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Home > Circle 7- Digital Nature

Coal Tit693 viewsI would prefer you all to have a good look at the background before reading the rest of these notes!
I have been experimenting with flight shots in the garden. Frankly, the bird is the easy bit. Getting the background right is testing. The background is a sheet of hardboard. I used green plastic, bubble-wrap and several plastic bags between flash and background to achieve a non-uniform background. Is this OK for natural history or not? The set up was two flashes on the bird and one on the background. They were all set at 1/32 power which is about 1/14000 second. The birds were flying left to right onto a perch near the food. This Coal Tit must have turned back just as I pressed the button! Amazingly it must have been totally side on and in the focal plane when I pressed. I thought it made a striking image. Lucky.
I used 1/400 sync speed to reduce the effect of ambient light. At this speed I lost a narrow strip at the lower edge of the frame, at 1/320 you lose nothing. Canon state 1/250 as the fastest sync speed. I disagree.
White Rumped Sandpipers Fighting2816 viewsSeveral White-rumped Sandpipers and other small waders were feeding in the numerous shallow pools of melt water between the shore and the melting ice of Hudson's Bay. These two birds - yes, there are two birds there - were feeding quite amicably, at times within inches of each other. Suddenly the top one, by this time several yards away, flew at the other bird and proceeded to beat hell out of it even making a good attempt at drowning it - as you can see. It then got off the underneath bird, which stood up shook itself off and then proceeded to continue feeding as if nothing had happened! The aggressor also started feeding and, once again, peace was restored and the they both fed once more within inches of each other before moving apart! Why the sudden aggression - they were not in competition for food - and why the equally sudden return to normal feeding activity. The birds were on their way to their breeding grounds, but there was no question of it being a territorial dispute.
Foxgloves497 viewsTaken in Yorkshire
Common Spotted Orchid470 viewsTaken on one of my many visits to Strumshaw Fen in Norfolk. The flower meadow is full of orchids at this time of the year along with Swallowtail Butterflies. This is an RSPB reserve so it is well catered for twitchers but the hides are not very good for photography unless you are very lucky and one comes close to the hides. It is best suited for Dragonflies and Damselflies along the many ditchers. Like anywhere if you get the right conditions many subjects can be seen.
Fly Agaric499 viewsTaken in Sussex. I went on a trip a few years ago specifically to look for fungi and found a few fly agarics in various stages of their life-cycle. This was one of the best.
Grouse drinking from rock pool506 viewsTaken within Derbyshire just after a downpour of rain, Grouse often drink from rock pools, and its just luck being in the right place at the right time, I have quite a few photographs of this family of Grouse that frequent the Peak District within the heather at this special place.
Meadow Brown on Sorrel510 viewsTaken early morning while roosting on Sorrel. It was a very still but bright morning which allowed the setting up of a tripod and obtaining a reasonable shutter speed at ISO 100. The F-stop chosen seemed adequate for the depth-of-field for the body of the butterfly. In retrospect perhaps a smaller aperture might have been preferable to have produced greater sharpness in the antennae.
Robin517 viewsWhile out looking at waders this little fella was engaging in defending his territory in the car park, fighting off other robins. He worked his way round various "look-out posts" so it was just a matter of waiting until he alighted on the nearest, albeit an old concrete pillar.
Yellow Wagtail546 viewsVery lucky to photograph this bird. I had been down this track 3 times for 2.5hrs to try and photograph this bird but they never came close enough. I went down again to see what was about and there were some swallows collecting mud so I used the car as a hide with bean bag and started phoptograhing the swallows. With in 10 mins the yellow wagtail came and bathed in the big puddle. The camera was set at 1600iso as I was trying to get thw swallows in flight. Seeing the wagtail I completly forgot to downgrade the ISO. But being bright sunshine there is very little noise
Tree Sparrow406 viewsThis was shot at Bempton. My Grandson and had a walk down to the cliffs,all the birds had all but gone except the gannets and the odd h/gull flying pasted so we walk back around the field
when I saw some tree sparrows flying in and out of a clearing in the hedge so we just sat and wait until they got used to how-er presents and took some shots.The light was not very good cloudy the the sun would break through.
Garden Spider1981 viewsTaken with the Lumix G3 during a local walk. Sharpening and cropping done in Lightroom 3.
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