Here we have a photo of the Poplar Hawk Moth (Laothoe populi). This is a full body macro shot to give you a view of how remarkable its camouflage is, looking for all the world like a bunch of dead leaves, and indeed the subtle colours are very similar to the dead leaves of its food plant, the Poplar tree, from where, of course, it gets its name. It is one of the UK’s largest moth with a wingspan approaching 4 inches and, while not rare, it is seldom seen due to the effectiveness of its camouflage. This is also helped by the positioning of the wings, which are not completely overlapping, like most moths, giving the impression of separate leaves, with the forewings only partially covering the hind wings and is one of the few moths to lack a frenulum (the small hook which normally ensures the wings are held together. The moth is resting on an old seed head of a foxglove and, if you look carefully, you can see tiny fungal spores growing on them. I am delighted to share this fabulous furry moth with you as it is one of my all time favourites – I hope you don’t think me peculiar :0)
Taken at Shark Valley in the Everglades, Florida, this is a particularly beautiful bird, know as the Great White Egret, The great Egret or Casmerodius albus. It is a large member of the Heron family, standing up to 4ft tall. I am particularly pleased with the lighting on this shot and the natural frame the foliage provides.
Taken tripod mounted on the Canon 7D with the Canon 100-400mm L lens at 400mm, 100 ISO, f/6.3 distance was 14.9m Exposure bias -1.3 to avoid blowing the whites
I make no apologies for another shot of this fascinating bird – when you find an accommodating pelican, you really do have to make the most of the opportunity ;-). The angle of the shot gives you a view of the subtle blue in the sea of yellow surrounding the eye. In breeding season this become a dramatic large dark blue and gives the comical clown like appearance I mentioned in my earlier Pelican portrait. The Australian Pelican is not pretty in everyone’s books, but few would argue that they are dramatic and eye-catching and you will never forget your first encounter with them
A shot from my Son’s “Best day ever”. After visiting the Mareeba Wetlands in Queensland, Australia, and on the edge of Eucalyptus woodland next to open grasslands , we came across this Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) A very peculiar bird indeed standing up to 2 metres (over 6 1/2 ft) high. They are flightless, like the Ostrich and they can run at 30 mph. They have very powerful legs which are reputed to be able to break through chain fence, so this is a bird you do not mess with! I did not need much bush craft to get close as he was entirely unphased by my presence (though I kept Harvey in the car and made no sudden moves) and he moved nearer to and further from me as his will took him. He came too close at one point for my lens to get his whole head in and seemed vaguely curious about me. I am very pleased with this side on portrait which shows the colours of the sandy soil as a backdrop. I have another environmental shot with him surrounded by huge termite mounds about 5 ft high in the soil around the eucalyptus trees…….I shall leave that for another day 🙂 Canon 100-400mm f/4.8-5.6 L lens on a canon 7D, hand held at a distance of 2.3 metres and a focal length of 235mm F/5.6 100 ISO and exposure time of 1/320s
This is arguably the prettiest of the American herons and is know as the Tricolored heron (Egretta tricolor), a relatively small sized heron, found in the South Eastern parts of the USA, down through central America to Peru and in the Carribean.
It has the most beautifully coloured plumage, white, and brown with subtle hints of pink.
This bird is a youngster, nearing adulthood and still has a few downy feathers (you can see one stuck to his beak, from his preening).
A classic heron shape with the long neck, held in an S form when at rest and held straight out when in flight
This shot was taken at Shark Valley in the Everglades National Park, Florida, America.
I visited this stunning area several times during a fantastic 2 week trip in October 2012
Taken on the Canon 7D with the rather wonderful canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens (a big white) at 400mm f/5.6 and 1/1250s, tripod mounted.
The subtle backlighting, has brought out a lovely effect on the feathers on the back of his neck and a glow to the leaves of his perch which provides a rather lovely natural frame. The background blur effect (bokeh) is a natural result of the 400mm lens setting and a relatively large aperture giving a narrow depth of field
Higher resolution version and many more wildlife shots for sale at http://mr-bennett-kent.artistwebsites.com/
Birds will feature prominently, along with reptiles, amphibians, mammals (stay tuned for Humpback Whales!!) and insect macro photography. I shall be giving you background to photography techniques and technical detail about the wildlife. I look forward to sharing my passion with you :0)