I Am A Work In Progress

Another break from the blog last week, again another mental health stumble. Oh! how I wish for consistency.

The tone of each blog post, I am well aware see-saw from high to low and in truth that is how it has been from day to day. One day I am motivated, eager and happy the next low, no energy, no confidence etc…

I am fighting hard to stay on top of the extremes, my photography has been a great focus and even on an off day I’ve sat out in the garden with the camera.

It’s strange how others view your work, I constantly doubt what I put out there. I never see any quality in my captures, in all honesty I feel like a fraud when I am given positive feedback. I have started to wonder why I keep putting pictures out there as every time I do, I have a little breakdown about not feeling good enough.

I am very critical of my pictures, I only ever see their faults. I wish I could build myself up the way I am more than happy to do for others.

I started sharing my work as I love photography. I don’t make money or seek fame for my snaps. I have to remind myself I do it for the love of the craft. My creative outlet, does it really matter if my image isn’t pin sharp, if I like the image, why isn’t that good enough?

Of course I would like others to appreciate my work, I just hope one day I am able to appreciate them too.

This doesn’t just apply to my photography, I doubt my looks, my personality, my roles etc.. Lack of self esteem mixed with anxiety is a mixture that creates a mindset where I feel like an inconvenience to everyone.

I am constantly a work in progress. I hope for the coming weeks my mentality will plateau.

It was World Bee Day last week, watching the bees in the garden over the past weeks, I’m quite envious of how they just get on with things. They don’t question what they do, they don’t worry about whether they are doing enough, they just do it.

I observed one bee fight against the blustery wind we have been experiencing recently, holding on to the bell flower for dear life until the wind had died down to just move onto the next bloom to continue their pollinating.

An update on the garden, the seedlings have started to get bigger, I have to remember to keep them watered as the warm, dry weather continues. I am looking forward to seeing what wildflowers flourish in the flower beds. I am hoping they will attract butterflies as the garden is lacking their presence.

I hope you are all keeping well, until next time, take care.

For The Love of Macro.

Another week in lock down completed and my love affair with the macro world is still burning as brightly as it previously had. I never, ever, ever thought I would get excited about snapping spiders, flies, snails etc but here we are.

If someone had said to me a month ago, that I would have a favourite spider, I probably would of laughed, I also would of been very wrong to. The zebra spider (a variety of jumping spider) has very quickly crept up into my affections.

How can a spider be this cute? It has got to be something to do with those big eyes. To me it appears like they are wearing goggles (a steampunk spider?). I actually squealed with delight when I got my first decent shot of one.

They are not the easiest subject to shoot, they move very quickly and unlike some other spiders they just don’t seem to stop at all. Their jerky movements and tremendous jump makes them quite unpredictable, so the fact I have been able to get any pictures makes me very pleased.

I am never one to beam over my own pictures but the jumping spider photographs are some of my favourites I have ever taken. Whether this due to my mood recently becoming quite buoyant, so to my confidence follows? or that the subject matter has become a new passion or it could be all of the above.

I am proud of what I have been able to produce these past couple of weeks and that isn’t really the done thing for me.

I have been extremely lucky this week to be able to access a local woodland for my allotted exercise time, this is the first time I have been out to any decent green space in a month. It was very much needed, I have spoken in past posts regarding the restorative power of nature.

The bluebells are currently out in full display and with the bright sunny weather we have been experiencing lately, the woodland offered plenty of exquisite dappled light.

One of my hopes for after lock down is for people to appreciate their green spaces more. The old saying of “you don’t know what you’ve got until its gone”, I knew I missed my nature walks, but being able to walk around those woods, selfishly, I wished I could be there everyday.

I am not sure when I will be able to get back out there, I am just so grateful for being able to at all.

I really hope you are all keeping well, until next time, take care.

Stratford Butterfly Farm

http://www.butterflyfarm.co.uk

As promised in a previous blog; this post will contain the images I managed to capture at Stratford butterfly farm on a recent day trip.

Macro photography has never been a strong suit of mine but I am very eager to practise and hopefully improve. With that in mind, is there a better place to get started than in a butterfly farm for macro that is!

I had tried to capture butterfly shots in the garden during the summer but had been unsuccessful in my endeavour. So being able to visit and shoot at the farm filled a butterfly shaped gap in my photography wish list!

The problem with trying to shoot “wild” butterflies (for me at least) is the the pressure to get the right shot before they fly off, and before you are unable to find them again!

Within the butterfly farm I was able to experiment with different settings, I had the time to try and get the angle I wanted to capture. Being able to shoot freely and without the pressure of time, I am fairly happy with the shots I got on the day.

I feel I should add this isn’t an advertisement for the farm, I did enjoy my time there and would personally recommend to anyone interested in practising macro shots. It was a great day out.

I hope you enjoy the images. I look forward to more nature day trips and putting any new/improved skills into practice in the “wild”.

Weekly Watch

19th – 25th August 2019

Most of the time when I go out with my camera, I know what I am shooting. House sparrows, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Robins etc… they are my comfort zone.

There have been quite a few times since I began blogging that I’ve had to research what I’ve seen. This week that has been in the form of a Damsel/Common Darter fly (still unsure).

Its always a thrill to capture something new and although there huge gaps in my knowledge of the natural world, I love learning.

My main ways for identifying is to go to reference books, asking on Instagram or google lens. This hasn’t worked out for me this week but I am down to 2 possible outcomes!

Macro photography is also one of my weakest styles, but one I’m keen to improve in. In the coming weeks I hope to add at least one macro shot to each weekly watch.

Expect a few mistakes in identifying, any correction is welcomed! I hope you enjoy this weeks weekly.