This week our Summer Programme evening event was a trip to Hexton chalk pits as suggested by Jeremy, and was probably our most successful event yet with nearly a dozen club members attending and number of guests coming along to join us.
As always the main group arrived on time and following Jeremy’s lead we walked back from our starting point, The Raven Pub in Hexton, to and across the B655 Barton Road and up towards the chalk pits. Although it wasn’t a long walk we were glad to have a guide as the entrance to the chalk pits isn’t well signposted. Once we left the road there was short but steep walk up to the Chalk Pits. Once we arrived Jeremy gave a quick overview on the geography of the site, the sorts of insects and butterflies we might see, and some tips on their behaviour so we wouldn’t frighten them and would get the best pictures. Following Jeremy’s lead we all walked up to the top field, and set about finding our subjects in the long grass. Within a few minutes we’d spread out across the field and were hunting down our subjects.
During his introduction Jeremy noted that once a butterfly has settled it would tend to stay where it was unless physically disturbed, and it was interesting to see how many people were quickly sitting in the long (but thorn-filled) grass with their tripods in place – my top tip for next time is bring something to sit on!
One of the tips Jeremy gave was to use fill in flash to light the butterflies and shoot them against the setting sun, so as the sun started to set, various people started turning on their flashes and attempting to produce shots like these.
One thing that was great to see was that we were all helping each other, and it was nice to people borrowing equipment try something different. This was a subject that was discussed at the pub afterwards to see who would be willing to share equipment so you could try it out before making an expensive purchase. I think Chloe has already got eyes on a ring flash for her birthday 🙂 hint hint Marcus!
Many thanks to Chloe, Rosemary, Marcus, Gareth, Lee, Dave, Dave and Jeremy to sending the following photos from the evening.