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I’ve never managed to get a decent shot of a dandy lion and, as I’ve cultivated a few this year :), I thought I’d give it another go. Having selected a couple, one large and damaged and the other small but perfectly formed, I set about seeing what I could do with them. First I tried photographing the individual seeds but they’re tricky little blighters and wouldn’t cooperate. So, I swapped plants and was studying my new specimen with ‘live view’ when suddenly I realised that it was home to a tiny spider and an even smaller insect of some sort. It’s amazing how the world changes with a macro lens and live view! Pah – who wants another picture of a dandy lion?! The spider was far more interesting, and more photogenic than the little green bug, so I decided to concentrate my efforts on it. Unfortunately it was also far more active so that added to the already difficult challenge of trying to focus through the lacework of fairy parachutes. The Nikkor 105mm lens is a real beauty – I love the way you can see six of his eyes. Hmmm – him/her? Six eyes/eight eyes? Any experts out there?! I felt I was getting somewhere now so with a little more perseverance I got this one – my favourite shot and one that’ll definitely be going on my website. I like the soft look created by the out of focus seed heads and not only is Incy (ahh – now he’s got a name!) in a great ‘spider pose’ but with a bit of luck I’ve also managed to get the focal point and depth of field pretty well spot on. Isn’t it great when it all comes together?!

(All images are copyright to Noeline Smith)