Hi and thank you for choosing my website, my name is Mike. Please allow me to give you a brief overview of my origins and some information as to why I created this website. I originate from Bermondsey, South London where as a child of that time, we all made our own entertainment, no televisions, Ipads, or computers in those days! However, there were plenty of bomb ruins to play around on, with no health and safety rules to worry about. As I remember we built camps out of all the ruin around us, built go karts, made crossbows, we also collected lizards and caterpillars which I now know is the larvae of the Cinnamon moth.
I was fortunate enough to spend approximately four years from about the age of eleven to fifteen in Essex, where I collected frogs spawn, climbed trees, went fishing, somedays I was out all day in the woods with just a bottle of watered down orange cordial and sugar sandwiches. No worries about perverts then! After only four years the family moved back to Bermondsey just in time for me to return to the same school I had left earlier.
I spent my latter teenage years in the Old Kent Road. Got married at the age of 21 and now 47 years later thankfully still married to the same lady and living in N/Hampshire. Quite a few of my early years were spent in raising a family but some of it was spent fishing which I have done all my life. These last few years I have taken an interest in photography. Originally starting with Birds, diversifying to butterflies, dragonflies, and fungi. I am still learning and long may it be so.
My year starts in the spring then through to autumn, I am mainly interested in dragons and butterflies with some moths and of late orchids. With the oncoming of autumn and winter I take more interest in fungi and birds.
Now I am retired I have more leisure time to do the aforementioned and by the way retirement is the best job ever, the hours are superb, but the wages are crap. The name for this site was originally conceived by my wife, who I must admit is mostly right about most things (she who must be obeyed!) Seriously though my wife commented on the fact that the vast majority of my photographic (images) have involved creatures with wings! Therefore Wings of Nature was created. I have separated the site into the various themes.
I hope you enjoy the site, please email me with any suggestions for improving the format. I will be updating the site with new images and comments when possible along with a blog. I will publish this site starting with fungi and dragons and continue building it so your every visit should have new entries.
I have always used Canon equipment, but whether its Canon, Nikon, Panasonic or any other brand today's digital equipment has made life much easier for all.
How did I get to photography from fishing?
It started out with birds. I was out on a lovely spring day pike fishing on the Thames in my boat with my grandson. We had moored up and were cooking up the usual bacon and egg sandwich, whilst observing a family of great crested Grebes. One of the adult Grebes was diving for small fish whilst the other adult tended to three juveniles. After finishing off our sandwiches and tea we both tried to take photos of the adult passing the catch to one of the juveniles. My grandson was at the helm (we had changed over to the electric motor.) I had a Canon G6 at the time which I used for the Pike trophy shots.
Each time we got close enough for the shot of the Grebes they moved away, this was very frustrating, We therefore failed miserably. Whilst driving home I decided that the only option was for a better camera, this decision was to turn out very costly then and still is to this day. I waited till my birthday and purchased a Canon 50d with a 17-85 as a kit which was rather useless for bird photography and then bought the newly launched Sigma 150-500 which was the bees knees at that time! I am now using a 7D and 7D MK2 with a Sigma 500 F4.5 which is very good for the birding. For butterflies and dragonflies I still use the 7D combined with a 300F4 L and a Canon 650D with a Canon 100 F2.8 is for close up or Macro.The fungi and insects are taken also with the Canon 650D plus macro and sometimes with the Canon 24-105.
The vast majority of my images are hand-held, namely dragons, butterflies and insects, but with birds and fungi I use a tripod.
I then purchased a Canon 300l F4 for the dragonflies and butterflies. This gave me a chance to take images in flight, also static shots at a good working distance. My method was to creep nearer for the 650D/ macro to take over. This is a great double combo (7D/300—650Dmacro(for stalking Dragons) the downside is the weight and size. So instead of a camera bag I purchased a cotton carrier vest.This along with spare cards, spare battery for each camera and a bottle of water is about as light as I can go at the moment. Even these combos are heavy for me.
At the present time to cut the weight down further I am experimenting with an Olympus EM5 MK2 and 60mm macro along with an EM1 and 40-150 2.8 pro lens, both of which this coming spring might well replace the 7D/300l 650/100mm macro outfit. I will blog my findings later.