My Wild Life by Tony Stevens

 Photography Workshop in June and July 2019 The Night Flyers

Privet Hawk-moths
Having seen several species of butterfly through February and March I can’t help but think it’s not going to be long before their underrated cousins the moths will be stirring in their cocoons and pupae after their winter dormant period. Thoughts of how time-consuming the husbandry of keeping and breeding moths is, collecting suitable food plants for individual caterpillar species and the daily cleaning out, miss one session and you could lose the lot to disease. Although hard work my fascination with the species has grown. To watch from a tiny egg to a caterpillar though several install stages , getting larger each time it sheds its skin, to pupae and cocoon and then morph into some of the most exotic looking insects in the world is just incredible and inspiring.


This will be my third year of breeding moths, last year being more successful than my first. I’m hoping with the knowledge I’ve gained I’ll have as much success this year too. My interest and fascination with these insects has grown so much so that I am in the process of building a large workshop with the sole purpose of breeding moths. This will not only help with the husbandry and breeding but will enable me to take on some of the foreign species such as silk moths, moon moths and atlas moths – some of which are as large as a dinner plate. My intention is to not only photograph them artistically and naturally but also to photograph them in flight too. Although some of the species such as the hummingbird hawk moth can be photographed during daylight hours most hawk-moth are night flyers.
Peach moth
During the workshops, this being my second year, there could be the opportunity to photograph Hummingbird hawk-moths but the main focus will be on the night flyers. Both Elephant hawk-moths and Privet hawk-moths have done well over the past few years at the property where I run these workshops. Last year I had an Eyed Hawk-moth for the first time in the trap. I used this male to breed with my own female , resulting in rearing over 60 to pupation.The majority of these will be released back at the property to help build up the local population. The remaining will be used for photography workshops and breeding on.

Last years breeding produced as mentioned Eyed, Lime, Privet, Elephant, Convolvulus and Pine Hawk-moths. I am hoping that most of these have survived the dormant period and using the trap the night before the workshop, weather permitting, I’d hope there could be several species to photograph per session.

These workshops will be held on Monday and Fridays during June and July. If anyone is interested in these workshops please contact me. Here are some quotes from last year:

 “A beautiful location and an excellent selection of moths with lots of opportunities to take great shots’ Wendy .

“I certainly have some keepers and hopefully something I can use in competition at camera club! “Sue

Itinerary
During the morning session we will
1) start with a quick chat about what moths we have available from home-bred and the trap which will have been set up the night before.
2) We will then check that everyone is comfortable with their equipment and any questions can be asked. I will be happy to help.
3) We will then start setting up to photograph. Weather permitting there will be many possibilities from natural shots on bark, lichen, moss-covered logs, on plant leaves, fern fronds or maybe wild flowers, orchids etc in season. Also I will show you how I set up to do some more artistic shots.
If at any time anyone would like to stop for a quick break for a tea or coffee or need to use the loo then that’s no problem as it’s all close at hand.
Finish at 12.30

Equipment
I use Nikon cameras and lenses. Macro and wide-angle and telephoto for different situations and effects. I sometimes use the pop up flash as a fill in light. I also at times use torches, LED lights, reflectors etc for different effects. All these will be available. I have also used my phone camera. Whatever set up you use let’s get the best out of it.

Cost
£85 per person.

For more information please ring me on 07734 103014 or use the contact form to get in touch. Thanks Tony.

Screenshot 2019-03-29 at 08.28.09

You can open a PDF version of the poster above by clicking on the link below.

Macro and Moth Photography Workshops 2019

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