A skipper from Essex and Chalkhill Blue Butterflies

No, this is not about sailing, I’m talking about British butterflies.  Certainly one of the best reasons to avoid C19 is by being out and about in the countryside and in southern England, particularly where there are downs and hillsides and not crowds of people, rare and beautiful butterflies are thriving.

blog pictures Chalkhill blueChalkhill Blue Butterfly

Some years ago, I was involved in a fairly dramatic car accident (not of my making I may add) which resulted in severe hearing loss. At the time I was creating natural history wildlife programmes for the BBC and Anglia TV and was able to use the developments in headphones and hearing aids to help me; but anno domini hearing deterioration and a natural preference led me away from regular broadcasting to writing, photographing and illustrating my many articles and books.

I’ve been fascinated by photography for 40 years and even processed my own colour film in a small cupboard on the landing at our home… And I was, of course, an early convert to digital photography, trying any number of different manufacturers and hoping that my growing collection of lenses would fit.

I’ve also had the good fortune to do quite a bit of travel writing, but my long -suffering wife and the various airlines I used to get us to far away places have become less tolerant of the bulk and weight of my camera gear and I got rather fed up with the ever-growing cost of each new development.

Happily. a brilliant photographer and keen naturalist friend introduced me to the Olympus Micro Four Thirds range of cameras. I won’t bore you with all the technicalities but, in essence. the electronic chip that captures the image is much smaller than the 35mm imaging chip on my very heavy Minolta Camera.

Essex skipper ,Essex Skipper Butterfly

In consequence, the entire camera is smaller and lighter. Olympus have a well-earned reputation for superb optics and wonderful engineering and have managed to incorporate such refinements as excellent anti-shake, vital for hand-held telephoto shots; and both camera and lenses are water and dust resistance, which makes them a must for the back-packing fraternity.  Indeed for any traveller who likes to get off the beaten track and have the assurance that their treasured pics will survive the adventure.

Several years ago I bought an Olympus EM-5 mk 2 camera and replaced three lenses with an Olympus 12mm to 200mm zoom lens; the best purchase I’ve made in a very long time. In a stroke the camera bag was lightened by a kilo and, as a bonus, I found I could film in good quality video from close up to telephoto without having to change lenses. Olympus is justly famous for the quality of their glass and the Pro series of lenses are world-renowned. And, though my lens is not a pro spec, I can’t fault it.

Because I am severely deaf I wear two sophisticated hearing aids, which means I can’t use headphones. I just get a rather uncomfortable feedback howl.  So recently I’ve been experimenting with an Olympus recorder LS-P4. A minute piece of sophisticated kit that sits on top of my camera flash hot-shoe and plugs into the microphone socket, providing professional-grade sound.  In order to hear messages on my mobile I use a digital neck loop, and have been delighted to find that by plugging into my neck loop I can monitor the high quality of the camera sound track in my hearing aids via a simple and cheap mini jack cable.

It’s an exciting step forward and this week I have been taking some sample videos and some stills of chalkhill blue butterflies and Essex skipper butterflies… and I’m very much looking forward to the time when I have mastered the digital editing programme I have and can add sound and vision to my blogs.

I’ve very recently had a note from Olympus telling me they have a special offer on cameras, lenses, and on the sound recorder LS-P4.

Highlight and have a look at these Links:

Direct Link: https://shop.olympus.eu/en_GB/promo.html?id=14595


Enjoy Life. Stay Safe. Protect Nature.

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