As a photographer it is good to focus on common species once in a while. In fact why now take a common species and focus on it as a long term project. You may be surprised by the results.
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I've not shot macro in a very long time. With a period of settled wamer weather on the cards I decided to have a bit of fun. And what an adventure, even in your own back yard, macro photography can be.
I'm going to miss my trip to Skokholm this year, having been there for the past two seasons. I hear from their blog (you should check it out) that the Puffins have started to return and begin the cycle all over again. Checking in on the blog a few times a week has become somewhat of a coffee time ritual for me.
Puffins will remain one of my favourite seabirds (although the Northern Gannet still wins out for me) and I look forward to getting myself back to Skokholm in 2016.
By the way the staff on Skokholm are some of the most knowledgable folks I've ever met and will always be thankful for being part of the evening bird logs. Although next time I'll make sure to check out if it's a Purple Heron or not :)
Sadly I think this little field vole was going to be more than just a visitor ...
Honey ... I'm home !!
Love the shadows the Barn Owl is making on the Barn.
Image captured on Burwell Fen.
I'm not too sure this Hare was best pleased with the Photoshoot I had organised .. perhaps it was the HARE and makeup .... oh sorry that's terrible :)
- Camera: Canon 1DX
- Lens: 400mm f/2.8 (with 2x Extender attached)
- Settings: f/5.6, 640ISO, 1/2000 second
For the past week I've been spending quite a bit of time at Burwell Fen. Despite, what I would consider not to be a particularly cold Winter thus far, the conditions have brought a number of Short Eared Owls into the area. These for me are iconic of cold Winter days, with their piercing yellow eyes. I first saw one up on the Island of Mull and am so pleased to see them return in reasonable numbers to my local patch.
Certainly going to take quite a bit of field craft to get close over the coming weeks - but hey that's one of the things I absolutely love about Wildlife Photography and I fear something that a lot of people, who want instant results, try and short cut.
Also I've been out with a new Camera - a Canon 7D MK II. I actually swapped this for my used 1D MK IV which was only getting used behind the goal at matches. (Main bodies are 1DXs). The crop sensor on the 7D MK II (1.6) gives me a 640mm focal length when paired with my 400mm, without loosing at f stops .... Certainly a cheaper way to get 600mm reached without dropping over £8k on a lens. And then when I really want to push things pairing this combination with my 2xTC will give me over 1200mm reach, albeit at f/5.6.
Over the coming months I hope to put the 7D MK II through it's paces in various environments and will post my feelings here later.
A baby Oystercatcher runs back to mum for some protection from the Great Black Backed Gulls on the island of Skokholm. The Great Black Backed Gulls are the Alpha predator on the island.
Skokholm remains one of my all time favourite places to visit. Of course the main attraction in summer are the Puffins, but the island is brimming full of other birds as well. Sadly missing a visit of Skokholm in 2015 but hope to return in 2016.
Oystercatcher at speed during the Blue Hour on the Island of Mull, Scotland.
The technical details
- Camera - Canon 1DX
- Settings - ISO 1000, f/5.6, 800mm (400mm lens with 2x converter)
- Focus - AI Servo
It is a question which I struggle with the older I get. Is it wrong it try and be all kinds of a photographer? I mean I really enjoy Wildlife Photography, and would primarily promote myself as one. I also however shoot commercially as a Sports Photographer. So perhaps I should be known by that tag? And Weddings? Yup I've also covered (and will continue to) Weddings as well.
But you see I want more. Not that I'm greedy, but how do I know what I really love unless I try it? And by trying it I mean really diving into it. Part of me keeps going back to the old adage Jack of all trades and the Master of none ... and in a way I fully agree. To really open up one's true potential I think you need to focus on one particular discipline. I'm not too sure if the top Wildlife photographers would also call themselves a Landscape Photographer, or those who are eating from the top Sports Photographer table would be as welcome at the Wedding Photographers feast.
I do however believe that by expanding my horizons into other forms of photography, even just for a period of time, I can only improve my craft and vision in my primary disciplines. One of the most challenging areas of photography for me is on the street. I do however love to shoot on the street (mostly with my iPhone or increasingly my Fuji X-E2). The challenge it presents - capturing the moment along with quite often difficult light is making me much more aware of my surroundings, helping to improve my eye as well as my technical reaction to changing situations.
I also feel 2015 could be a big year of Landscape Photography for me. Over the past 6 months I've been inspired by some of the best Landscape Photographers out there at the moment and this, along with my desire to explore the UK, is drawing me into this particular discipline more and more. Of course I also know the painstaking lengths that the top Landscape Photographers go to to fulfil their potential so I appreciate this is going to be one heck of a challenge. Not to mention that I'm based in Cambridge, UK, an area not well know for it's dramatic Landscape Photography potential.
So is it wrong it spread myself thinly? Will it impact other areas of my work. Or will, by embracing more forms of Photography, I end 2015 a more complete photographer? I guess only time will tell.
Interested in your own thoughts.
An absolutely beautiful morning down at Burwell Fen at the weekend. Quite quiet on the wildlife front but even on mornings like that it is still fantastic to be out amongst the goings on. On the way back to the car the Greylag Geese were starting to make their way to their daytime feeding grounds. Trying to frame the birds between the best colour in the sky and the tops of the trees. I think it works quiet well.
- Camera - Canon 1DX
- Lens - 400mm f/2.8
- ISO - 100
- Aperture - f/3.5
- Shutter - 1/1250 second
Oh, on a different note my very first eBook has been published and is available for sale here.