Look at the amazing 'monsters' photographed by a Doncaster family during lockdown after their safari fell through

Dad Steve Nightingale expected to be taking pictures of zebras and elephants on safari this Easter.

By David Kessen
Friday, 10th April 2020, 5:00 pm

But now he is taking pictures on safari in his Doncaster garden with his nine year old son instead!

Steve and the family’s trip to South Africa was sunk when the coronavirus crisis put an end to travel a few weeks ago.

So he and son Ben, aged nine, have made the most of their time back home by taking to their garden in Norton to create terrifying pictures of wildlife found under stones and on trees.

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Steve Nightingale with sons Louie and Ben, in the garden where they are dong their own safari

Norton Junior School pupil Ben is tasked with going round the 10m by 20m family garden to find interesting bugs – then they take them inside to create pictures which the pair reckon make the tiny minibeasts look truly terrifying.

When they have been photographed the tiny animals are put back in the garden to get on with their daily business.

Steve said: “Ben is the hunter – he’s got much better eyes than me, so he can find tiny things like greenfly and larvae. But there is no trickery in the pictures.

“We take them inside and take pictures with a macro lens that makes them look enormous. When we look through the lens it’s amazing. What can look like a drab, 2mm bug scaled up like that looks really scary.”

Steve Nightingale with sons Louie and Ben, in the garden where they are dong their own safari

Once they have taken their picture they try to find out what the creature is that they have photographed. They have looked them up on websites, or in one case, emailed a photo to an expert. That one turned out to be a ground nettle bug.

Brother and sister Louie, aged 12, and Daisy, 13, have been impressed with what Ben has been turning out, as has mum Lisa.

Steve usually works as a salesman selling tyres for giant earth moving trucks, but is currently on furlough, while Ben is away from school while the schools are closed.

Steve reckons their best picture was of a lace webbed spider.

Ruler shows the size of the bugs photographe by Steve Nighingale and his family

“It’s been fun without a doubt,” he said: “Some of the insects look terrifying. If you put a few of them outside, magnified to the size of our pictures, people would quickly socially isolate!”

Lace Webbed Spider photographer by Steve Nightingale and his family
Wood louse photographed by Steve Nightingale and his family