Sunday, 30 October 2011

Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

One of the few successes in the garden today, where bad light stopped almost all play. On the plus side, the Long-tailed Tits are back – always such good value.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM lens, 1/100th sec, f/9, 400mm at ISO 640

Red Kite

A very busy period work-wise and a quiet one on the nature photography front, so here's a majestic Red Kite (Milvus milvus) shot in The Chilterns earlier in the year.

Canon 1Ds MkII, 1/1,600th sec, f/8, 400mm at ISO 400

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Eagle Owl eye (abstract)

When I first saw the full-frame file of this image I was drawn to the silhouette of a man in the centre of the bird's eye. The cropping is designed to bring out this detail, while the image manipulation is intended to lend the shot the feel of a predator in its natural environment – hunting on a moonlit night.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM lens, 1/1,000th sec, f/11, 400mm at ISO 500. Editing process: image duplicated twice in Photoshop CS3. Image 1 = correct exposure; image 2 = overexposed by 1 stop; image 3 = underexposed by 1 stop. All three images layered using Photomatix. Low-pass blue filter added. Selected areas with warming filter. Shadows and highlights accentuated. Total of five layers then flattened

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Great Tit (Parus major)

This chap seemed perfectly content on this branch, showing little interest in anything else going on around him, allowing me time to crop the shot nicely.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM lens, 1/320th sec, f/6.4, 400mm at ISO 800

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Simply because I love the smokey background contrasting against the sharpness of detail in the bird itself.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM lens, 1/320th sec, f/6.4, 400mm at ISO 500

Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

Another shot grabbed at in gloomy conditions, but I liked the composition and the highlights through the foliage in the background.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM lens, 1/200th sec, f/6.4, 400mm at ISO 1600

Friday, 21 October 2011

Blue Tit and Peanut

Difficult light (in the gloom the ISO was bumped up to 1,250), but I think it just about works. I particularly like the hint of red on the bird's breast reflected from the peanuts below.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM lens, 1/400th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 1,250

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Barn Owl (Tyto alba)

During my hawking day with David and Jayne Gook (see previous posts and the link below) I was able to handle this beautiful female Barn Owl for quite some time and – as it perched on my gloved hand calmly surveying all around – it frankly won this old man's heart. In the noisy company of a Harris Hawk, Kestrel, Buzzard and Eagle Owl, it had a quiet, humbling dignity. I think something of my admiration for the bird comes out in this portrait.

For more on Jayne and David's courses, simply follow this link: The Hawking Experience

Canon 1Ds MkII, Cann 100-400mm L IS USM lens, 1/400th sec, f/16, 400mm at ISO 500

Monday, 17 October 2011

Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo)

Another of the stars from my hawking adventure yesterday. It's well worth checking out the detail in the bird's left eye in this just short of full-frame crop.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM lens, 1,1,000th sec, f/11, 400mm at ISO 500

Buzzard (Buteo buteo)

I spent yesterday (Sunday) hawking with a wonderful Norfolk couple who are so devoted to their birds. Much more of this in later blogs. In the meantime, here in all its majestic beauty is one of the birds regularly flown.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM lens, 1/250th sec, f/16, 400mm at ISO 500

Saturday, 15 October 2011

'Bloodied' Greenfinch (Carduelis ambigua)

I didn't notice through the viewfinder the red staining on the finch's beak. Then, when I saw the image at 100% for the first time, my initial thought was that it must have been scrapping with another bird, perhaps over territory. Then I realised there was a much more plausible explanation – the finch had been feeding on autumn berries and the juices were the cause of the staining. Whatever the back story, the red splashes add drama to what I think is a competent shot of one of our more common garden birds. The other aspect of the shot I'm drawn to is the perfect lighting on the bird's tail feathers…

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM lens, 1/50th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 400

Friday, 14 October 2011

Brace of beauties

With the grey having dissipated and the autumn sunshine back, I took an hour out in the garden at lunchtime. This Coal Tit and Blue Tit were the highlights, along with a fleeting glimpse of my first Wren in the garden itself.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM lens, 1/160th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 500

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM lens, 1/160th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 640

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Grey Squirrel

I know they get something of a bad press, but this grey is the solitary visitor to my garden and I've become very fond of him. He frequently pops over from the neighbouring conifer plantation to steal peanuts from the bird feeders or, as today, to feast on the fruits of the Hawthorn. Sadly I have yet to encounter him on a day offering decent light.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM lens, 1/160th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 800



































Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM lens, 1/160th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 800

Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

Far too grey a day for images with much detail, but I did enjoy this robin's singing. It seemed to cheer up the entire garden…

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM lens, 1/60th sec, f/9, 400mm at ISO 800































Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM lens, 1/100th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 500

Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Such a gloomy day (just look at the ISO setting) but the image has a certain serenity to it.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400 L IS USM lens, 1/85th sec, f/8, 400mm at ISO 800

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Red-legged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)

I was drawn to the bird's feet – I had no idea they had 'toenails'. I took the image into black and white to enhance the sense of drama.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM L lens, 1/2,700th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 800

Monday, 10 October 2011

Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus) macro

A nicely detailed shot of a Garden Spider in the process of spinning or repairing its web.

Technical information: Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100mm prime IS USM L-series macro lens, 1/200th sec, f/8, 100mm at ISO 800



Friday, 7 October 2011

Kittiwake

Going through unedited files, I found this rather charming image of a Kittiwake on the Farne Islands in Northumberland against a backdrop of an atmospheric sea fret.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 70-200mm f/4 L-series lens, 1/1,600th sec, f6.3, 140mm at ISO 200

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Dandelion (abstract)

As promised, a more liberal interpretation of the dandelion's seed dispersal system.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100mm 2.8 IS L macro lens, 1/250th sec, f/13, 100mm at ISO 250 with flash. Edited in Photoshop CS3

Dandelion seed head (macro)

With bright skies and a brisk wind, I thought today might be a good day to try to capture a shot of dandelion seeds being blown from the parent plant. As it was, the breeze died a little but was just strong enough to dislodge a few seed-bearing parachutes. What I was looking for with this shot was not an artistic interpretation (I will be posting some of these later), but a detailed macro image showing the mechanics of this plant's seed dispersal system. In the end, I think I was lucky enough to get both – at full size, the shot is rich in detail, but also has, I think, a certain beauty.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100mm 2.8 IS L-series macro lens, 1/250th sec, f/13, 100mm at ISO 250 with flash

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Curlew (Numenius arquata)

Just a pleasing composition, with the bird nicely framed within a sympathetic background.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM L-series lens, 1/2,000th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 800

Honeybee

An intimate shot of a Honeybee doing what it does best, with the early autumn sun warming its back.

Technical information: Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100mm IS USM L-series macro lens, 1/200th sec, f/14, 100mm at ISO 800


On reflection…

A Black-legged Stilt caught in perfect symmetry.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400m L-series IS USM lens, 1/1,600th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 800

Bumblebee on flower head (macro)

Just because I think it's a pleasing composition.

Technical information: Canon 1Ds Mk II, Canon 100mm f/2.8 IS USM L-series lens, 1/160th sec, f/14, 100mm at ISO 800

Monday, 3 October 2011

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

A clutch of sparrows captured during the recent spell of glorious sunshine.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM L lens, 1/500th sec, f/9, 400mm at ISO 800

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM L lens, 1/640th sec, f/9, 400mm at ISO 800

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM L lens, 1/200th sec, f/13, 400mm at ISO 800

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM L lens, 1/320th sec, f/13, 400mm at ISO 800

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Spider in space

OK, not really. But doesn't it look that way?

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM macro lens, 1/200th sec, f/5.6, 100mm at ISO 800