How I got the Shot: Hairy

Chris Collyer has been kind enough to invite me to join him “bug hunting” at Wingate Golf Course (the “home of beautiful bugs”) a few times and this photo was taken on one of those afternoons. Chris Sheppard bravely lent me his Canon 100mm, 2.8  macro lens – thank you to you both.
There was a patch of uncut long grass in between fairways at Wingate. Apparently this was deliberately left uncut for Chris to photograph his bugs!  Chris and I walked slowly in and around this patch of grass, watching for movement or any unusual shapes. These critters are incredibly camouflaged and it takes practice to be able to see them.   
This particular caterpillar was so striking that it wasn’t an option to bypass the opportunity.  However, it was somewhat uncooperative in that it moved quite quickly and not always in the direction I wanted it to go!  I tried to get a little bit of back light to show up its beautiful hairstyle and used a flash which brought out the magnificent colours. It really was a beauty.
The two of us provided great entertainment and, on occasion, great irritation, for the passing golfers  – crouching in the long grass trying to improve the “angle” or the “background” and calling to each other when we found something “exciting” – I am sure that we looked quite daft!
Macro photography is a real “eye opener” to the amazing world of insects and their incredible detail that, for the most part we don’t notice. The beauty of this type of photography is that you can find your subjects within your own garden. Once you have found your subject you are free to explore it from many different angles.   
Macro photography doesn’t have to be at all intense, involved or solitary. We tend to get so caught up in the fast tempo of life that we often forget to take notice of the astonishing beauty around us. For me, this type of photography is almost meditative in that my mind is concentrated entirely on getting “the shot” and there is no room for other worries and concerns. It is totally addictive as each successful shot shows me more and more detail on what we don’t see at a quick glance and I always strive for improvement.


Camera: Canon 600D Aperture: F8 Shutter: 1/200 ISO: 200
“Photography is a love affair with life”

This photograph was originally featured in “PictureMaker”, the Mashonaland Photographic Society”s monthly newsletter.

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