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by Clay Bolt

Spring is almost here in South Carolina and it’s a good thing because I’m so glad to be able to finally experiment with using my new Cognisys Insect Rig with High Speed Shutter for photographing insects in flight. The insect rig offers a convenient platform for your entire high speed system. It will hold your Camera, flashes, high speed shutter and its controller, laser cross beam sensor set, Li-Ion battery pack and StopShot.

The great thing about this system is that it will allow me to photograph very small, fast flying bees for my upcoming project on documenting North America’s native bees. While this first test on a mayfly is a great start in my estimation, I have a really long way to go to fine-tuning my skills with this powerful piece of gear. I’ll be posting my progress here on the blog!

Two-tailed Pasha (Charaxes jasius) a large butterfly, powerful in flight mainly in Mediterranead coastal regions. The larvae feed on Arbutus unedo (Strawberry Tree)

 

By  Paul Harcourt Davies 

I can never tire of the sheer joys of watching butterflies emerge… and will happily ‘waste’ time with not a micro-pang of guilt.

To this end, I have taken a large number of images and  had my sense of wonder repeatedly reinforced and although I have witnessed the final stage of metamorphosis many times  the delight never dulls. It’s how I am made…

There is  an insect that I have long regarded as my favourite of European butterfly species – the two-tailed pasha (Charaxes jasius) which is the only representative of the genus Charaxes to venture into Europe, though the rest of its relatives are widespread in Africa.

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The first shot I took, lens out of the box and a nearby Hibiscus as the subject... no frills.

The first shot I took, lens out of the box and a nearby Hibiscus as the subject… no frills.

by Paul Harcourt Davies © 2014

My 105mm f/2.8G AF-S VR Micro NIKKOR macro has never, in any sense, let me down in the six years I have used it.

This is a full “user’s appraisal” since I have owned a disgraceful number of macro lenses of assorted makes and focal lengths over the years in my search for the search for the ‘Holy Grail’ – biting sharpness. So, before I start, let me set out my stall. I am first and foremost a naturalist and a passionate conservationist who uses photography to express what he sees in and feels about nature and the world around. My background was originally highly technical (a physicist with lots of theoretical optics involved), but my heart lies towards the artistic and philosophical. I am, by nature a user and a pedantic, demanding so and so, who having spent his money, will accept no compromise. Trust me – I have no time for advertisers hype, just for what a lens delivers.

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