Field Equipment

/ in Equipment by Marek
Layed out WW1 soldier equipment consisting of a pocket spade, helmet, utility belt satchel bag and rifle
A little over the top for our sort of photo shoot.

After the purchase of my teleconverter Field trips took on a dramatic change as it became obvious to me that if I was to affect the same quality of pictures taken in the moth house at home I would have to take my DSLR out on the road so to speak.

If I needed to change the lens whilst out the converter would prevent the ingress of any dirt on the camera’s sensor.

It is not quite so easy however to take pictures of butterflies with a macro lens as you need to get much closer to the subject th

an with a point and shoot but the results are well worth the extra effort and after time you find that stealth and patience can yield some rather pleasing photographs.


Green Hairstreak butterfly resting on a leaf
My mates will be green with envy that I got the title role.

It is a completely different ball game when it comes to taking pictures of day flying moths.

If we exclude the family Zygaenidae, which includes the Burnets and Foresters, most of the other day flying moths of interest are not seen in quite such large numbers and you may only have one chance to photograph them.

It makes sense to take a quick shot for identification purposes followed by potting the subject before it decides to make a hasty retreat.

After successfully catching your subject you then have the task of quieting them down so that you can take some pictures on the grey background of the pot cover.

This is much more difficult than with the moths who visit the trap as it is their active period is during the day and are not too keen on being distracted from their endeavour’s.

As mentioned in a previous post some moths become less active when cooler, so we take along a bottle of frozen water onto which we place the potted moth in the hope that it will enjoy a break from the heat of the sun.

We have had a deal of success with this method of moth whispering and with patience our subjects calm down just long enough for us to take our shots whence they can then be released back into the wild.

As always, in the field the elements play an important part as to the quality of the actual shot, so we take a small photographers’ umbrella to not only to prevent shadows as much a possible but also to keep any rain drops from falling on the background.

Layed out equipment in my day kit, including umbrella, sun cap and glasses, small pots and lids and frozen water bottle
I think I need to reflect on my photography

If it is too windy for the umbrella somewhere sheltered and out of the sun is the best answer which is not always that easy to find when on the side of a hill covered with thistles and brambles as there is a need to get down low enough to take the side shots.

If all else fails, my wife takes up the gauntlet and provides the shelter required and assists in any way necessary to allow at least a couple of shots

We also take a clear plastic pot cover on our trips in case our quarry is capable of resting upside down allowing an underside shot for our records.

It is worth noting that the bottle of frozen water serves a double role as it provides a cool drink on hot summer days.