Saturday, 31 December 2011

Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Posted because I think the colours and light work well.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM, 1/200th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 400

Friday, 30 December 2011

Coal Tit (Periparus ater)

After lots of fabulous family time over Christmas, I got into the garden today and managed an hour's photography before the grey clouds came over. I've posted this shot because I like the the shallow depth of field, the subtle tonal values and the bird's fierce eyes.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM, 1/250th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 640

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)

Another obliging individual.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/800th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 640

Friday, 9 December 2011

Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)

Going through unedited files, I found this shot of a herring gull closing in on something unseen below the water. The focus being tight on the eye despite an aperture of f/4 was a bonus, as were the water droplets, captured at a whopping 5,300th of a second.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 70-200mm L, 1/5,300th sec, f/4, 200mm at ISO 200

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Eye on the prize




This image of the eye of a European Eagle Owl, with the reflection of a human figure in the pupil, has been voted a category winner in the 2011 Canon Essentials of Photography Competition, in association with Yahoo. The shot won in the Getting in Close category and with the award comes the prize of a Canon 60mm f/2.8 macro lens. I must now wait to see if I win the overall first prize of an African safari for two (there's no harm in hoping…)


For more on the competition, click here

Chaffinch & Coal Tit

A couple of simple but pleasing shots from the weekend.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/60th sec, f/9, 400mm at ISO 640


Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/160th sec, f/8, 400mm at ISO 640

Monday, 5 December 2011

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

Dappled sunshine can really make an image, bringing out subtle highlights while not destroying shadows.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/320th sec, f/9, 400mm at ISO 500

Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)

A familiar but no less attractive bird, its plumage seems to me like a patchwork quilt in perfectly themed colours. This shot, like the one before, is made I think by the clarity of composition and the sympathetic shades of the background.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/250th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 640

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Everything came together beautifully for this shot – perfect light, the chance of a clean composition and an attractive pose from an obliging subject.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/160th sec, f/9, 400mm at ISO 640

Friday, 2 December 2011

Viewing point

This Blue Tit found the perfect viewing point from which to study what was going on in the garden. It's an image I love, but feel it almost deserves a title. Anyone have any ideas? (Be kind...)

Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/125th sec, f/8, 400mm at ISO 640

Injured Blue Tit

At lunchtime today this individual was the most frequent visitor to the feeding station despite (or perhaps because of) an injured or deformed right leg. The problem appeared not to trouble the bird too greatly – it would land on the one good leg, balance perfectly well and feed normally. I can't help but wonder, however, whether its overall scruffy appearance is down to the fact that in other ways it is struggling rather. I made one other interesting observation today – the local birds in my garden have 'learned' that activity around the feeders often means the chance a fresh supply of food. I watched from a distance for a while and saw there were few birds in the immediate vicinity, even though the feeders were all pretty much full. I then added even more peanuts to the tray pictured here and almost immediately the branches above and around the feeders filled again. And it's not a matter of food being added; more the perception that some has. To prove this, when I'm hidden with my camera and activity is low, I often simply step out and very obviously change things a little, perhaps by moving a feeder or just agitating the peanuts in one of the trays. Almost invariably, this brings about a significant increase in bird activity. I'd love to hear whether others have also witnessed this.
Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/125th sec, f/8, 400mm at ISO 640

Cock Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)

A real feel of autumn in this shot, I think.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM lens, 1/160th sec, f/7, 400mm at ISO 800