Sunday, 4 November 2018

Macro Natural History photographs.

Hello world.

Here is the promised macro images post I promised. In 17 hours, I shall be in hospital, having a full left knee replacement. Think good thoughts for me please, thank you.

I'm only going to add the minimum of text to these images, due to time constraints on me. If anyone wants to know more about the subject(s) in one, or more of the following insects or plants, try the internet search function. There is a world of info out there on most of these things. In the last blog post, I think I said they would all be ones taken this year. Once I started to sort out the photos, I realised that I hadn't taken many this year, on account of me not being able to walk very well. I decided that I would show things from the last three years, which I thought had some visual merit.

The first is a beautiful moth, the Canary Shouldered Thorn.

Canary Shouldered Thorn.
Canary Shouldered Thorn detail.

Another pretty moth below, I was pleased with this photo.

Small Magpie Moth.

I didn't expect to see the moth below but a neighbour brought a live one to me in his sandwich box. (Thanks Peter). This moth is one of the bigger UK ones, with a wingspan of  65-90 mm
Poplar Hawk Moth.

A lovely butterfly now, the Comma. So called because it has a whitish comma shape on the underside of each wing, (not shown here).


Two shots of a Green Shield bug next. Shield bugs go through several changes before they become adult, even then, the Green Shield bug has a winter and summer colouring. These changes are called "Instars". Bellow are two photos of the Green Shield bug. the first is an adult in the summer, the second and adult in the winter.

Green Shield bug (summer).

Green Shield bug (winter).

For good measure, I thought I'd show a detail of the Hawthorn Shield Bug. Note that the black mark on each side of the red patch, are NOT it's eyes. they are a defence mechanism. It's real eyes are the two small parts at the end of it's "snout".

Hawthorn Shield Bug.

Green Dock Beetles mating.

I was unable to identify the following fly. I need more experience with Diptera (True Flies). There are a huge number of them in the family. I can only identify
a few. Should anyone happen to know this one, please leave me a note in the comments of this blog.

Detail of a fly.

The next is a woodlouse. I did some research into them about two years ago. I became quite fond of them. They are harmless to humans and don't carry diseases. Even better, they eat things like dry rot. This is a nice photo of one type:

Painted Woodlouse.

The next creature is quite a pest. It's larvae killed all our newly bought Heuchera plats last year. They eat the roots off them.

Vine Weevil.

A detail of it's head.

I've tried for some years to get a photo of one of these. Every time I got near one it jumped away. This year, I finally managed. 

Common Field Grasshopper.

I should have put the following photo with the other lepidoptera, I forgot it.

Small Cabbage White Butterfly caterpillar.

Some of you will be pleased to discover that I've finished with insects in this post, it's now all plants.

Scarlet Waxcap fungi.

A Larch Fircone with a
Mycena stipata agg., 
toadstool growing from it. 

Silverleaf Fungus on decaying beech log.

A couple of lichens now. I've been fascinated with them for many years. To me, they look like alien plants. It's a very difficult area of study, I can only recognise and identify a few lichens as yet.

Cladonia floerkeana.

Pixie Cup Lichen.

One of the many mosses now. When my wife saw it, she commented that huge numbers of people will have walked passed these without ever seeing how attractive they are.
Ripe seedheads of the Elegant Bristle Moss.

The last three images are of garden plants.

An Ice Plant or Mesembryanthemum seedpod.

Below is a macro shot of an empty Fritillary seed pod. I counted all the flat seeds which it were in it, it held 99. Nature is amazing at package design.

Empty Fritillary seed pod.

Now for the last image. I though I should end with a big splash of colour.  Isn't nature wonderful?

Detail of a mature Zinnia flower.

I have no idea how long it will take for me to recover from the forth coming operation. I do all my blogging up two flights of stairs on my more powerful graphics PC. Two flights of stairs is a LOT after a knee replacement. I'll try not to let it be as long a gap as it was after the first op. So, don't think I've given up posting, normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Be kind to each other. Gordon.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Photography, photomontage and digital art..

Hello world.

It is over four months since my last post. I really didn't mean such a long gap between posts, sorry. Many things have happened in those four months;  a holiday, then two lots of major internal work on the house. I also had the first of  two full knee replacements. I'm having the second one done at the end of October. Expect a break after the NEXT post. I shall make the effort to put one up before the operation. I  think it will be a selection of my favorite macro photography photos taken this year. The operation takes a long time to recover from and takes a tremendous amount of mental and physical stamina out of you but it has been worth it. It proved to be a life changing, life enhancing event for me. Following the operation, I seem to have fallen into a hiatus, it has taken me some time to pull out of.

So, on with this new post. Sometime ago, I thought I'd have a go at a self portrait. I created  several, some I was more pleased with than others. A lot of artists do this, some have been accurate drawings or paintings, some abstract, or even tongue-in-cheek ones. I decided to start this post with one mine. My dear friend Roger, (hello Roger) does not like the white areas in this one. I explained that they're supposed to represent places where the paper has been torn out.

Self Portrait #3.

Here are two more "portraits" but not of me!

The Queen of Dreams.

Rock Troll.

Six photos now. I came across this spiders web, it was too good to miss. The colours and composition were perfect. Nature has a knack of doing that.

Spiders Web.

St John's Wort.

I took the image below with a powerful telephoto lens, It's reflections of  people passing a large window. They looked as if they were dancing. Sometimes you just happen to be there at the right time, in the right frame of mind and the magic of inspiration happens.

Street Dancers.

The following is of part of a modern building. It works well as an abstract image.

Building Detail.

The next shot was just begging to be taken. I wonder how many hundreds of people have passed it, or walked over it and didn't notice it.

Greek Horse.

I was on my way to somewhere, I forget where, when I spotted this scaffolding. It has a very sculptural feel to it. 

Construction #2.

Now for the abstract images. I won't comment on these unless I feel that one, or more need it.

Evening Sky.


Fallen Angel.

The next one is a computer modified photo-montage. It's title, "The Mill is Your Chapel", is a rather bitter, sarcastic condemnation of the British Mill owners in the past. I seem to think I talked about this before.  Basically, I'm having a dig at the great textile mill owners in England in the 18th and 19th Century. A great many of them were members of the Methodist chapel. Without going into the complexities of it all, here is the thrust of my title and the piece of art.In the 1800s conditions were very harsh for mill workers. They generally worked in terrible conditions, with little or no safety, for long hours and very low wages. Also, children from five or six years old were set to work in mills for anything from 12 to 16 hours a day, the were often very badly treated, part starved and paid very little. Often children would be found in the road having falling asleep whilst walking from the mill to their homes. On the other side of the coin, a lot of Methodist preachers at the time were giving sermons to the workers from the pulpit about putting up with their situation as, "The Lord would reward them in heaven." The mill owners and ministers at this time, were, of course living very rich lives with plenty of good food and drink and an easy, comfortable life. I'm sorry this was a long explanation, but I could not see a way of talking about why I called the next image what I did.

The image represents the chaos in the mills. You might need to study it before you seem the actual building in the work.

The Mill is Your Chapel.

On to lighter subjects after that.

City Bypass.

 Flying Fish.

Mushroom Spore Prints.

The polyptych below was inspired by Andy Warhol's screen prints. I did screen printing for a while, I really enjoyed it. It can be time consuming, demanding and fiddly, but when you get it right, the results are worth the effort. The subject is an extreme close-up of a halftone photo of a strawberry, from a magazine cover. 


I Told You Before!

Volume in Context.

Solar Flare Telemetry,

The Shadow Lands,

I'm disappointed that it's taken so long to get this post out. I hope all my readers have enjoyed it and perhaps even liked, some of the work.

Be careful  and be good to each other.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Abstract Art, Abstract Expressionism, Modern Art, Photomontage, Photography.

Hello and welcome to everyone around the world. At last, the new post. Between continuing health issues and major work being done inside our house, I have  been kept away from blogging for a while. This post is a mixture of my latest work. As always, if  I think a piece needs any comments, I will add them immediately above that piece of art. So, in no special order, on with the show.

I'm starting with one I was particularly pleased with. As some of the regular readers will know, I have done a fair bit of Fine Art printing. I'm hoping to start again, once the work on the house is finished. The artwork below is in a fine art print style and came out far better than my expectations.

Still Life #7

Next, two more which I like a lot, both in a fine art print style.



Recently, we had some heavy snowfalls here in the village, followed by freezing conditions. The image below is a photograph of ice which had somehow created a bubble like surface. The ice was about 1 inch thick, (25.4cm).

 Ice Bubbles

The next image continues with the idea of something being frozen, then painted.

In Ice

I think it's time for something suggesting warm weather. I think the title says all I want to say about it.

Summer of  '67 #2

The next five pieces are part of  a series. They were created using a technique I was inventing, (making up) as I worked on the images. It was very experimental, I had no clear idea what the results would be like. It was quite exciting for me and gave me a pleasant surprise. 


The following work, (The Last Mill Chimney) is a lament for the loss of England's great textile industry.

The Last Mill Chimney


Standing Figures

Three Harbour Views

The one below is a photomontage. It's part of a series entitled, "Lost Mills". It is another lament for our textile industry. Textiles are a huge part of Yorkshire's heritage, and were the main factor in it's wealth for a long time. For those visitors to this blog from overseas, I will explain that the area of Yorkshire I live is very hilly, being in the Pennine Mountain chain. It is a wonderful water catchment area, with plenty of streams and rivers, and is suitable for sheep. The water is "soft" i.e. it runs through Millstone Grit, (sandstone) and not Limestone. The calcium and magnesium carbonates in Limestone, result in "hard" water. Soft water is perfect for washing the oils and lanolin from the wool of sheep. (Soap lathers far better in soft water). Naturally, a textile industry formed here.  That was a very potted history of our textile industry, missing a lot out, such as the Industrial Revolution and the Luddites. Sorry Yorkshire! I'm (slowly) adding images to the "Lost Mill" series. 

Lost Mill #4

Quite a few of the next images fall loosely under the heading of  Abstract Expressionism, but by no means all of them. Two or three are abstract photomontage works. The rest are, well, take a look and decide for yourselves.


Rays of Glory

Druid's Temple

Countryside Study

Island Splash


Sunken Atlantis


1950s Cocktail Bar


Green Rain

Robot 7XB

Robot 7XB was the last image in this post. I hope you liked what you have seen, or at least liked some of it. I've not decided what the subject of the next post will be yet. I do know that it is unlikely I shall be able to do another post within the next six weeks or so. I have to wait until the work being carried out at home is finished and I have access to my studio again. Plus we shall be taking a holiday on The Isle of Arran, in Scotland soon. We were there two years ago and I fell in love with it. I came home with a lot of photos, many of which are in this blog. Look at the post on Seaweeds for a start. I hope to be getting a lot more photos of parts of Arran that we didn't see last time.  I love malt whisky, so we shall be visiting the Arran Whisky distillery for certain. I'm getting excited already.

Please don't forget to leave a comment, thank you.
In the meantime, be nice to each other.