BIRDS 108 – LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL

 

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This image is best viewed enlarged: click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it yet again.

Adult Lesser Black-backed Gull at Herriots Bridge, Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 17 Apr 2018.

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 2,000 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, using the Camera Neutral film simulation.
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ARCHIVE 361 – SWAN, PREENING (MONO)

 

 


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This image is best seen at larger scale – click onto to it to see a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further – recommended.

Mute Swan at Herons Green, Chew Valley Lake, not far south of Bristol; 6 Apr 2015.

The bird is preening, busily rearranging its feathers in a flurry of activity that is sending concentric ripples out across the surrounding water.

There is another photo of this bird, in very different pose and style, here .

Technique: D700 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO; -0.3EV; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Low Key 2 preset.

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KENYA 78 – WARBLER AMONGST ACACIA THORNS

 

 


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Small warbler – perhaps a Cisticola – amongst fearsome Acacia thorns, any one of which could so easily transfix it; probably in Nairobi National Park, in the late 1970s.

The Cisticolas are a group of small warblers that that all look very similar to each other; they are the archetypal “small brown birds”.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended.

Technique: OM-1 with a Vivitar 400mm telephoto; Agfa CT18 colour slide rated at 64 ISO; Lightroom.  This would have been taken from the window of my car, from one of the tracks in the National Park.
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ARCHIVE 359 – SWANS OVER TEALHAM

 

 


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This image is best viewed enlarged: click onto it to open a larger version in a separate window.

Mute Swans about to land on flooded Tealham Moor, south of Wedmore, on the Somerset Levels; 7 Feb 2014.

Much against good sense, I ventured down onto the Levels recently, to my habitual haunts on Tealham and Tadham Moors.  Not daring to take my usual cross-country route because of the many places where even small amounts of flooding might cut it, I drove down the main A38 road south from Bristol to Highbridge, and then went eastwards into the flatlands along another, relatively large road.  All was well on these main roads, but as soon as I got onto the smaller lanes, problems with water appeared.

Tealham and Tadham were mostly submerged, with just just the roads sticking up above the waters and little traffic about, but the floods in this more northerly part of the Levels are nothing like those further south, south of the Polden Hills, where whole villages are being overwhelmed, main roads have been cut for weeks, cutting edge pumping technology has been brought in from Holland, and the Army has been called in to help the local people.

The image is starting to look rather unphotographic, more like a painting maybe, and I always feel good when this happens.

Technique: D800 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 200 ISO.
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BIRDS 107 – CHICKEN 5

 

 


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Once again, up close and personal – in close with a long telephoto.  I love getting in close like this to living things, both in terms of being there with them, and also of seeing the resulting very shallow depths of focus.

The expression is one of  consternation and horror – well, its not unknown for me to have that effect.   I like the curve of the body from the head out to the tail.  Compositionally, viewing the image from left to right as we Westerners do, the sweep of the creature’s back leads my eye into the photo and up and on to the in-focus face.

Other pictures of these birds, and context, are herehere and here.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it yet again.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm; 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Stanton Drew, near Bristol; 4 May 2018.
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BIRDS 106 – WOOD PIGEON

 

 


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Looking up, in Church Lane.

There are other images from Church Lane, and more context, here.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto the image to enlarge it further – recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Church Lane, Whitchurch, Bristol; 4 May 2018.
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BIRDS 105 – CHICKEN 4

 

 


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A final image of the “chickens on the traffic island” on the village of Stanton Drew, south of Bristol.  Am I in love with birds?  Of course I’m in love with birds, even dinosaurs like this!

And this raised up garden/traffic island in Stanton Drew makes it so easy to get down to ground level beside these busy and noisy creatures.

Other pictures of these birds, and context, are here , and here .

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, using the Astia/Soft film simulation; Stanton Drew; 6 Nov 2017.
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ARCHIVE 342 – SPECTACLED OWL: AS IS, AND THEN SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE FICTIONAL

 

 


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Spectacled Owl at the International Centre for Birds of Prey, Newent, Gloucestershire; 2 July 2014.

Two points to make.  First, this is a Spectacled Owl >>> as far as I know.  I made a list of the different species that I photographed at ICBP, but omitted the four frames of this one – but from a google search this appears to be the identification.

The shot was taken with the D700 and a 70-300 Nikkor zoom at 300mm; 1600 ISO.  The upper, colour version has been processed with Color Efex Pro 4, used lightly as is my preference for this excellent software.  The lower version was produced with Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Tin Type preset, and reintroducing colour to the eyes, and also adding some grain.  I don’t generally like restoring colour to something as obvious as eyes but here it helps the image I think – it looks rather flat without the colour.

Both images can be enlarged by clicking onto them, to open them in another window, and then clicking onto the new version again.

To me, the colour version is striking, but its also a straight representation and for that reason rather lacking in atmosphere – except that I’m looking deeply into the eyes of a proficient nocturnal killer.  The black and white version looks older, wilder perhaps – like something out of a gothic tale???  What do you think?

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STILL LIFE 203 – CARRION CROW

 

 


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Carrion Crow at sunrise.

A Minimal image, mostly featureless black or gold, with just a single horizontal band of silhouetted detail.  The fence post is not vertical, the fence’s wire is barbed, and the bird’s head is seen in profile: for me, these points add something.  Do you agree?

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click on that image to further enlarge it – recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, using the Provia/Standard film simulation; Stanton Drew, in the Chew Valley; 6 Nov 2017.
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STILL LIFE 199 – DUCK, SWIMMING

 

 


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Female Mallard, a common duck species, swimming.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to further enlarge it.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 800 ISO; Lightroom, using the Velvia/Vivid film simulation; image rotated; Herons Green, Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 16 Feb 2018.
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