I had been longing to use my camera after the operation on my thumb, so when the opportunity arose to spend a day In Paxton Pits, with other more experienced macro photographers from Cambridge Camera Club, I was very keen to go. The aim of the visit was to find and photograph Wasp Spiders as they had been seen by several people in the vicinity. As we gathered at the entrance and started the usual scramble to relieve our cameras from tightly fitting rucksacks, camera bags and trolleys I realised that nearly everyone had a very neat little flash attached to their cameras. Further investigation revealed that every flash had been bought on Ebay as Canon had stopped making it. The 220Ex is a high speed flash, just powerful enough to light up the darkened shadows in the undergrowth. I wanted one! After introductions and a quick guide to the area, we set off with our intrepid leader, great photographer and expert entomologist Ann.
We kept our eyes peeled for anything unusual and small in the undergrowth, the hedges and under the trees. Anyone finding anything shouted out and the rest of us waited our turn to shoot, whilst the experts chivied the insects into better photographic positions and cut any distracting foliage around them with scissors. We laid in the mud, knelt awkwardly and walked about two miles searching for the elusive Wasp Spider and anything else that looked interesting when viewed through a macro lens. Despite never finding a Wasp Spider, ( I think they had been warned we were coming) we all managed to photograph some interesting insects and the odd flower, some of which I had never seen before. Whilst the pictures included in this blog are not technically brilliant – I needed a flash and a much steadier hand – they do show the variety of insects that thrive quietly and secretly around us whilst we go about our daily routines.
Since enjoying this wonderful day I have finally won something on Ebay! Yes you guessed it, an unused and great little 220Ex flash. Thank you to Gareth and Paula for your very sensible advice about how to bid!