Blog - Photo Shoots

Kent Wildlife Trust - Oare Marshes
08th December 2011 - 0 comments
I paid a visit to the Oare Marshes nature reserve yesterday, the site is managed by the Kent Wildlife Trust and is found on the Kent Coast near to Faversham.

It is a great site with a variety of habitats including grazing marsh, salt marsh and mud flats.
A number of waders were evident icluding Avocet, Redshank, Ruff, Black tailed Godwit and Curlew.
Also many duck species such as Widgeon and Teal. The reserve has three hides and a nature trail, for more information please visit the Kent Wildlife Trust.
Unfortunately I was yet again blessed with a blustery day which made photography extremely difficult and as I am still learning to use my new 500mm lens not all that successful, I did manage a few I liked though.



Redshank - Tringa totanus
Canon EOS 7D with 500mm lens
1/320s @ f6.3 ISO 200


Lapwing - Vanellus vanellus
Canon EOS 7D with 500mm lens
1/500s @ f8 ISO 200


Avocet - Recurvirostra avosetta
Canon EOS 7D with 500mm lens
1/1000s @ f8 ISO 400
A windy day in Essex
06th December 2011 - 0 comments
I took a trip out to the RSPB Reserve in Rainham yesterday. It is a great reserve and definitely a good place to visit.

It was a very windy day which made photographing with my new lens (a Sigma 500mm lens) a bit difficult as it caught the wind like a sail.
A number of species were present but not many were in range of my camera however it was an enjoyable day and they do good cake!

Highlight of the day was a sighting of a Godwit, unfortunately I didn't have time to set up my tripod as I had just arrived in the hide so shot handheld.



Black Tailed Godwit - Limosa limosa
Canon EOS 7D with 500mm lens
1/250s @ f5 ISO 400


Lapwing - Vanellus vanellus
Canon EOS 7D with 500mm lens
1/250s @ f5.6 ISO 200


Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis
Canon EOS 7D with 500mm lens
1/320s @ f6.3 ISO 200


Collared Dove - Streptopelia decaocto
Canon EOS 7D with 500mm lens and 1.4x Converter
1/500s @ f8 ISO 400


Greylag Goose - Anser Anser
Canon EOS 7D with 500mm lens
1/800s @ f7.1 ISO 400
Black and White Birds
04th December 2011 - 0 comments
Some more photographs from my Isle of Wight trip, these were taken on the beach in Ryde.
After checking a tide timetable I aimed to get to the beach just before high tide so that the birds would be moved towards me rather than me having to chase them.

I was in luck and was able to set myself up and wait, the Sanderlings were always on the move so often it mostly just a case of settling in and waiting and they would walk past you.

They never really stopped moving so I used AI Servo and the central focussing point. I have the AF-On button on the 7D configured to stop AF so I can control the focussing when a subject stops.



Pied Wagtail - Motacilla alba
Canon EOS 7D with 100-400 lens @ 400mm
1/400s @ f7.1 ISO 200


Sanderling - Calidris alba
Canon EOS 7D with 100-400 lens @ 400mm
1/400s @ f7.1 ISO 200


Sanderling - Calidris alba
Canon EOS 7D with 100-400 lens @ 400mm
1/640s @ f6.3 ISO 400


Sanderling - Calidris alba
Canon EOS 7D with 100-400 lens @ 400mm
1/400s @ f6.3 ISO 200
More Red Squirrels
01st December 2011 - 0 comments
I paid another visit to the Isle of Wight last week part holiday and part photography. No visit to the Isle of Wight is complete unless I visit the nature reserve at Alverstone Mead and try and photograph the squirrels.

On the first visit I was not able to get any decent shots they always seemed to be too quick for me!
On the last day of the holiday I had one more go, I cheated a bit and put some walnuts out on a fallen tree in the hope of getting a likely candidate to sit still. And after about two hours my patience was rewarded!
Light levels were low so a high ISO and wide aperture were used.


Red Squirrel - Sciurus vulgaris
Canon EOS 7D with 100-400 lens @ 275mm
1/160s @ f5.6 ISO 800

This one gives away the bribery!


Red Squirrel - Sciurus vulgaris
Canon EOS 7D with 100-400 lens @ 275mm
1/160s @ f5.6 ISO 800


Red Squirrel - Sciurus vulgaris
Canon EOS 7D with 100-400 lens @ 400mm
1/160s @ f5.6 ISO 800


It's not just squirrels at Alverstone though I did manage one bird photo!

Chaff inch - Fringilla coelebs
Canon EOS 7D with 100-400 lens @ 400mm
1/160s @ f5.6 ISO 800
First Damselflies of the season
04th May 2011 - 0 comments
For me at least! I returned home from holiday to find a damselfly exuvia on one of the reeds in the pond.
I then spotted this little lady perched at the side of the pond:



Large Red Damselfly - Pyrrhosoma nymphula
Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 180mm Macro
1/160s @ f11 ISO 200


She seemed to be settled in for the night so I checked this morning and was able to get a shot I have been always wanting to get of an insect covered in morning dew.


Large Red Damselfly - Pyrrhosoma nymphula
Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 180mm Macro
1/4s @ f16 ISO 400


Then later in the day some males arrived and the process of creating next year's generation began.


Large Red Damselflies ovipositing
Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 180mm Macro
1/125s @ f11 ISO 200
Crab Spider - Misumena vaita
19th April 2011 - 0 comments
Normally when I see a Crab Spider they are cleverly camouflaged against a similarly coloured flower.
I was surprised to see this little lady providing a great contrast against a bluebell.



Crab Spider - Misumena vaita
Canon EOS 7D with 100mm Macro
1/200s @ f13 ISO 400


Crab Spider - Misumena vaita
Canon EOS 7D with 100mm Macro
1/100s @ f16 ISO 400
Spring Flowers
20th March 2011 - 0 comments
Spring has sprung, well just about. We are still getting some chilly mornings but the early spring bulbs are starting to bloom.
I took the opportunity to dust off the macro lens and get some photos this weekend.



Snowdrop - Galanthus nivalis
Canon 7D with Sigma 180mm Macro
1/6s @ f13 ISO 200


Crocus tommasinianus
Canon 7D with Sigma 180mm Macro.
1/15s @ f8 ISO 200


Crocus chrysanthus
Canon 7D with Sigma 180mm Macro.
1/10s @ f11 ISO 200
Ducks!
04th January 2011 - 0 comments
I visited the London Wetland Centre in Barnes on Sunday. At the start of the day the signs were hopeful for a sunny day, unfortunately it didn't take long before it clouded over.
Still it was a good day lots of birds to see and I even managed to photograph a few. I didn't manage to see a Bittern but there were plenty of ducks!



Male Shoveler - Anas clypeata
Canon EOS 7D with Canon 100-400 @ 400mm
1/125s @ f6.3 ISO 500


Female Shoveler - Anas clypeata
Canon EOS 7D with Canon 100-400 @ 400mm
1/125s @ f6.3 ISO 500




Male Teal - Anas crecca
Canon EOS 7D with Canon 100-400 @ 380mm
1/160s @ f7.1 ISO 500


Female Teal - Anas crecca
Canon EOS 7D with Canon 100-400 @ 380mm
1/200s @ f6.3 ISO 500


Male Gadwall - Anas strepera
Canon EOS 7D with Canon 100-400 @ 380mm
1/320s @ f6.3 ISO 500


Female Gadwall - Anas strepera
Canon EOS 7D with Canon 100-400 @ 400mm
1/250s @ f8 ISO 400
Wildlife in the Snow
06th December 2010 - 0 comments
As it was my Birthday i took the day off work. I was hoping to get to the WWT London Wetland Centre in Barnes, unfortunately due to the snow, public transport was not working particularly well. I decided to keep local and headed to South Norwood Country Park.

It seemed that apart from the ducks who had congregated on the one part of the lake that wasn't iced over much of the smaller birds had taken cover or were foraging away from the normal places I find them.
I caught a glimpse of two Wrens foraging in an open field, they would duck into a break in the snow and hunt around and then pop back out before moving to the next patch.
I managed one quick shot, and then had a go at stalking them. I didn't do it for too long as I didn't want them to waste their energy avoiding me so the first shot was the only one I got.


Wren - Troglodytes troglodytes
Canon EOS 7D with Canon 100-400 @ 400mm
1/250s @ f5.6 ISO 500


After feeding the ducks (always a relaxing pastime) I headed home and decided to set up briefly in the garden to catch some garden visitors on snow laden branches. Again I didn;t stay long as I didn't want to stop them feeding (and it was pretty cold).


Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis
Canon EOS 7D with Canon 100-400 @ 400mm
1/100s @ f6.3 ISO 640


Coal Tit - Periparus ater
Canon EOS 7D with Canon 100-400 @ 400mm
1/125s @ f5.6 ISO 640


Blue Tit - Cyanistes Caeruleus
Canon EOS 7D with Canon 100-400 @ 400mm
1/100s @ f6.3 ISO 640
Garden Birds
29th November 2010 - 0 comments
I have been a bit busy recently and haven't been able to get out with the camera as much as I would like. I took the opportunity over the last couple of weekends to hide in the garden shed and have another go at photographing some garden visitors.
Now that winter is starting to bite the leaves are pretty much gone from the tree which gives the birds less places to hide on their way to the feeders. Here are some of my favourite shots from the sessions.


Greenfinch - Carduelis chloris
Canon EOS 7D with Canon 100-400 and 1.4x extender @ 560mm
1/500s @ f11 ISO 400


Ring Necked Parakeet - Psittacula krameri
Canon EOS 7D with 300mm F4 and 1.4x extender
1/250s @ f5.6 ISO 640


Blackbird - Turdus merula
Canon EOS 7D with Canon 100-400 and 1.4x extender @ 475mm
1/320s @ f11 ISO 320
Birds at the feeder
18th October 2010 - 0 comments
Yesterday I set up a 'hide' in the garden shed hoping to photograph the regular visitors to the garden as they arrive to make use of the feeders.
The aim was to photograph them in the surrounding trees, unfortunately as is often the way no one told the birds and they made dashes to the feeder fro the deepest darkest regions of the trees.
In the end I photographed them on the feeder so I didn't come away with nothing! The majority of the visitors were greenfinches and fortunately they looked to be in good health.
I cannot stress enough the importance of feeder hygiene, the disease Trichomonosis is a real threat to finches and other birds and you can help reduce the spread by regularly cleaning any garden feeders.

For more information please visit the RSPB website

Here are my favourites of the photos taken all are of Greenfinches.







Eye to Eye with a dragonfly
03rd September 2010 - 0 comments
I took a trip to the London Wetland Centre today, my hope for the day was to get a photo of a Dragonfly and a Common Lizard.
Although I did find a Common Lizard it wasn't in a photogenic setting so I just had to admire it and move on.
Although there quite a few dragonflies flying the sunny weather seemd to mean they didn't need to rest so much. I did try to photograph them in flight but the less said about that the better!
I spotted one dragonfly alighting on a log, it flew away and a few minutes later it returned. As it seemed I had found it's 'favourite' spot I got my tripod set up and settled in to wait. I decided to use the 300mm f4 L with a 1.4x extender as this works well for dragonflies at it's minimum focussing distance of 1.5m. I decided on an aperture of f18 to give a reasonable depth of field but still give a nice out of focus background.
The 'session' lasted about 45 minutes with the dragonfly returning periodically, this was my favourite shot from the session.


Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum
Canon EOS 7D, Canon 300mm L with 1.4x extender
1/50 @ f18 ISO 200