The Food Chain..

One thing they teach in school biology is the concept of food chains and food webs – the links that show interdependence of organisms based on the foods they eat. The photo below shows one such food chain starting with the rose (the producer) providing nourishment in the form of sap for aphids. In turn aphids are milked by ants for honeydew, a secretion that aphids produce.  Ants are also known to “farm” aphids storing their eggs over winter and then carrying newly hatched aphids to emerging plant shoots in spring (called a mutualistic relationship).

The Food Chain
A mini food chain. In this picture clusters of aphids can be seen underneath petals of the rose, and ants that farm these aphids. Click on the photo for a larger version on Flickr.
  • Nikon D7000 with a 105mm Sigma f/2.8 macro lens
  • ISO200, f/22, 1/60 with remote slave flash to give a natural black background
  • Processed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Granny’s Bonnet – Aquilegia

This year has been very good for the aquilegia plants growing in my garden. This must have something to do with the mild wet winter we’ve just had here in Cambridge. Below is a photograph of a single aquilegia flower. These hardy, and highly toxic perennials also go by the names Columbine ( which comes from the Latin for “dove”, due to their resemblance to five doves clustered together – Wikipedia).

Aquilegia sp.
Aquilegia. Please click on the photo for more viewing options in Flickr.

Technical

  • Nikon D7000 with 105mm f/2.8 Sigma macro lens
  • f/22, 1/60 with remote slave flash fired from underneath
  • Processed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and NIK Color Efex Pro.

Like a Swan over choppy waters!

On a windy day at the Staines Reservoirs. This swan made a perfect contrast to the choppy waters in which it was swimming. I was reminded of the song “Like a bridge over troubled water” except with the words “Like a swan over choppy waters”! 🙂

Mute Swan
Like a swan over choppy waters (with apologies to Simon and Garfunkel)

Technical

  • Nikon D7000 with a 105mm f/2.8 sigma lens.
  • ISO200, 1/3200, f/5.6
  • Processed in Adobe Lightroom

Forget-Me-Not!

In a German legend, when god had finished naming all plants, a small unnamed plant cried out “Forget-me-not, my lord”. Then god said “That shall be your name”. Another legend claims that after the Creator thought he had finished giving the flowers their colours, he heard one whisper “Forget me not!” There was nothing left but a very small amount of blue, but the forget-me-not was delighted to wear such a light blue shade.

Forget-me-not
Forget-me-not! Click on the photo for a larger version on Flickr.

The tiny, cheerful blue flowers of Myosotis have played an important part in European folklore and history – from being used as a symbol by Henry Bolingbroke (later Henry IV) after being exiled by Richard II to its adoption by the Freemasons during the Nazi regime across Europe. The flowers of forget-me-not are no more than 1cm in diameter and grow in long thin stalks bearing many flowers. They are popular in gardens and grow on the side of river banks and streams throughout Europe.

Technical Details

  • Nikon D7000 camera with a 105mm macro lens with extension tubes
  • ISO 200, f/18, 1/250 with external remote slave flash
  • processed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

 

Fuchsia – vibrant and lovely!

_DSC4661-Edit
Please click on the photo for a larger version in Flickr.

Technical

  • Nikon D7000 with 105mm f/2.8 Sigma macro lens
  • ISO200, 1/250, f/14 with slave remote flash
  • Processed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and NIK Color Efex Pro.

Strawberry Blossom – extreme macro

For all the beauty and colour of the strawberry fruit, the Fragaria blossoms are small, white flowers with a yellow centre (about a centimetre across). The following photo is of a wild strawberry flower shot with a macro lens with extension tube attachments (hence extreme macro). Strawberries below to the rose family and have 5 sepals, 5 petals and many stamens arranged spherically.

Strawberry Flower
Click on the photo for a larger version on Flickr.

 Technical Details

  •  Nikon D7000 camera
  • 105mm f/2.8 Sigma macro lens with extension tubes
  • 1/250, f/18, ISO 200
  • External slave flash at right angles
  • Processed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Azalea!

Azalea
Azalea. ISO200, f/18, 1/250 second. Please click on the photo for more size options on flickr.

 

Shot using a Nikon D700 with a Sigma 105mm, f/2.8 lens. Slave flash at right angles to the camera. Photographed at ISO200, f/18 and 1/250 exposure to achieve under-exposed background.