Wednesday 9 May 2012: St Mark's fly
This fly was in a mass hatch about four days ago. Nothing else was going on today, so I decided to have a go at catching one in flight. This would have been much easier during the hatch as there were numbers approaching the millions, the air was thick with them. Once the sun poked through the clouds, there were still the odd one or two still playing.
Trying to catch an insect in flight by looking through the view finder is a dead loss. The only way to get close is to pre-focus at minimum distance and rapid fire from the hip. Even this is highly inefficient, judging the focal distance and the framing is very difficult and the resulting success rate is extremely low.
I came up with a solution that I call 'dip sticking'. I picked up a strait twig and trimmed the length back so that one end was held in line with the rear of the camera and the other end was at the focus distance. The tip of the stick could be in frame or just below frame. I held the stick to the bottom of the camera with my supporting hand and when a fly was around the tip of the stick, I fired away. This method resulted in a much higher rate of success. It still took half a dozen bursts to get this image though.
Today's difference topic is really a follow on from yesterday's - rain. I did a Google search for the average rainfall for Liverpool and Bandung. Liverpool gets an average of 850mm per year and Bandung varies between 1000mm in the centre to 3,500mm to the north of the city where I live.
Liverpool and Bandung
What I could not find data on, was the actual rainfall duration. I know if I found those numbers, Liverpool would win easily. England just seems to drizzle its rain for hours on end whereas in Bandung, the average period of rain would be half an hour or less, in which time you could get 25mm or more of rainfall, enough to cause severe flooding. An hour later and you would never know it had rained except for the rubble in the roads deposited by the flooding. I am in absolutely no doubt as to which I prefer.