Monday, 15 August 2016

Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)


Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) captured mid-hover during an enjoyable afternoon spent at the International Centre for Birds of Prey in Newent, Gloucestershire (http://www.icbp.org/index/)

Canon 1Ds MkIII, Canon EF f/4.5 L 100-400mm lens, 1/1,00th sec, f/5.6, ISO 800

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Damseflies

Found these damsels on plants around one of my favourite village ponds. Two were busy having an early supper – it was around 7pm and the sun was making its way slowly down. In the first image I love the detail in the wing of the damsel's prey. In the second it has to be the definition in the left-hand eye. In the third, I'm just pleased with a tidy composition. I'm poor at damselfly ID, but I'm going for female blue-tailed damselflies.

All images Canon 1Ds MkIII, Canon EF f/2.8L 100mm macro lens




Monday, 8 August 2016

Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

I spent all day yesterday (Sunday) with this chap, watching him fishing, preening, defending his territory from one persistent interloper and just chilling. A wonderful, almost mindful, experience that I will remember for a long time to come...

All images Canon 1Ds MkIII, Canon EF 100-400mm














Friday, 5 August 2016

Macro fly

Fly on a reed near a favourite pond of mine. Really pleased with how this one turned out.

Canon 1Ds MkIII, Canon EF f/2.8L 100mm prime macro lens, 1/250th, f/4, ISO 640

Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus),


European garden spider (Araneus diadematus) spotted in the garden just a few minutes ago. 

Canon 1Ds MkIII, Canon EF f2.8L 100mm prime lens, 1/100th sec, f/8, ISO 800

Canon 1Ds MkIII, Canon EF f2.8L 100mm prime lens, 1/100th sec, f/8, ISO 800



The Fly

Trio of flies from the garden this afternoon.

Canon 1Ds MkIII, Canon EF 2.8L 100mm lens, 1/500th sec, f/8, ISO 800

Canon 1Ds MkIII, Canon EF 2.8L 100mm lens, 1/250th sec, f/6.3, ISO 800

Canon 1Ds MkIII, Canon EF 2.8L 100mm lens, 1/80th sec, f/10, ISO 800

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Fly on the buddleia

Much gloomier light on the North Norfolk coast this afternoon, but this shot still works I think despite the inevitable noise from a high ISO setting.

Canon 1Ds MkIII, Canon EF 100mm prime f/2.8L macro lens, 1/60th sec, f/3.2, ISO 1000

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Migrant Hawker


Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta – confirmation needed) on the buddleia this afternoon. It remained oblivious to the camera and – notwithstanding a blustery wind – allowed me to get some shots I'm really pleased with. All shot with a Canon 1Ds MkIII and a Canon 100mm L-series prime macro lens. No extensions, no flash.







Monday, 1 August 2016

Honeybee

I waited an hour or so for one of the many bees around today to land on this buddleia flower and then to make its way round to the side so it was in relief against the background. Worth the wait though...

Canon 1Ds MkIII, Canon 100mm prime L-series macro lens, 1/250th sec, f/7.1, ISO 1600

Toadlet

Toadlet spotted on the lawn this afternoon.

Canon 1Ds MkIII, Canon 100mm prime macro lens, 1/100th sec, f/5, ISO 500

Canon 1Ds MkIII, Canon 100mm prime macro lens, 1/50th sec, f/9, ISO 500

Thursday, 14 July 2016

It's a sign...

This fly pretending to be a bee clearly decided it needed to underline its credentials by settling on an information board offering details about the real thing. Picture captured by my son, Jack.

Canon 1Ds MkIII, Canon 100mm L-series prime macro lens, f/4, 1/800th sec, ISO 640

White-Lipped Snails (Cepaea hortensis)

I'm sure he won't mind my posting it, but this shot was actually taken by my son, Jack, on his first foray into macro photography. I'm biased, of course, but I think it shows a terrific sense of image composition and the bokeh works well around the leaf and the two shells that appear to belong to White-Lipped Snails (Cepaea hortensis), although – as always – I'm happy to be corrected on that.

Canon 1Ds Mk III, Canon L-series 100mm prime macro lens, f/2.8, 1/250th sec, ISO 400

Immature female White-legged Damselfly (Platycnemis pennipes)

Not the best of shots (I couldn't find an angle where the background was cleaner) but this beautiful damsel is a new one to me, having never seen one before here in North Norfolk. I'm terrible at identifying damselflies, but I'm confident this is an immature female White-Legged Damselfly (Platycnemis pennipes). According to the experts at Dragonfly Days, at this stage they are "often referred to as the form lactea when they appear a creamy colour with just a few black abdomen markings; as they mature they will turn a rather weak or washed out shade of yellowish-green with slightly stronger black segmental joint markings."

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

Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)

The first keeper from a morning spent introducing my teenage son to the delights – and the challenges and frustrations – of natural world macro photography. While we were blessed with bright sunshine, there was also a constant blustery wind that made focusing tricky. This stunning Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum) helped enormously by remaining on this stalk of grass for 15 minutes or longer. I suspect the reason for that is that it appears to be consuming an aphid.

Canon 1DS MkIII, Canon 100mm L-series prime macro lens,  f/5, 1/320th sec, ISO 400
Canon 1DS MkIII, Canon 100mm L-series prime macro lens,  f/5, 1/125th sec, ISO 400

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Jackdaw visitor


Now, none of your Victorian superstitions, but this beautiful Jackdaw came down the chimney this afternoon and into the sitting room. It was surprisingly relaxed, so I grabbed a couple of shots before (in the nicest possible way) showing it the door.


Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Reflections on the nature of aggression


Blue Tits are seemingly birds of very little brain. They are pairing up to reproduce at this time of the year and become aggressive beyond their diminutive size. One regularly comes to the feeder outside my office and then attacks its reflection in the window. Yesterday it did the same to its reflection in the driver's side wing mirror on the car as I pulled into the drive. Here's a shot from one of this morning's assaults...

Canon 1Ds MkIII, Canon 24-70mm IS L lens, 1/640th sec, f/7.1, ISO 640, focal length: 30mm, remote control shutter

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Common Toads

A pair of Common Toads photographed on this morning's dog walk. Toads are among my favourite subjects – they tend to freeze when approached, which makes capturing shots of them much easier, and their skin is full of character and detail the camera loves.  
Canon 1Ds Mk III, Canon 100mm fixed macro lens, 1/200th sec, f/5.6, ISO 640

Canon 1Ds Mk III, Canon 100mm fixed macro lens, 1/500th sec, f/6.3, ISO 640

Canon 1Ds Mk III, Canon 100mm fixed macro lens, 1/500th sec, f/9, ISO 640

Friday, 1 April 2016

Little Owl

Another (captive) Little Owl from a series taken on the farm.

Canon 1Ds Mk III, Canon 100-400mm IS L lens, 1/60th sec, f/8, ISO 400, focal length: 400mm

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Owl portraits

A travelling petting zoo visited the farm today as part of the Easter celebrations. I took the opportunity to get a couple of portraits of these exquisite owls. Both the Tawny and the Little Owl took to their roles as models beautifully and the ambient light worked magically.

Canon 1Ds Mk III, Canon 100-400mm IS L lens, 1/160th sec, f/8, ISO 400, focal length: 400mm

Canon 1Ds Mk III, Canon 100-400mm IS L lens, 1/160th sec, f/8, ISO 400, focal length: 400mm

Canon 1Ds Mk III, Canon 100-400mm IS L lens, 1/80th sec, f/8, ISO 400, focal length: 400mm

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

On the main stage...

This chap was very much on song this morning. The Blue Tit's repertoire may be limited, but what it lacked in variety it more than made up for in volume and stamina.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS L lens, 1/320th sec, f/10, ISO 500, focal length: 400mm

Partridge's early morning slot

Quick shot of a French Partridge on the wall outside my office window first thing this morning. The early morning light works well against the dark background.

Canon 1Ds MkIII, Canon 100-400mm IS L lens, 1/500th sec, f/5.6, ISO 500, focal length: 400mm

Monday, 21 March 2016

On the feeder now...

On the feeders this afternoon, when it was much greyer than appears here (the red brick of a neighbouring farm building is casting a hue over the background).

Canon 1Ds MkIII, Canon 100-400mm IS L lens, 1/160th sec, f/10, ISO 640, focal length: 400mm

Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

A background that proved conducive to a simple but engaging portrait.

Canon 1Ds Mk III, Canon 100-400mm IS L Lens, 1/1,250th sec, f/5.6, ISO 800, focal length: 400mm
Canon 1Ds Mk III, Canon 100-400mm IS L Lens, 1/1,250th sec, f/5.6, ISO 800, focal length: 400mm

Coal Tit in flight

A nice vibe, I think, to this simple shot of a Coal Tit making off with its take-away from the feeding station.

Canon 1Ds MkIII, Canon 100-400mm IS L lens, 1/3,200th sec, f/5.6, ISO 800, focal length: 250mm

Friday, 18 March 2016

Siskin?

More ID assistance required, this time with this shot from yesterday afternoon in a beautifully sunny north Norfolk. I'm plumping for juvenile Siskin, but with very little confidence I'm right. Perhaps those who are much better at this than I am could enlighten me...

Canon 1Ds MkIII< Canon 100-400mm IS L lens, 1.640th sec, f/9, focal length: 400mm

Female Chaffinch?

Some ID help needed here. I reckon this is a juvenile female Chaffinch, but I'm just not sure. Either way, a simple composition that I think works well.

Canon 1Ds MkIII, Canon 100-400mm IS L lens, 1/1,600th sec, f/9, ISO 800, focal length 400mm



Here comes summer

Who's looking forward to summer? I know I am. Long days spent in the company of nature trying to capture in some small way everyday miracles such as the act of pollination being performed last summer by this honey bee. For much of last year I found myself looking for the bigger picture by concentrating on the very small. I increasingly found myself drawn to macro photography – not the forensic detail of hyper close-ups (as fascinating as they are), but close enough to see more than is possible with the naked eye, as with the compound eyes in the second and third pictures.

Canon 1DS MkIII, Canon 100mm macro IS L lens, 1/250th sec, f/6.3, ISO 800, focal length 100mm
Canon 1DS MkIII, Canon 100mm macro IS L lens, 1/250th sec, f/6.3, ISO 800, focal length 100mm
Canon 1DS MkIII, Canon 100mm macro IS L lens, 1/250th sec, f/6.3, ISO 800, focal length 100mm