Midnight Isle

Welcome to the Midnight Isle, creative blog composed mainly of photography and digital imagery, sometimes accompanied by write-ups, and occasional thoughts.

If you're also interested in other topics, I have an aggregated blog which combines articles from all my blogs. It also provides the ability to filter on categories - for example, listing entries tagged photography, but without manipulation

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Falling

Falling

Hummingbird Hawk Moth

The Hummingbird Hawk Moth (Macroglossum stellatarum), named due to the way it hovers like a hummingbird whilst feeding, and often mistaken for one. (Though the moths are smaller, and wild hummingbirds are not found outside the Americas.)

A complicated subject to shoot: avoiding the wings being too sharp, too blurred, or obscuring the face requires both an appropriate shutter speed and the luck of timing the release to a suitable point in the flapping of the wings.

Combined with the need to manouever around obstacles in an effort to avoid distracting backgrounds, and continually needing to re-focus as the moth erratically darts around (with no obvious method to how it chooses where next to suck nectar from), it wasn't the easiest Lepidoptera to photograph.

These four images were selected from a total of fifteen shots, with shutter speeds between 1/400 and 1/1250.


Hummingbird Hawk Moth From Below Hummingbird Hawk Moth Hovering Hummingbird Hawk Moth From Side Hummingbird Hawk Moth and Buddleia

Autumn Cherry & Japanese Maple

A couple of very striking trees, each presenting different photographic challenges.


Autumn Cherry

Japanese Maple



For the first, an Autumn Cherry (Prunus subhirtella 'Autumnalis'), the key was finding an angle where the background best complemented its colours, with helpful shadows contributing to emphasise the leaves. (I would have preferred not having the path in frame, but it is hopefully not too much of a distraction.)

With the larger Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) the consideration was what to keep in frame whilst dealing with the awkwardness of shooting into the light. There was too much movement in the subject for a bracketed exposure, and I settled for a shot with better composition at the expense of the highlights.

I look forward to returning for another attempt at this image at some point in the future.

Red Deer

A heavy downpour had passed through during the afternoon of an otherwise dry day of photography - enough to shelter under a tree and put the camera away, assuming the end of the shoot - but, after the rain stopped the clouds also cleared, and it wasn't long before the sun was shining again. A short while later I encounter these deer. Having no desire to spook them (nor experience their antlers), the telephoto goes on and I get a bunch of shots.


Wet Red Deer

Red Deer Drying Off

Dining With Dad

White Spider

The first white spider I've seen, this unidentified arachnid is a crab spider, a member of the Thomisidae family. It may be a Misumena vatia - despite having being found out-of-season in late October, and lacking the markings common to that species. It appears that other species of Misumena and related genera (Misumenoides, Misumessus and Mecaphesa) are limited to other parts of the world, and not being an arachnologist I can't be sure what to call it.

I noticed the curious critter seeming to imitate a flower as it swung from a web attached to my arm. I don't know how it arrived there in the first place, but when - upon being lowered to the ground - it chose not to immediately skitter away, I took this as a request to be photographed.

I hope for my next encounter to have a proper macro lens, enabling better quality images.


White Spider

White Spider Portrait

White Spider Defensive


Autumn

A panel intended to emphasise feelings, impressions, moods and memories.


View the Panel

Photographs frequently use differential focus and sharpness to communicate their subject, but this was an exercise in not doing so.

The images were selected from a shortlist of about three dozen, each deliberately unfocused at time of shooting (because it's not about any individual tree, branch or leaf), with minimal processing performed, reducing distractions, but not removing flaws, because nature isn't perfect.


Blackbird in the Grass

Blackbird in the Grass

Edinburgh, from Arthur's Seat

Edinburgh, from Arthurs Seat

Herring Gull Chick

Herring Gull Chick

Turbulent Aether

Turbulent Aether