June Macro Matters

June is one of the most important months in the macro photographer’s calendar. There has been a lot of sunny and dry weather but it has been colder than normal. The long days and shorter nights mean there is the opportunity to photograph well into the evening. Many more insects are emerging now and other orchids including the beautiful Bee and fly Orchids are also making an appearance, although in smaller numbers due to the relatively dry spring with little in the ways of rain.

Bee Orchid Ophrys apifera

Bee orchids are one of the most attractive species in the Uk. The sepals are well reflexed making it easier to maximize the depth of field for the selected aperture.

I used a long lens to help control background clutter. The pollinia are intact and have moved into position. 

Nikon D3X, 300mm 2.8 + ext tube @ f/8, ISO 200, tripod. 

Shrubs and trees are exploding with colour. Hawthorn hedgerows are in flower and the Herb Robert (one of my favourite species) is flowering in woodland margins and waste ground. These tiny little flowers are really stunning in close-up.

Hawthorn Blossom Crataegus laevigata

A close-up of these small flowers using the Novoflex BA-F bellows with their automatic Reverse Adapter and the Nikon Z7 II. I used the Schneider APO-Digitar 90mm flat field lens attached to the bellows unit.

This combination produces extremely sharp results. The lens is also sold by Novoflex. For more information visit Novoflex.de 

Nikon Z7 II, 90mm APO Digitar @ f/11, Novoflex Castel XQ II ISO 400, Novoflex PRO75. 

Herb Robert Geranium robertianum

These sorts of images are always challenging and you often need to make several sequences and select from the best. The magnification 4:5X on the Novoflex Castel Micro electronic rail.

 The stamens are approximately 1mm. This type of image at this magnification really requires an electronic rail to have any chance of a successful outcome.

Nikon Z7 II, Laowa 5X macro @ f/8, Novoflex Castel Micro, focus stacked, ISO 400, Novoflex PRO75 tripod. 

Dragonfly activity is hotting up around pools and ponds. The Four-spotted Chasers are emerging and can be seen resting among the vegetation. If you are prepared to rise from your bed early you might be lucky to witness the moment of metamorphosis from larva to adult dragonfly providing opportunities for more unusual images during this delicate process. Dragonflies and Damselflies are really at risk during the transformation as they are not in a position to avoid predators until their delicate wings and body have hardened off. The Large Red along with the Variable and Azure damselflies are now present in good numbers and frequently seen in sheltered locations near water.

Four-spotted Chaser female Libellula quadrimaculata

It is always woth the effort to visit dragonfly sites early in the morning. With luck on a warm sunny day, you maybe be able to find emerging species as was the case here.

Nikon D800, 200mm micro nikkor @ f/8, ISO 200, tripod. 

Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula

I had a number of attempts at trying to capture this image. It was very early in the morning and virtually no wind; a rare occurrence here. Movement was the problem as I was focus-stacking the image.

This is the best of the efforts. Focus stacking images of mobile subjects is always challenging.

 Nikon Z7 II, 50mm Nikon flat field enlarger lens attached to Novoflex BAL-F  bellows @ f/11, mounted on Novoflex Castel XQ II focusing rail, ISO 400, Novoflex PRO75. 

Moths are also more plentiful during June. The stunning Elephant Hawk-moth is often a frequent visitor to my garden. Other beautiful species include the Brimstone, White Ermine, and Peach blossom which are just a few of the many species that may turn up in your garden during June.

Elephant Hawk-moth Deilephila elpenor

One of the most attractive hawk-moths in the UK.I get them frequently in my garden most years.

I never tire of photographing them despite the large number of images I already have.

Nikon D800, 200mm micro nikkor @ f/8, ISO 200, tripod. 

Brimstone Moth Opisthograptis luteolata

The bright lemon colour of this moth makes it hard to confuse with any other species. Geometrids are by nature nervous and skittish. they are easily disturbed and will fly instantly.

I found this moth during the day while looking at lichens on the wall.

Nikon D850, 200mm micro nikkor @ f/11, ISO 200, tripod. 

White Ermine Spilosoma lubricipeda

Sometimes it pays to examine the vegetation carefully which I often do early in the morning if I am out photographing. The White Ermine is a beautiful species.

The colour of the flowering buds of the Rose Bay Willowherb added a little contrast to the image.

Nikon D850, 200mm micro nikkor @ f/11, ISO 200, tripod. 

Peach Blossom Thyatira batis

 

Make the most of this month and try to get out and about there is plenty to see and photograph!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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