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Monday, 28 June 2010

No glow.

Went to Riddlesdown common tonight in search of glow worms. No joy.

Managed to get this shot of a common green grasshopper while I was there though:

Nikon D700 + Nikkor 200mm f/4 Micro @ f/8, 1/4 sec, ISO 1600

For me this is an example of why the D700 is such a great camera for macro work. Taken just after sunset, at ISO 1600, the shutter speed used was 1/4 sec. There's a small amount of noise present, but on the whole it's still pretty clean image. This wouldn't have been possible with something like a D300. To keep the noise down to acceptable levels, a longer exposure time would have been needed, to the extent that there would have been very little chance of getting a sharp shot in the slight breeze.

Should find time to try again for glow worms later in the week. Apparently, the nearby Farthing Downs is also a good place to look, so that's my next destination.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

A morning at Pulborough Brooks

Woke early-ish this morning (for a Saturday, anyway!) and decided to head down to Pulborough Brooks.

Arrived at about 8am, by which time it was already very hot indeed. After my visit the other evening, I thought I might see another Whitethroat, and sure enough they were there in numbers.

It turns out the one I photographed before was a male (gray head) - today I saw mostly females (brown head)...

And finally a ruffled looking Dunnock:

Thursday, 17 June 2010

An evening at Pulborough Brooks

After work the other evening, I went to RSPB Pulborough Brooks for a couple of hours. Reserves are great in the evening, as they are more or less deserted (of people, that is), while the wildlife is pretty active.

This Whitethroat, the first I've managed to photograph, obligingly land ten feet away in plain view. 

Nikon D300 + 500mm f/4 @ f/4, 1/2500th sec, ISO 400

There were, as ever, huge numbers of rabbits. I'm a sucker for photographing rabbits - I'm sure I'll get bored of it one day though.

Nikon D300 + 500mm f/4 @ f/4, 1/1250th sec, ISO 200

Nikon D300 + 500mm f/4 @ f/4, 1/1600th sec, ISO 200

 And finally, the obligatory shot taken in the car park!

Nikon D300 + 500mm f/4 @ f/4, 1/1600th, ISO 400

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Shortlisted for BWPA 2010

I received an email today from the British Wildlife Photography Awards, saying one of the images I entered this year has been shortlisted. It's nice to be shortlisted again! We'll have to wait and see if anything more comes of it.

Here is the image:

Nikon D300 + Nikkor 200mm f/4 @ f/8, 1/500th sec, ISO 200, hand held.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Minsmere (Part 2)

Before moving on to other things, I just wanted to post a few more shots from Minsmere. Although I spent a lot of time in the hides there, I found that the car park (no, really) was one of the best places to see wildlife. I don't know why, but it's not uncommon for me to end up taking some of my favorite pictures of the day within minutes of arriving or within minutes of leaving. Normally in the car park. Here are two early morning examples from Minsmere:

Nikon D700 + 500mm f/4 @ f/4, 1/1600th sec, ISO 200
Nikon D700 + 500mm f4 + 1.4x TC @ f/8, 1/400th sec, ISO 320

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

South and West Hides at RSPB Minsmere

I've been back from Minsmere a few days now, and since then have been putting in a lot of hours working through the images I captured there. There were very many!

Let me say that it was my first visit to Minsmere, and it lived up to it's reputation. It was great to be able to spend a few days there, which gave me time to investigate much (but by no means all!) of the reserve.

The best hides for photography (in the afternoon and evening at least) are the South and West hides, I found. The South hide in particular has scrapes that are close enough to allow decent captures at a focal length of 500mm or higher. This is something of a rarity for a bird hide - typically the action is way too far away from the hide for photography. Even guys using 600mm f4s with teleconverters must struggle to place more than a handful of pixels on their subject. These hides are (quite understandably really) built with telescopes and bincoluars in mind, not photographers. As I say though, the South and West hides at Minsmere are different.

From the South hide:

Redshank: Nikon D300 + 500mm f/4 with 1.4x TC @ f/8, 1/500th sec, ISO 320

Black Headed Gull Nesting: Nikon D300 + 500mm f/4 with 1.4x TC @ f/8, 1/1000th sec, ISO 360

 Avocet: D300 + 500mm f/4 with 1.4x TC @ f/8, 1/1250th sec, ISO 500
And from the West Hide:

 Spoonbill: D300 + 500mm f/4 @ f/5, 1/1250th sec, ISO 200

 Avocet: D300 + 500mm f/4 @ f/5.6, 1/1250th sec, ISO 200

 Juvenile Herring Gull: D300 + 500mm f/4 @ f/4, 1/2000th sec, ISO 200

More from Minsmere next time.