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Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 10-03-2017, 11:43 AM  
Thematic Show me your insects
Posted By GummyBear
Replies: 5,771
Views: 355,191
Camponotus fulvopilosus: Tawny balbyter

This is a large (8mm - 10mm) diurnal species of ant that feeds exclusively off nectar from fynbos. It has the unusual ability to actually see predator movement without the help of a shadow moving over it. If cornered it will squirt formic acid towards the threat. Spotted this beauty feeding on Euphorbia mauritanica or Yellow Milk bush which is interesting in its own right. Yellow Milk bush is reputed to be poisonous and only steenbuck and klipspringer are known to eat it. Bushmen use the latex (sap) solely for its cohesive properties. It has been suspected of causing deaths in sheep, but this is unconfirmed as there is another similar species that does have toxic sap.

---------- Post added 10-03-17 at 11:45 AM ----------

Some stunning images in this thread. I'm quite green with envy :)
Forum: Post Your Photos! 10-03-2017, 07:49 PM  
Landscape The Narrows
Posted By GummyBear
Replies: 14
Views: 725
Beautiful photo. Lovely bridge. Very atmospheric and moody.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 10-03-2017, 11:10 AM  
Macro Living smiley
Posted By GummyBear
Replies: 1
Views: 399
oh so pretty and new and shiny. Love bugs!!
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 09-25-2017, 11:04 PM  
Ditched the Canon, bought a Pentax.
Posted By GummyBear
Replies: 23
Views: 1,477
Yes I realised that. Posting late at night without engaging ze brain fully not a great idea.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 09-22-2017, 11:19 AM  
Ditched the Canon, bought a Pentax.
Posted By GummyBear
Replies: 23
Views: 1,477
So not to bore you with the long saga, but I've been around the mulberry bush for some time now looking for a camera that 'fits'. Had a Nikon, outgrew it, replaced it with a Canon - NOT a good choice - went back to Nikon and bought a DSLR and discovered that I passionately hate the hassle of changing lenses and somehow you never have the right lens on the camera for the photo that presents itself. No time to open the bag, get the new lens out, take the old lens off, put the new lens on, put the old lens away, without dropping anything, getting dirt / sand / dust / whatever in or on anything important in time to take the photo - bird, bug, whatever has moved, left, gone, died ...

Soooo decided I needed to actually go back to a POS (yeah I know but it SUITS me and that is the important thing) BUT all the new POS cameras have disgusting zooms which you can't use because you can't handhold that much zoom and at the other end the macro goes for a loop because you can't have good macro and 40x / 50x / 60x zoom in the same lens. Soooooo that leaves me looking for an older camera, not much used, that has a reasonable zoom and a decent macro because I want to be able go from that bug on the ground to the bird in the bush with some speed and be able to get both shots before I turn old and grey. (Ok I am already grey but that's my secret and I ain't telling).

MUCH searching later ... much, much, much, much searching later ... I found the X5, actually hadn't even considered a Pentax as I thought it way out of my price range and didn't know they made a POS type camera - hey ho you live and learn - and it was ... reasonable zoom, decent megapixels - enough to be an improvement on what I have without being ridiculous and over-crowding the sensor - and from what I can see a really decent macro and super-macro function.

Only just got it and played with it enough to know I like what I've seen so far. Hopefully will be posting some pics soon.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 09-22-2017, 10:25 PM  
Ditched the Canon, bought a Pentax.
Posted By GummyBear
Replies: 23
Views: 1,477
LOL yes sorry total brainfart last night. I did mean P&S ... no idea what I was thinking.

The 'problem' as I have discovered is the way I take photos. I go for a walk. I see an interesting flower ... ooh, I see a bug on the flower ... double ooh, but then behind me I hear a bird call ... whip around ... oh wow isn't he pretty .... no time to change lenses and fart about adjusting things. I need to be able flick a button and zip over to zoom to snap the bird before he flies off, and then turn around and finish getting nice macros of the bug before it does the same thing. I also live a semi-arid region - lots of dust! Messing about with changing lenses while out and about NOT a good idea. I have valiantly tried for 3 years now with the D3100 - yes I like the slightly better quality pictures of the DSLR. I might actually miss the 90mm prime which took superb macros (Horrible DOF but hey you can't have everything) but I won't miss struggling with the narrow depth of field to keep the right bits of the bug in focus while trying to keep my balance in some awkward position bum up, head down, twisted round to get under the bush at the right angle.

At the end of it all I want to be free to take photos, the kind of photos I like, and I am tired of the stress of trying to make equipment work for me that just doesn't do what I need the way I need it. I haven't taken any photos in the last year, and very few I liked enough to keep in the two years before that, last night - in horrible light and a roaring gale I took 2 photos of my dog that I like, and 2 photos of random flowers in my garden that I like, and one that made me smile so wide with sheer joy ... I haven't taken anything like that in so long and I am looking forward to going out today with my camera so much.

And that is really what it is all about isn't it - ENJOYING taking photos.


This is the photo I took last night that made me so happy. Given the conditions - just being able to get to this point on about my 10th photo with the camera - I'm a happy chappy!
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