wonderful birds of Greece!