About Me

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Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales, United Kingdom
Bit of a long tooth IT Manager - been and had a few hobbies, as for the title, I make glass beads, its Called Lampwork, I brew my own Beer, its called fun and I take photos, thats the oldest hobby, since I was 16 or so. My first camera was a Zenith E - then a Pentax KR to go digital after a long stint with a Pentax Super A. Now a Nikon D5200 and a D7100 with a Sigma 150 f2.8 macro lens to play with amongst others. Please note all photos used are my own and I retain full copyright to all of them. Thank you for respecting digital ownership

Sunday, 25 May 2014

So Plan B then

Been thinking and decided that as I don’t like my work but I have bills to pay, daughter to get through University etc. there is not much I can do about it at the moment, but that’s the key – at the moment. So Plan B, I have just over 2 years to get it together and develop a business I do like and can see myself doing sufficiently well to pay the bills.

I ‘like’ photography, I always have done since I was about 16, it dropped of my radar for a while, came back in about 27 years ago and dropped off again about 20 yrs ago and was picked back up about 4 years ago – a bit chequered but covered pretty much all sides of it Portrait, Wildlife, Landscape, Architectural, had a Hasselblad for a while, done Colour neg, Black & White, Slide, Cibachrome – for anyone who remembers that, developing, printing, competition, had a slide in the Welsh National Salon, even did a Wedding, never again, way too stressful.

Anyway, after the thought came the action, much research and thought and consideration, a new camera and a couple of very specific lenses later I start ‘Plan B’ Given that my youngest is doing a degree in Natural History photography and has a Nikon, and given that the Bank of Dad is limited, the decision for the camera body was simple, a Nikon D5200, the lenses were another matter, its mainly macro and natural history that we both do so Sigma 150 EX macro to fit a Nikon was a clear winner in the macro lens category, its the Mutts dooda’s in macro lenses and a prime Nikon 50mm as a start to the prime lens set. My aim is to avoid zoom lenses, necessity (and the bank) will ensure there will be one or two, but where possible I will use prime lenses.

I could not publish this previously as I wanted to surprise said youngest with the new kit when we went down last week to pick up a load of her stuff prior to term end so while I have had the kit for two weeks its only now I am admitting it and showing photos from it. Could not let here see anything on my blog to give the game away!

The Sigma is awesome, it is however going to take some getting used to and I expect a low hit rate on photos initially but it will be worth it once I get used to it, the Nikon is very different from my Pentax. That is a good backup camera for now and is finding some use with my eldest who is also interested in doing more photography.

A few photos below, an up and coming competition is macro and close up of insects and small creatures so kinda fits what I like doing, these are .jpg files so while they are good they are not the top draw  – the entry photos for the comp will be from the .raw files to maximise the final picture. In effect if you think the .jpg is a ‘print’ of the picture as you would get from the chemist in the old days – the .raw file is the negative, you can do a lot more with it to create the final picture than you can the .jpg. Now all I have to do is spend the next two years getting good enough to get shots I can sell and make a living from along with selling cards/prints/ hosting workshops, training sessions etc and any commission work etc. 

Easy really! (oh, and that was sarcasm in case you did not notice) 

So anyway - heres a few photos from the new kit

Ragged Robin

Brimstone on Red Campion

  Soldier Beetle - Cantharis rustica

Large Red Damselfly - Pyrrhosoma nymphula

Crane Fly -Tipula oleracea

Darter - Libellula depressa emerged

Fly - Phaonia viarum

Common Lizards - Lacerta vivipara

Finally - this lady was on the ground and wet, trying hard to climb up but all the grass stalks she climbed up bent over as she is not exactly small for a bee, so I put my finger down in front of her, she climbed on and I put her on a Flag Iris to feed and dry off, hopefully she lived. I will always help bees if I can and as a bonus it gave me an opportunity to get a photo of her feeding 

Bumblebee - Bombus lapidarius

Most of these were hand held or on a monopod, it was a cloudy day so the light was not brilliant and limited the depth of field but at least it was not too contrasty so good colours and not a lot blown out or clipped so not much touching up on the computer - I do prefer to do it all in camera if at all possible but must admit to some work done in Elements, especially the Crane Fly


  1. If ever you fancy a guinea pig for these workshops, a tester for your lessons, you can count me in :) I will bring along my little Nikon compared to your big boy ;) Love the photos as always, I was wondering about getting a macro lens I don't have one for this camera. I did also giggle at the Bank of Dad, odd we have a branch in our house!! Laney

    1. may take you up on that Laney, might be a lot of fun

  2. Absolutely stunning mister man. I'm in if you want a second;-)

    1. may have to have a photo party day at Laneys :-)