Rammell Photography

Surrey Wedding Photographer

Blog Post 6: Blogs are like Buses: nothing for ages then 2 come at once

Dance, Canon, 580, Lock, 7D, Fly, EOS, Mating, Flies, 70-200mm, Maidenhead, Boulters, DragonMichael RammellComment

Hi All and welcome to Blog post number 6.

I only started writing this blog back in early May when I purchased my new camera. My first blog post told of how I'd lost my enthusiasm for photography since using a 60D (whilst I sported a 500D). Some may say that the 500D is a perfectly good camera and I would not disagree, but each time I picked up my 500D thereafter it felt like a 'Tomy my first DSLR'. Plus, I am a bit of a gadget lover in general so once I'd decided I wanted to upgrade I'd become a little relentless! After then investing in some new kit I've re-ignited that enthusiasm. But it does feel a little like getting back on a horse! 

Since becoming re-addicted (or relapsing I guess is the right word) I am now out photographing more often and I now write about it too for a bit of fun.

So, my humble little blog is now the age of 6 posts old and this week I took a walk with my wife and daughter (who is still pushchair-bound at the age of 5 months) to Boulters Lock in Maidenhead, which is on the river Thames. We moved into a house very near by  in January and it was the first time I'd been for a walk there. My wife had been there quite a few times with the girls from her Antenatal group and told me how nice it was.

We started walking around 6.30pm so the sun was still getting lower but the light was still good. The more we walked and the later it got, the lower the sun was which created some pretty awesome lighting and some nice effects on the resulting images - If I do say so myself.


Click to Enlarge: My wonderful wifeIt was all about the Dragonflies!

I hadn't realised but it must be Dragonfly mating season! There were literally hundred's of thousands of these little things! With there being so many long plush meadows right next to the river it must have provided the ideal place for these randy little creatures to come along and reproduce. It was quite hard to photograph so, it made sense to try out the 7D's video abilities:

You can see in this video that the Dragonflies fly up and down repeatedly as a sort of ritual. These particular Dragonflies clearly had the wrong idea because all the Dragonflies nearer the river seemed to be the ones getting lucky:


Click to Enlarge: The Prize! Dragonflies MatingIt was quite a strange thing to watch - it looked very aggressive. The male (top) had the female held, pinned almost and she looked as if she was trying to get away. She was trying to use her sting on the male but didn't have much luck. I researched this mating process and according to National Geographic it can get violent, murderous even! I've read that females can go to great lengths to avoid a male wanting to mate by going as far to submerge themselves in water!

Some Incredible Houses at Boulters Lock

We walked further up the river. There are some incredible houses along the river at Boulters Lock, but I wasn't confident enough to photograph them considering some of the signs in people's garden's. One particular sign read something like "There are lasers protecting this property. Trespassing will trigger an alarm and the police will be alerted" . Also, I would feel quite bad putting pictures of people's property on the internet - I wouldn't like to advertise them!

One Thing I did see however was this little boat house and I could not resist but photograph it (not having any visible guard dogs or laser warnings made me a little more comfortable). With the water being so calm I managed to get quite a nice shot with it reflecting in the water. I used Light Room to reduce the clarity slightly but otherwise this is pretty much as photographed.


Click to Enlarge: Boulters Lock Boat House 

I was quite pleased with the day's photography in all. I took around 200 hundred shots and ended up taking 4 as shots I would be happy to show. Personally the Boat House is one of my absolute favourites.

The only other image I got was of an old, rusty iron fence that ran alongside one of the grassy meadows. It's clearly been there a long time and was pretty much part of the growth. Weathered and with it's colour altered to a very strong rusty bronze I decided to photograph the fence and try to pick out one spike and leaving the rest blurred. I took the 70-200 Mk II down to f2.8 for this one:


Click the Enlarge: Rusty Spikes

I think we're due for some rain here now in the South East of the UK too so I have no idea how that will effect the rampant randy rage of the Dragonfly's - whether is will subdue them or just spur them on!

This weekend I'm off to Donna Nook in Lincolnshire with some friends to photograph Grey Seals which is something I am really looking forward too. I shall be spending much of this week researching the Seals so that I know my subject!

So, that's all for now! Thanks for stopping by - I hope you enjoyed the short video of the Dragonfly's doing their thing. I would really encourage you to go along to Boulters Lock if you're local and take the camera with you, there are some beautiful sites to be snapped!

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