On safari in your own back yard
One of the nice things in nature macro photography is that you can start anywhere. Just look around in your garden, or if don’t have a garden, in the park across the street. At any time of day, as long as sufficient light, you will find photographic treasures.You can search for details of plants and flowers with beautiful light. By experimenting with depth-of-field, shape and color, you can can create wonderful shots of the simplest plants, such as seed-head a faded dandelion. (See May 2011)But of course, a real safari is about the animals, and they are all around.Bees, wasps, grasshoppers, beetles, bugs, spiders, earwigs, butterflies, you can find them everywhere.If I walk through my garden, and it’s not very big, I see a wolf (the European beewolf), the lion who lies in wait for his prey (the funnel-trap of an ant lion in the loose sand) and a ladybug, our symbol against senseless violence, tear apart a living aphid, before the eyes of his fellow aphids. This is a real safari and I don’t even have to leave home. Photographic opportunities and subjects abound.You can make your garden attractive to butterflies and other insects by planting nectar-rich flowers, and be careful never to use any poison sprays. The swallowtail is right at home in my garden because I’ve planted fennel (see February 2011) and because of the abundance of attractive flowers, just today, I had a Queen of Spain Fritillary in the garden!On the left above, you see the bush grasshopper sitting in a potted plant, not two meters from the back door of my house. I found the caterpillar of the privet hawk moth in the hedge. The bee wolf has its hole between the pavers in the back of the shed, and the St. Jacob’s butterfly is seen sitting on the bricks of the terrace.