Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

December 4, 2010

Macro in the Backyard

Filed under: macro — Tags: — steve_happ @ 7:44 pm

Backyard Macro

Well I am back home in Australia after four and a half months of travelling in South America. I dragged out the old Canon 350D, which is mostly known as the “Rebel” in most countries, to see if it was still working. It is very clunky after the 40D, but it seemed to go pretty good.

xmas tree decoration
Xmas Tree Decoration

The above photo is a close detail of a shiny mirror ball. I used the Sigma 105 Macro lens. I just used the onboard flash because I was just testing it out. Aperture was set at f/11, which gives a decent amount of Depth of Field, and the shutter speed was about 1/200.

shade cloth
Shade Cloth

This is a shot of some shade cloth. I like the geometric patterns of this. Usually we do not pay attention to small details, and that is why I like Macro. It gives you a perspective you usually do not look for.

passionfruit tendril
Passionfruit Tendril

I love the shapes of tendrils. Peas and Passionfruits have the nicest ones.

water drop on flower
Water Drop on Flower

The standard water drop shot. I actually decreased the saturation of this photo heaps and it still comes out really red. Texture is another thing i like.

wire mesh
Wire mesh

This is the mesh on the speaker of a little portable music player. Again, shapes and texture. I particularly like the bits of fluff around the holes.

February 11, 2009

ABC TV Catalyst Ladybird Best Photos

Filed under: macro — steve_happ @ 7:06 am

I put a few of my ladybird photos in to the ABC TV (Australia) program Catalyst for their Ladybird Survey.
One of them was selected as being one of the Best Photos. Here it is. Click on it to see the larger version.

lady bug

The Best Photos slide show can be seen here:

Click here for Ladybird Best Photos

Your best photos

There are some seriously good nature photographers out there! So overwhelmed are we by the number and quality of your contributions to our National Ladybird Survey, we thought we’d open a gallery displaying the best photos. They reveal the extraordinary beauty of these creatures in great detail and offer a glimpse into the lives of these fascinating beetles. The gallery will be regularly updated with the most exciting submissions until the end of the survey in March 2009.

Go to the google map to see where all the ladybirds are situated in Australia.

Click here to go to google maps of ladybirds in australia

February 8, 2009

A spider in my Bathroom

Filed under: macro — steve_happ @ 6:22 am

Macro Photography. 8th February, 2009.

There has been this huge spider in my bath room all day. So i took a photo of him. He was ever so quiet and still and did not move a millimeter whilst I was taking photos of him. Isnt he a cute little boy?

Bathroom spider

Technical Details.
105 mm Sigma Macro lens. Shutter speed of 1/180. Aperture is f/11. ISO100. I used a Sigma flash with a home made diffuser on it made out of a milk carton. Did I leave anything out? oh, yeah, hand held, Manual Exposure setting.

I am not sure what sort of a spider it is. Possibly a huntsman or a tarantula. I am not sure. Anyway here is a vertical shot for a bit of variety.

Bathroom spider

February 4, 2009

Ash Island Macro Shots

Filed under: macro — steve_happ @ 12:50 am

Ash Island Macro Shots

4th February, 2009. Ash Island, Hunter River, Newcastle.

I had to drag myself out of bed this morning. It is going to be even hotter than ever today.
I headed off to Ash Island to do some Macro Photography.
My flash was doing weird things. Everything seemed darker than last time and I had the same settings and diffuser.
I took some shots of spiders, but they all turned out too dark. What is going on?

So, here is a feather. Particularly nasty weather!


I love taking photos of sap, its like precious jewels in the forest. Here is a photo of some white sap, not sure which tree, maybe some type of acacia tree.
This type of sap was or still is used by tribal people as a glue to stick on arrow heads, spear heads, etc. It is used in Africa to also make medicine. Gum Arabic is used in Kenya for pharmaceutical, food and industrial industries, as well as in the manufacture of glue.


Here is an old wasps nest. Wasps can make paper pulp nests on trees. Wasps have no wax producing glands but instead create a paper substance mainly from wood pulp which they chew, mix with saliva and then make combs with cells for rearing their young.

Wasp Nest

February 2, 2009

Glenrock Macro Photography

Filed under: macro — steve_happ @ 12:47 am

2nd February, 2009. Glenrock Reserve. Newcastle.

I went do Glenrock this morning. I parked at the old Gun Club road and walked down a bike track near the power lines. There were no bugs at all and the only insect thing i saw was a spider and that was on the way back.

Its a Nature study, by default. It is ok because i am enjoying the textures of the dying seed pods, heads , etc. Here is some type of flower or seed head. Not sure what it is.

Seed or flower head.

Here is a blue/purple flower. I am not sure what type it is. I just like the colour and the texture and the composition.

Blue flower

Another flower stamen. I think these flowers are in the bush because of being dumped from back yards in the area. Probably not the most ecologically sound thing to do.

Flower stamen

I like the texture and the juxtaposition of colours on this photo. I think it is some kind of vine stem against some bark.

Nice textures

And here is the only bug I saw all morning. Notice the bum hole at the end. I think this is where the web comes out.

spider at glenrock

That is all for today. I can go and watch the super bowl and give it my full attention.

January 31, 2009

Ash Island Macro Photography

Filed under: macro — steve_happ @ 3:28 am

31st January , 2009. Ash Island , Hunter River , newcastle nsw Australia.

It was hard getting out of bed this morning. I have been so tired because of the hot weather. But I eventually dragged myself out of the house and drove to Ash Island.
I used the foldaway diffuser on the flash. Maybe it is too bright. I am going to make a diffuser from a milk carton and see how that goes.

Anyhoo, here is the first one of some seed pods.


Everything seemed to come out all dark this morning. I really like dark pictures but am not sure about the technical side of things if I have to print them.


This spider was on a diseased branch that looked like it was covered in something like aphids.
She also had what looked like a sac of eggs. I am not sure.



January 29, 2009

Wickham Macro Photography

Filed under: macro — steve_happ @ 10:05 pm

This morning I went to the Wickham Community Garden just over the road at 6:30 am ish. There were hardly any bugs about, just this bee that sat there like it was stunned or hung over from a big night out at the brewery.


I was having trouble with the flash being too dark, it seemed. But they turned out all right I think.
Here are some dewdrops on some tiny little flowers. It looks very nice i think.

Dewdrops on flowers

I have forgotten the name of this burr-type seed. But check out the barbs at the end. They are like harpoons. Very nasty looking. What are these things called?

Burr seeds

Sunflower Seeds. I like the repetition of this photo. Pattern, repetition, texture.

Sunflower seeds

January 19, 2009

Macro Photography at Ash Island

Filed under: macro — steve_happ @ 12:18 am

Ash Island, Monday, January 19th, 2009

This morning I woke up at 6am and headed off to the rainforest regeneration walk at Ash Island. It is a lovely spot which winds its way between the wetlands with rainforest remnants and she-oaks and a real mixture of bush. You never know what you are going to find in there. But first I must tell of my tale of woe. Firstly the flash would not stay tight and keep falling down. Then I stripped the thread on the plastic wing nut that was holding on the el cheapo ball joint extender. So I had to resort to using the onboard flash. ugh. The other day I forgot to take the lead for the flash but luckily was able to rescue this shot from the disaster. That was over the Community Garden, but thats for another day

sunflower macro

Well, back to today’s photographs, I carried on with the onboard flash. I had been using it for ages before i got my lead. Fellow macro photographers said that it was too hot. I am going to make a diffuser for the onboard flash like I used to have for the 40D. This photo is a little brown moth. I don’t know what the name of it is.

moth macro

This was a big mofo spider that was eating its way through a large beetle or something. No, wait a minute. That was the other one. This one was just hanging around looking hungry. I love the eyes on this one. Notice how many of them they are. Spider eyes fascinate me.

spider macro

I went into the bush and stalked some swamphens for a while, just for practice, and found this nice little thistle flower. I had never seen the white bits on the ends of the spiky bits before but they look quite good i reckon. Thistles are the most beautiful flower.

thistle flower macro
Thistle Flower

I found this large termites mound/nest in a paperbark tree. The termites had just about ruined the poor tree – it was split right in half.

termite nest macro
Termite Nest

Today the theme was earthy – there were so many earthy browny, ochry, orange and yellow colours in the bush. I think it is because a lot of the flowers and leaves and seeds are dying so they are all earthy and brown. I quite like all these earth colours. Here is a dead thistle flower.

thistle flower macro

This afternoon I have to fix my flash attachment. I probably should get a decent setup instead of the botch-up jobs I do. Oh well, I will get a wing nut and try and patch the old piece of rubbish. I wish there was a second hand junk camera store down the road that i could raid for spare bits and pieces.

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