Thursday, 10 May 2012

House Sparrows

My sincere apologies for the recent lack of posts. There's been a lot on, I've been very busy and the weather and light have been dismal. On the school run this morning, however, I did stop to capture these sparrows in a hedgerow, the shots made by the delicious light from a leaden sky that was going to unleash heavy rain at any moment.

Canon 1Ds Mk II, Canon 100-400mm IS USM L lens, 1/640th sec, f/11, 400mm at ISO 500

Canon 1Ds Mk II, Canon 100-400mm IS USM L lens, 1/640th sec, f/11, 400mm at ISO 500

Canon 1Ds Mk II, Canon 100-400mm IS USM L lens, 1/800th sec, f/11, 400mm at ISO 500

Monday, 30 April 2012

Black-headed Gull

While playing havoc with image clarity, sometimes a grey day can provide interesting backdrops. This shot might look like a cut-out, but in fact the lack of definition in the background is simply a reflection of the absence of any discernible detail on a horribly dreary day on the coast.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM L lens, 1/320th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 500. Distance to subject: c 5m



Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)

I haven't been able to get out much recently, but did manage this ground-level shot of a Jackdaw, which I like because the perspective lends the bird the feel almost of a snake, its body drifting away into the long grass.

Canon 1DS MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM L lens, 1/320th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 500. Distance: < 4m

Friday, 20 April 2012

Norfolk flight

A simple enough shot, but included here because for me it sums up perfectly the natural serenity of the North Norfolk coast.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Kestrel

My apologies for the lengthy gap since my last post. The last few weeks have not been great – my father died after a long battle against cancer and my wife has been into hospital a couple of times, but is now much better. To get back into the swing of things, here's an interesting angle on one of my favourite birds. It was using the uppermost branch of a tree to scan for small mammals without the need to expend energy hovering in flight. Most of the time, its head was bowed, moving methodically from left to right in search of likely prey. Every once in a while, however, it would raise its head to the horizon, providing this unusual perspective on a beautiful little raptor. I only wish the light had been kinder; don't be fooled by the shutter speed – today on the North Norfolk coast it was a bleached out grey day offering little in the way of depth and contrast.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS L USM lens, 1/1,000th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 500

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

House Sparrow

Posted because I very much like the Impressionist-style background.

Canon 1Ds Mk II, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM lens, 1/640th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 640. Distance to subject: c 8m

Friday, 23 March 2012

Chaffinch

A shot made, I think, by the strong lines formed by the branches and the subtle, defining sunlight.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM lens, 1/320th sec, f/7, 400mm at ISO 400. Distance to subject: > 8m

House Sparrow

And another, this time a more conventional shot.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM lens, 1/250th sec, f/10, 400mm at ISO 400. Distance to subject: c 6m

House Sparrow

Included here simply because I like the overall feel.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM lens, 1/250th sec, f/8, 400mm at ISO 640. Distance to subject: c 5m

Bearded Reedling

Shy, reclusive and beautiful, the Bearded Reedling (or Bearded Tit) certainly repays the investment of a long wait.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM L lens, 1/200th sec, f/5.6, 350mm at ISO 500. Distance: < 8m

Small wonders No 2

The Red-tailed and White-tailed Bumblebees weren't playing ball during my break for lunch today, so I turned the lens on this fly (Polietes lardarius). The compound eyes show well in the second shot.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100mm L-series prime macro lens, 1/500th sec, f/5, ISO 400

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100mm L-series prime macro lens, 1/320th sec, f/5, ISO 400



Thursday, 22 March 2012

Small wonders

With spring just a day old there was a wonderful feel to the light and the weather today; hopefully a sign of fabulous days to come. Unfortunately, I was tied to my desk most of the day – just a few moments as the sun dropped in the sky to capture this gorgeous Red-tailed Bumblebee and humble Ladybird.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100mm L-series prime macro lens, 1/400th sec, f/4.5, ISO 800

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100mm L-series prime macro lens, 1/400th sec, f/2.8, ISO 800

Friday, 16 March 2012

More toads

Three more shots of the garden toads, these getting really quite up close and personal and the macro lenses and wider apertures lending the images some interesting focal priorities and depths of field.


Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100mm L IS prime macro lens, 1/320th sec, f/2.8, ISO 500

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100mm L IS prime macro lens, 1/320th sec, f/2.8, ISO 500
Canon 30D, Canon 60mm prime macro lens, 1/100th sec, f/3.5, ISO 200

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Common Toads (Bufo bufo)

These toads are new arrivals in the garden; in all I've counted 13 so far. They are fascinating creatures and I love photographing them – that mix of warty skin, the inscrutable expression, the bulging eyes and the elastic limbs always makes for interesting images. These were taken with the new L-series f/2.8 Canon 100mm prime macro lens and there will be more to follow in which I got even closer.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100mm prime macro lens, 1/250th sec, f/3.5, ISO 400. Distance to subject: > 20cm

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100mm prime macro lens, 1/40th sec, f/13, ISO 500. Distance to subject: > 20cm

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100mm prime macro lens, 1/160th sec, f/9, ISO 500. Distance to subject: > 20cm

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Bengal Eagle Owl

I stumbled upon a charming blog post about an infant Bengal Eagle Owl called Indie that likes nothing more than to curl up and have a nap in front of the AGA in his owner's kitchen.

You can read the story and see pictures of Indie here

Merlin

Another shot of a captive Merlin (one day I'll see one in the wild, I hope).

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/1,300th sec, f/9, 400mm at ISO 400

Bald Eagle

I haven't had a chance to get out much recently – very frustrating – so here are a couple more shots from the archives. Is there a more statuesque bird?




Wednesday, 7 March 2012

European Otter (Lutra lutra)

Too busy to get out much (and the weather and light have been desperate) so here's a European Otter from the files. PS: Reference some of the lovely comments below, I should make it clear that this is a captive animal. Sorry, I never wanted to claim any great fieldcraft to get the shot.


Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Robins

Two more shots of the increasing numbers of Robins drawn to the garden by the enticing prospect of mealworms, both dried and live. Robins will, of course, happily indulge in a sunflower seed or peanut take-away, but mealworms are a particular favourite, their being so much closer to their natural wild diet.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/250th sec, f/6.4, 400mm at ISO 500

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

Merlin (for Toffeeapple and Scott F)

Reference the post below, this is Mervyn enjoying a quick dip…



Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Merlin

A brace of shots of our smallest raptor. Mervyn, a captive bird, had just had a bath.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/320th sec, f/10. 400mm at ISO 400

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/1,000th sec, f/10. 400mm at ISO 400

Monday, 27 February 2012

Robins

Two images from the weekend that I'm really pleased with. The light in each case was just magical, allowing for much more creative portraits of a favourite bird.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/250th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 500

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/320th sec, f/7, 400mm at ISO 500

Red Panda

My last post featuring a Red Panda proved hugely popular (they are undeniably cute), so I thought I'd put up another shot, this one taken last weekend. I include it here also with another reminder that to learn more about the plight of these wonderful animals, whose habitat and food resources are being destroyed at an alarming rate, take a look at the Red Panda network  

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/250th sec, f/6.4, 400mm at ISO 400. Distance to subject: < 8m

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Adders

A sure sign that spring is not far off is the emergence of the first male Adders. These two – my first sightings of the year – were shot at just before noon today, when it was such a glorious day here on the North Norfolk coast that they could bask is warming sunshine and begin their wait for the first females to show.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/640th sec, f/11, 400mm at ISO 400. Distance to subject: < 5m

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/500th sec, f/10, 400mm at ISO 400. Distance to subject: < 5m

Friday, 24 February 2012

Compare the Meerkats

Conditions were so perfect for these two shots – particularly the first, which rewards clicking on for a larger view – that it was almost as if the Meerkats had been positioned under studio lights. They were, in fact, both taken outdoors, with shutter speeds up to 1/2,000th sec. All that was needed was for the Meerkats (always such fun just to sit and study) to pose obligingly. And that they always do.

Canon 1Ds, MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/1.300th sec, f/7, 400mm at ISO 400

Canon 1Ds, MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/2,000th sec, f/7, 400mm at ISO 400 (slightly under-exposed)

Sri Lankan Leopard

Banham Zoo in Norfolk has a proud record in conservation and is a great day out for anyone with a passion for wildlife. I recently spent a few hours there adding to my library of stock images. I'll be posting many of them over the coming days, starting with this awesomely handsome Sri Lankan Leopard. According to the Wilderness & Wildlife Conservation Trust of Sri Lanka, the current population status of this majestic animal is unknown. What is certain is that the numbers roaming the island have decreased substantially over the last 100 years or so, largely due to game hunting and poaching for skins. For more information on an animal that really deserves to have man on its side, please visit the Trust site. 

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/400th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 400. Distance to subject: c 15m

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Common Buzzard

And here's one rescued from a very bad case of over-exposure...


Common Buzzard

Another Common Buzzard from my enforced day off today (no electricity from 9am-4pm).

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/1,000th sec, f/9, 400mm at ISO 250. Distance to subject: c 20m

Common Buzzard

First the confession: I just missed the focus on this shot and, under scrutiny, it doesn't hold up well. It's posted here, however, because I really like the overall feel of the image. There is a real sense of drama, movement and the wild about it – this individual looks every inch a bird of prey intent on finding food – and the synchronicity between the bird's plumage and the background is very serendipitous. Add in those wonderful wing bars for an further highlight and I think the shot works.

Canon 1Ds Mk II, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/400th sec, f/5.6, 400mm at ISO 250. Distance to subject: c 20m

Monday, 20 February 2012

Snow Bunting

Another shot from Sunday's trip to the beach at Salthouse in North Norfolk, when the light was perhaps the best it has been so far this year.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/1,000th sec, f/8, 390mm at ISO 400. Distance to subject: c 5m

Herring Gull

Oh I do indeed like to be beside the seaside when light like this is available. The framing of the bird, by the way, is quite deliberate; the 1Ds has 45 possible focus points and I opted for the farthest on the right to get the maximum amount of beach and sky in the remainder of the shot.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/1,000th sec, f/9, 400mm at ISO 400. Distance to subject: c 5m

Turnstones

Everything shaped up perfectly for this shot. The Turnstones themselves were foraging happily and were comfortable being pretty close; the light on the North Norfolk coast at the weekend was fabulous, allowing for a much smaller aperture and consequently a much sharper image; and the Turnstone dominating the shot stopped its usual bobbing feeding action for long enough to capture its head framed against a clear background with colours echoing its own plumage.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/500th sec, f/13, 400mm at ISO 400. Distance to subject: < 4m

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Pied Wagtail

Just a humble Wagtail, but a pleasingly uncluttered composition and an interesting depth of field.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/1,000th sec, f/9, 400mm at ISO 400. Distance to subject: c 6m

Snow Buntings

North Norfolk's population of Snow Buntings will be returning home to the Arctic soon, so I thought I'd take an hour out to get some shots before their late February/early March migration starts. This flock was about 60 strong.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/1,000th sec, f/10, 400mm at ISO 400mm. Distance to subject: c 5m

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/640th sec, f/9, 320mm at ISO 400mm. Distance to subject: c 5m
Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/640th sec, f/9, 320mm at ISO 400mm. Distance to subject: c 5m