2018 Calendar

I’ve had a lot of spare time on my hands lately, due to a recurring back problem which I’ve just about recovered from, so I decided to produce some calendars. It’s quite an enjoyable little project, if a bit time-consuming, but that wasn’t really a problem for me!

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Westonbirt Arboretum

Autumn Colours – A blend of two images, one in focus and one out of focus.

A few days ago I travelled over to Gloucestershire to attend a one day autumn colours workshop at Westonbirt Arboretum run by Light & Land and led by award winning photographer Andy Farrer. It was a good day at a lovely, colourful location with a nice group of people. Weather was a bit grey but at least it didn’t pour down!

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Put yourself in the picture

Autumn Walk – ISO 400; 166mm; f/5.6; 1/180 sec (click image to view larger size)

What to do when you find a nice (quiet) location but you think having a person in view would help add something to the image? Put the camera on a tripod, set your 10 second timer, step into the limelight and become the star of the show. Although, it’s not always quite as easy as it sounds, as I found out recently!

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The Rut

This fight was over in about 5 seconds!

This is a short post purely to share some images.

I’ve spent several mornings in Richmond Park over the last six weeks or so, mainly to photograph the deer during the autumn rut – the time of year when red deer stags and fallow deer bucks fight for dominance and the right to mate with the female hinds and does respectively.

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Back off!

Back Off! – ISO 200; 196mm; f/4; 1/800 sec (click image to view larger size)

A couple of us were enjoying photographing some red deer towards the end of a photo walk in Richmond Park when I took the image above.

We’d had dull conditions to start, no sign of the sun at sunrise, quite windy and a heavy downpour during which we had to shelter under the trees, but the sun appeared eventually giving us some better light. There had been a lot of deer activity with this being the Autumn rut – plenty of bellowing and running back and to, with the larger stags fending off the younger males who were trying marauding tactics, running into the group of hinds to try and split them up and take a few away, some with success but mostly not. The odd hind slipped away by themselves, tempted by the bellowing and strutting of another male nearby, who would quickly run over to round her up.

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Deer Photography – Part 1: Stealth

Red deer stag with spring antler growth – 140mm with 1.4x extender (196mm equivalent); ISO 400; 1/950 sec; f/4 (click image to view larger size)

Over the past few years, I’ve photographed the deer in Richmond Park on many occasions, so I thought I’d write some articles that may provide useful information to other photographers who might be interested.

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Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!

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Daffodil – ISO 400; 60mm macro; f/11; 1/125 sec (click image to view larger size)

In English, Happy St. David’s Day!

Being Welsh, I thought I would mark St. David’s Day with an image of a daffodil, the national flower of Wales. After all, I can still remember having a daffodil pinned to my jumper before heading off to school in the 1960s!

I didn’t want just any type of image though, I wanted to try a technique I’ve known about for a long time but never managed to get around to using before – creating a black background without actually using a physical background.

This technique uses nothing more than the absence of light. It’s quite simple really, once you understand the principle. You don’t need a studio or any fancy lighting gear (I certainly don’t have any), just a flash that you can fire off-camera.

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The Devil’s Punch Bowl

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Mist Over The Punch Bowl – ISO 800; 14mm; f/5.6; 1/60 sec (click image to view larger size)

I’ve paid two visits to The Devil’s Punch Bowl at Hindhead over the past two weeks, firstly on a scouting mission for walking routes and secondly to conduct a 1-2-1 workshop which was then followed by a 2-hour stroll to scout out some more trails.

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