Backyard pond Photography

Frog in the pondThis morning this frog kept making low ribbits and finally I could see him.  Usually they leap away, but maybe he thought the foliage would hide him. He just stayed there as I moved closer, and closer with each shot. The camera was set at 200mm with a 16mm extension tube, so I didn’t have to get super close, otherwise, he might have fled.

Insects were really attracted to the blossoms as the rising sunlight fell on them. As it got warmer they just got faster.

Having a pond in the backyard can be involved with moving water and 20 year Firestone ÒWhiteÓ butterfly45mil liner. Or it can be quite simple using just a frame and outdoor tarp that will last 4-5 years. Either way, it provides a natural environment for aquatic wildlife and plants. But it offers an opportunity to not only exercise our equipment but learn a little more about our natural surroundings.

Bee on Pickerel Rush
Bee on Pickerel Rush

Making a simple pond…

This 6×8 foot pond is made of 2X8 pressure treated boards 8 ft long.

I cut two feet off two of the boards and backyard pondnailed them together, then bought the heaviest tarp I could find and placed it inside and over the edges. The ground serves as the floor supporting the tarp. Fill with water, get native aquatic plants and add fish. I use  Comet Feeder fish from the pet store. They cost about 15 cents each, and are used as feed for larger fish, so they are not well taken care of, so some will not survive.

Attracting wildlife…

In our area, it doesn’t take long before the toads show up to lay their eggs. Oh. Don’t make this pond under your bedroom window. The ribbit ribbits may keep you awake all night. About mosquitoes, the fish eat them. And you won’t have to feed the fish. They live off the pond. The native plants come back every year and help keep the pond in balance. Make a habitat and they will come. You may also attract a snake or two, just so you should know. But you should know that I have five ponds now and have had ponds for the last 20 years or so and have only had two sightings of snakes. They too are interesting creatures.

Starting equipment needed…

In the previous article about Spider Photography we discuss extension tubes. Used with a long lens on tripod will be a good outfit. If your lens is fast enough you may even end up hand holding for some images, unless you are shooting in low light.

Incidentally, the extension tubes will restrict the full range of viewing. They allow you to get closer to the subject and increase magnification. An alternative would be a bellows, a close up diopter for the front of your lens or a macro lens.



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