Bottle, Cicadas, Lake: getting something right 

As a passionate amateur photographer, I spend a lot of time reading and thinking about photography, and less time doing it. After a few years with the micro four thirds system, I have tried a number of cameras from Olympus and Panasonic, and am still trying to get the right kit together. I have a couple of nice prime lenses now – all second hand, as my cameras also are – but I still slosh about in my practise like an unconfident landlubber in a dinghy. 

Yesterday I put my 20mm pancake lens on to take photos at a social event at dusk – wide aperture for low-light capability, small lens for discretion, and an effective focal length near to ‘normal’; I thought it would go well, but I forgot that I am not comfortable being that close to the action in a social setting. Consequently, I got no photos of said action, and went home feeling sad about my own shortcomings.

At least I got a couple of photos of non-human subjects, which is much more my style anyway.

Olympus Pen E-PL5 with Panasonic 20mm f1.7 lens. Straight out of camera.

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Nature Strip Adventure: nature takes over 

I’m no gardener – the dead shrubs and knee-high weeds attest to that fact – but I am fortunate to have a terrific bit of nature strip that is home to a gorgeous natural garden. Exploring there today, I found the population of Drosera sundew plants has exploded recently, completely carpeting the ground in places. These carnivores are tiny, but quite capable of fending for themselves; most times when I take a photo of one, it’s only when I zoom in that I see how successful they are at luring prey.

Panasonic Lumix GX7 with Panasonic-Leica 45mm (90mm equivalent) macro lens. Straight out of camera.

Narrapumelap Homestead, Wickliffe: surprise subject

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I took this photo of the flowers, enjoying their glowing contrast against the dense, dark background of greenery; it was only later, when zooming in 100 percent (as I tediously always do, checking for abhorrences), that I noticed a large insect was nestled amongst the blossom.

Lifelike, But Dead: rhinoceros beetle

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Dead beetles make interesting keepsakes because they don’t deteriorate quickly. This one was lying legs-up in the classic “dead bug” position, waiting to be taken home.*

Shot with Panasonic GX7 micro four thirds camera with 45mm Panasonic Leica macro lens (90mm equivalent), edited in Snapseed app.

*EDIT: I have been informed that this beetle is not a rhinoceros beetle, which is Australia’s largest beetle, but in fact a different kind of scarab, probably a dung beetle. Which is almost as awesome, because they are so useful in the natural world for breaking down dung (especially that of domestic farm animals) in readiness to become soil.

Stick Insect Soliloquy: a prayer for the departed

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This week I’ve been trying out my new (second hand) macro lens, the Panasonic Leica 45mm f2.8 for micro four thirds. When I found this lovely stick insect hanging from a cobweb, I brought it in for a little photo session. Let me be the first to say the focus isn’t at all as marvellous as I’d hoped, but if you’re viewing this on your phone, hopefully it’ll do! I know, I know: not good enough is not good enough, but doesn’t it look sweet, resting on a vintage pianola (player piano) roll?