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Monday, 28 July 2014

A Change in the Wind

I went up to Haytor Rock in search of interesting skies and beautiful scenery and for a moment the sun broke out from behind the darkening clouds putting hope in my head that the day would stay dry, maybe even warm up. Naive of me to think so. 

Within an hour the weather had turned, darkened and visibility had dropped. I was even asked to guide a few walkers back to the car park as they had lost their landmarks in the sudden (ish) fog. 

Nevertheless I managed to capture these images before my world shrunk to a hundred and fifty metres. 

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 16-85mm @ 24mm, 1/200s @ f5.6, ISO 125

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 16-85mm @ 50mm, 1/2500s @ f7.1, ISO 1000

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 16-85mm @ 16mm, 1/4000s @ f6.3, ISO 1000

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 16-85mm @ 16mm, 1/5000s @ f6.3, ISO 1000

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 16-85mm @ 16mm, 1/4000s @ f6.3, ISO 1000

Sunday, 27 July 2014

A Frustrating Development

So the other day I took a gentle stroll to a cove near to home with my camera at sunset. I was set to creating some photos taking advantage of the colour and light of the setting sun. There were numerous scenes that I wanted so I methodically went about setting up my tripod, the hot shoe bubble level for my horizon and for each scene I adjusted and readjusted the compositions until I was happy. At this stage of each respective scene, I was now ready to attach a graduated and a standard filter and set my camera for some long exposures. 

After a few shots I would naturally check my capture on the rear screen and by and large I was pleased with them. It was only after I'd uploaded them to the laptop did I see the problem.

Review of my captured images showed that one of my filters (later determined to be my standard filters; 0.6 and 0.9 ND) had physical blemishes that well and truly showed up on the images.

Not a happy bunny. 

Despite my near-obsession to maintain and properly store my filters it seems that these two had somehow been overlooked and ended being scratched and pock marked. 

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 16-85mm @ 16mm, 0.8s @ f11, ISO 100

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 16-85mm @ 22mm, 13.0s @ f22, ISO 100

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 16-85mm @ 16mm, 10.0s @ f4.5, ISO 100

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 16-85mm @ 16mm, 25.0s @ f5.0, ISO 100

The upshot is that I'm now looking to replace those standard filters and upgrade my landscape kit. So staying positive. 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Stover Nature Reserve

A day in the life of someone with time on their hands will see them travel to various places just to get out of the house. Stover Nature Park is near to my home, not a stones throw from Dartmoor National Park and is a fantastic conservation area with developed habitats for many different species. I tried shooting some of the wildlife but the quality of my long lens was failing me and so I focused on landscapes. 

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 16-85mm @ 16mm, 1/5s @ f10, ISO 125

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 16-85mm @ 16mm, 1/5s @ f10, ISO 125

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 16-85mm @ 16mm, 1/3s @ f10, ISO 125

Monday, 17 February 2014

A Day at the Zoo Part Two

The first day of sunshine in recent weeks following such devastating wind and rain and I'm down at the zoo. The sun shone brightly, casting long shadows and creating some lovely contrast. It being a zoo some of the backgrounds were less than desirable but you work with what you're given. 

The giraffe is a fine example: haloed by the sun, I framed a portraiture of the giraffe but the building behind is unsightly. Oh well, I didn't have an alternative on this occasion. 

I was/am having further issues with my long lens. Tamron 70-300mm has always displayed a lack of sharpness at certain focal lengths as well as a basic lack of clarity between the features of the picture. This issue is now coming to a head and I am currently researching which long lens I should upgrade to.

Any thoughts? Recommendations would be welcome...

In the meantime I make do with it.

I was unfortunate in being unable to capture the new baby giraffe at Paignton zoo, as a new parent the mother was keeping her new born close at hand. This beautiful specimen is a part of the family.

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 300mm, 1/1000s @ f5.6, ISO 1000

This Rhea was seen idly grazing in its own habitat. I felt this composition was more appealing and interesting than the usually walking shot. 

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 300mm, 1/1000s @ f5.6, ISO 1000

In the sunshine, a pair of Sulawesi Crested Macaques played and wrestled. I watched them tussle on the grass, chasing each other over and around the features of their habitat. 

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 300mm, 1/1000s @ f5.6, ISO 1000

Hamadryas baboons are fascinating to watch. Often they'll be seen lounging around on their rock, preening and grooming, which as is described on the various information plaques is more a social practice than for hygiene. It did however take a comical turn when a male baboon viewed the rear of a nearby female before examining it more closely. 

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 135mm, 1/1600s @ f5.6, ISO 640

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 135mm, 1/1600s @ f5.6, ISO 640

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 135mm, 1/1600s @ f5.6, ISO 640

Another group of baboons, huddled together. In terms of its composition I like this image, but it does show what I was referring to earlier with the lack of sharpness. This group had settled down and weren't showing signs of going anywhere fast so I figured I had time to check my auto focus settings. With the shutter speed at 1/5000th of a second and the camera having focused properly, there should be no reason for such a lack of sharpness, and yet here it is. 


Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 280mm, 1/5000s @ f5.3, ISO 1000

Tapirs apparently grow the white tips out of their ears, but on this one, they are still shown. Probably not the most flattering shot.

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 230mm, 1/2500s @ f5, ISO 1000

I have a friend who when seeing these next two images may think "Ooh, a giant hamster!", (Chuckle I'm looking at you). The Capybara (shown) like to live near water and their write-up on the zoo website states that their eyes, nostrils and ears are all at the top of the head and stay above the water when swimming. Funny then that I saw them diving the other day. 

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 116mm, 1/400s @ f4.2, ISO 1000

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 240mm, 1/400s @ f5, ISO 1000

Lionesses sort of speak for themselves... lazy sods

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 230mm, 1/320s @ f5, ISO 1000

Chilean Flamingos

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 300mm, 1/8000s @ f5.6, ISO 1000

One of the King Colobus Monkeys, this one casually grazing. 

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 185mm, 1/3200s @ f4.5, ISO 1000

Two East African Crowned Cranes, of of which is outstretching its wings. 

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 125mm, 1/3200s @ f4.2, ISO 1000

Emperor Tamarin... posing.

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 300mm, 1/2500s @ f5.6, ISO 1000

Sunday, 19 January 2014

A Day at the Zoo Part One

A day at the zoo is often relaxing, informative, and amazing in that it allows visitors to marvel at the various creatures protected within. Sometimes these animals, or birds, are new to us or they may be familiar. They may be exotic or they may reside a little closer to home. They could even have been popularised by television advertisements (Meerkats, I'm looking at you).  

On this day I visited Paignton zoo, the weather was not on my side. What little sun there was was high, the air was cold and wet. Rain persisted through the day with short yet harsh showers. As such many of the animals, understandably, remained hidden in the comforts of their own beds. 

There were a small few who were out and about and of who I strained to capture digitally. I look forward to revisiting the zoo with more inviting weather where hopefully its residents will be more accommodating. 

Through the foliage, Here I see

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 300m, 1/80s @ f5.6, ISO 4000

Slim Pickings

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 300mm, 1/1250s @ f5.6, ISO 4000

Basking in the sun lamp

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 98mm, 1/640s @ f4, ISO 2000

There's Something in the Water...

D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 70mm, 1/400s @ f4, ISO 1600

 My Little Friend

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 300mm, 1/250s @ f5.6, ISO 5000

Keeping a Close Eye

Nikon D7000, Tamron 70-300mm @ 300mm, 1/250s @ f5.6, ISO 5000

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

The Last Shots of 2013

Time out with some of my family in recent days to view a village in Cornwall famed for its Christmas light did not it seem reap too many images of decent quality. Hey Ho. Even so I did capture a small handful I thought were suitable to share.

The Village of Mouse Hole (seemingly pronounced Mousall) annually displays Christmas lights in and around its harbour walls. On this occasion the tide was thankfully out and so I managed to descend to the small crescent-shaped beach where numerous row boats had been grounded.

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 35mm, 1/10s @ f1.8, ISO 800

Unfortunate that it is, dogs are frequently not allowed into shops (unless of course they give guidance). As such I often found myself standing out in the not-too-cold post-Christmas drizzle with Rolo, one small black and tan Border Terrier who has selective hearing, attention deficit disorder and a good hand in being cute. 

Standing outside one particular shop I decided in pass the time with a touch of abstract photography.

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 35mm, 1/15s @ f1.8, ISO 800

Near to my home, there is a picturesque chapel with a large cemetery. With the early morning sun painting the chapel and the headstones with light, I took my camera over to see what I could get. 

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 35mm, 1/500s @ f8, ISO 400

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 16 - 85mm @ 68mm, 1/320s @ f6.3, ISO 400

And so finishes 2013. I look forward to 2014, I think it will be a good year (undoubtedly with a few ups and downs). Everyone faces changes and I'm no exception. I plan to travel more as of 2014 and spend more time and energy pursuing my own passions and interests (not to mention quality time with my family). 

Happy New Year to all and may your dreams come true.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Christmas on the Coast

So I know it's been a little while since my last post and my apologies for such tardiness. Moving home takes so much focus and effort.

But by the time I managed to return, Christmas had arrived and the festivities were upon me. I wanted to join in in capturing images of the season, time with the family, the joyful silliness, but I wasn't too keen to jump on the bandwagon of overly festive images as these seemed to have been covered in abundance.

Instead these are simply of our family frolics (minus some key members who were unable to attend and join in the fun, though I'm well assured they still enjoyed themselves).

Despite being the middle (back end of) December and appropriately reflected by the weather here on the coast, a stroll on the beach was still on the cards and the dogs didn't disagree.

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 16-85mm @ 42mm, 1/3200s @ f5, ISO 500

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 16-85mm @ 85mm, 1/200s @ f5.6, ISO 500

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 16-85mm @ 85mm, 1/80s @ f5.6, ISO 500

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 16-85mm @ 28mm, 1/200s @ f4.5 ISO 500

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 16-85mm @ 80mm, 1/200s @ f5.6, ISO 500

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 16-85mm @ 16mm, 1/4000s @ f4.5, ISO 640

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 16-85mm @ 85mm, 1/2.5s @ f5.6, ISO 2000

At the end of the day, after all the presents had been opened, wrapping paper littered the floor and chocolate boxes lay empty, even the dogs wanted to close their eyes. One too many mince pies. 

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 16-85mm @ 16mm, 1/3s @ f5, ISO 2000

Hopefully you all had a good and enjoyable Christmas as I certainly did.  

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Pushing my Limits

So today I found myself at a place called Kennall Vane, Cornwall. I was persuaded to go from its description as a lush woodland with flowing waterfalls and moss-covered stone ruins. And to be fair this is quite accurate. The lushness was dampened a little by the typical British weather... drizzle and mist... but autumnal colours still shone through. Spots of rain failed to hinder us as we walked around a relatively small area, only about a square mile, looking for compositions to shoot.

Admittedly it did confuse Rolo when for two hours we were stop/start for our photography instead of continuously walking on. Nevertheless he entertained himself with various sticks and more than one occasion he was pulled back from his own curiosity on the river's edge.

Today I wanted to shoot with a limited range and so I attached my 35mm prime lens for the day, forcing me to physically relocate rather than my usual trick of zooming in if I wanted to set up a new composition. With waterfalls and fast-flowing water running high in the area (no pun intended), I broke out my neutral density filters for slower shutter speeds.

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 35mm, 1/25s @ f8, ISO 500

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 35mm, 1.3s @ f8, ISO 100

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 35mm, 4s @ f8, ISO 100

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 35mm, 1/2.5s @ f5, ISO 100

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 35mm, 10s @ f10, ISO 160

 Nikon D7000, Nikkor 35mm, 13s @ f10, ISO 160

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 35mm, 4s @ f4, ISO 100

Canon EOS 60D, Canon EF-S55-250mm @123mm, 1/160s @ f5, ISO 1000