About the Author

My name is Will.

Every year I research different places to go and my ‘I should go here’ list gets longer. I add it and then start thinking of the best way of getting around when there, be it cycling, backpacking or vehicular.

The Exploration Journal is my way to document my travels to these places and my development as a photographer.

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Practicing insect photography in Germany

I recently visited my sister near Dusseldorf in Germany, they were busy one afternoon so I grabbed my camera and walked to the nearby Stinderbachtal nature reserve. The aim of the trip was to test out my new Neewer macro extension tubes for the Sony A6000 camera. I’ve only had it for a couple of weeks so an afternoon of insect hunting was ideal to get to grips with it. The trip was a success and I spent a couple of hours mostly stalking giant crickets, but also some other insects and butterflies.

I spent the first hour or so amongst giant flowers that came up to chest height. I could hear bush crickets chirping from the depths of the flowers but they kept jumping/flying off when I tried to get close. I carried on trying until I managed to get a good selection of photos.

Further along the nature reserve opens up into a grass meadow beside a river. I could hear grasshoppers this time and so once again patiently stalked them until I found one willing to be still.

I also saw butterflies, a dragonflies, and spiders.

Before heading back to the house I once again delved into the flowery undergrowth and took a few more photos of the bush crickets. I think their human-like eyes are the most freakishly disturbing thing I’ve found on an insect. This one also showed off whatever that thing coming out of its mouth is – I tried to look it up but couldn’t figure out what it was on the bush cricket anatomy diagrams.

All in all I’m quite happy with the photographs I took, I’m still getting the hang of how to focus the lens on something that is very angular and moves a lot. After a bit of practice I decided to make the eyes the manual focal point when photographing crickets, which was a lot better than the autofocus making the legs clear but blurring out everything else.

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