Inspiration – LordV

One of my biggest ‘heroes’ in the macro and insect world is Brian Valentine or LordV as he is known on such sites as Flickr.

LordV is a retired PhD Microbiologist who enjoys gardening and obviously insects. He likes to therefore document the insects in his own garden. To do so he uses more or less specialised equipment like a MP-E 65mm 1-5x Macro lens made by canon. This allows him to take a photo of a creature at up to 5 times life size (1:5) as well as life size (1:1). However he also makes his own diffusers to go with the flashes he uses to get enough spreading light around the subject in order to capture the creature with no blur and for sharper results but to also suit his needs as not all manufactured pieces of technology will do every single job. The diffusers also soften and spread the light making the image more aesthetically pleasing to see. (His Tips and tricks)

I can not pick any real favourite images from him so here are some old and recent images from his stream.

Large red damselfly just emerging from the nymph #3

Large red damselfly just emerging from the nymph #3

Globular Springtail

Globular Springtail

Crab Spider

Crab Spider

Thanks to LordV I have purchased books on insects in British Gardens to help identify and learn about insects and one day aspire to own an MP-E 65 lens to hopefully get closer to the insect world and document it. This is what I feel connects me more to LordV is that we both like watching and documenting the action that goes on without our knowledge and without much thought of the insects until they become pests.

Similarly he has inspired me to take my own images of the insect and small creature world. However since I do not have an MP-E 65 due tot he price, I used a normal 100mm macro lens and some extension tubes that decrease the focusing system. Also I used a off camera flash gun, triggered by an off camera cord to freeze the insect within the picture to get sharper shots.

Here are my best results (Click for bigger):

Orb Web Spider

Darter Dragonfly on my knee

Nursery Web Spider

Palomena Prasina Nymph

What I learnt from this and LordV:

  • Use something to diffuse the light (in this case I used a Diffuser dome that clips onto the flash gun).
  • Spiders come out on the leafs to absorb the Suns heat
  • I need to be more quiet on approach.
  • Insects can get quite close and I must not disturb them (Image of the Darter Dragonfly on my Knee, 2nd one in)
  • Next time I should go out in the morning or evening when the insects are least dormant as it is colder and therefore they have not warmed up to have energy yet.

LordV’s Flickr Stream

LordV’s Website


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