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.
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.
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.
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.
Giant Owl (Caligo telamonius memnon) – ISO 1600; 60mm macro; f/2.8; 1/160 sec (click image to view larger size)
This week I paid a visit to the RHS gardens at Wisley in Surrey, where up to 6000 butterflies will be flying around inside the glasshouse. Officially opening on Saturday 14th January, I went a few days early after a tip from a fellow camera club member that they would be in place before the opening and hopefully not so busy. It certainly was fairly quiet and they may not have had all 6000 in flight, as I imagine most are still to be released into the glasshouse, but there were enough to provide a challenge at photographing them!
A change of perspective can often improve your results when out shooting, as discussed by Scott Bourne in his blog post I read recently, and most photographers are well aware of this. In my case, the change in perspective isn’t to do with moving my feet, or lying down or even selecting a different lens. It’s being unable to get out as much as I normally would due to a bad back. It’s not horrendous so I shouldn’t grumble, it’s just frustrating. When I think back to spring last year, I was out 2-3 times a week in search of bluebells.
Woodland Light – 50mm; ISO 100; 1/125 sec; f/1.8; -1 EV (click image to view larger size)
For the last couple of years I’ve been making a series of images of a single tree. It’s a rather photogenic little beech tree set in a small but thick pine wood, with a lovely curved shape to the branches and foliage. It was certain contrasts that struck me when I first saw it. Firstly in scale, with the tall pines towering above it helping to emphasise it’s small stature. Then secondly in colour, with the muted browns of the pine trunks and woodland floor being outshone by the vibrant orange beech leaves as they held on through autumn and winter. Also, from certain viewpoints, it appeared very isolated being surrounded on all sides by tall trunks, almost penned in. Continue reading →