Category Archives: Rules of Photography

Walking Again.

Its was so good to get out today even if I was a little slow taking care of my new Achiles tendon. The Swans have arrived with the Tufted ducks and a few geese but no Coots yet. The comorant was busy as usual catching the fish in the lake.

It was great to watch all the different species and behavior I had not witnessed before. The young gulls were taking leaves from the water and flying up to drop from height. On the beach they do this to break shells, so it was great seeing the practicing this skill.

The Swan is a great bird to observe, with so many different movements from cleaning its feathers to sinking low into the water as it chases the other Swan intruder.

Trees loose the multi coloured leaves as they hang on like a game who is the last one on the 🌳. They look for a place to land like a para coming into land. Some will make it to water and float away, some will fall to be collected by the Grey Squirrel to nestle in a V shape as the winter house.

They will pile up against log piles making a warm fefuge for the Hedgehog, not seen in my garden for 5 years now. It once came out for nuts at 3 and sat quietly with me, the rubber of the on the tyre its final hour.

Its all the signs and sounds of Winter around the Geese calling me we here to be found in a lush green field they rest on the ground. They feed in peace, but eyes scan the flock, its the green figure again creeping like a Fox every step so slow now sound do you know.

The colour Teal is approaching to the mud banks, flying in formation twisting and turning like Red Arrows at the display. They take the warmth of the winter sun on their body’s, patiently waiting for the tide to arrive.

The Green man is here again a voice whispers, he ha a different camera this year, will he get me in flight, to be displayed hopefully not in Black and White.

The Reeds on the estuary are higher then the man, knowledge from his Hard Drive, his wildlife memory Bank telling him that a beautiful white Egret will arrive soon to feed on the mud flats as the tide unsettles small creatures for him to feast on. The Aperture set shutter speed just write it takes flight pure white like a Kite.

Stepping out of the metal motorised vehicle the man moves through the undergrowth, ferns bluebells flowers of all descriptions of many colours. Tall small even attach to the old brick wall. The excitement builds as the heart races once more the animal and bird wait as the Camouflage object appears between the small gap. Eyes trained to lock on to any slitest movement.

Short Eared Owl Canon 50D 100-400mk1

Their eyes meet like to lovers for the first time, slowly the round button is pressed halfway to gain focus then 123 like the burst of his machine gun, breathing, heart rate slowing he lowers the Lens and just looks at the wonder of the beauty before him.

The animals and birds seen through the camera of all makes and models over a long period of time, countries and scenery will always drive him on to encounter another wonderful image and story how the man puts %150 into planning his next mission.

Thank You God

Yes we all say it, O help me God, please God let him live. Words we are familiar with in daily life but words that are said in haste or with no understanding or believing so why do we say it. Why do we turn to God when the world collapses around you. Over the years i have sat in church many times as a boy and a man. As a boy i would pray by my bed and never missed a night for a long time.

When my parents split up i prayed for them to get back together, when my Auntie was riddled of cancer. Yes you ask the question many times if God really exist if he takes my lovely Auntie or lets me get hurt as a boy when i pray all the time. 

Films and TV programmes documentaries showing someone asking God save me or Don’t let him die or suffer. Why not wake up and say the words Thank you Lord for another day on this planet.

Thank you Lord for my sight that I can see my family the trees and the Sun and the moon. The happiness in my child’s eyes laughing and loving life.

For me to feel and touch everyday things that we take for granted, to hold my child and cuddle my partner. To hold my camera capturing all the wonderful nature we see and take for granted.

Thank you Lord for my for my first breath when I wake up, the morning air as I open the door breathing in clean country air. To smell the Rose in my garden, the blossom of the Cherry Tree as it shows off its beauty.

Thank you Lord for giving me the strength to give up a habit that would have moved me closer to you if I would have continued. For my strength in difficult situations. For my ability to overcome difficult times in my life making me a better person.

Lord I have seen signs from you things that can’t be explained moments in life you stop and think, that was a sign wasn’t it. Could that be my trusted mate coming back to visit me.

I let you down for years when I went to my dark place but came back to you like always, because I know you listen to me.

Do I fight your corner when someone says I don’t believe in God, no I don’t as that person has to find you first through happiness or death.

Why do as a football player look up when he scores a goal and whisper that was for you.

Thank you Lord for giving us people that loose everything but have the Faith in you to rise up to the challenge and be great again, inspiring others.

Thank you Lord for my trust in you and others for a word taken lightly in everything we do. Trust that bonds people together for life.

Lord you are heard in the voices of the world across the globe 🌎 different nationalities different languages, 2 Words God and Lord. Said in everyday sentences, said when you hit yourself with a hammer. Said when your child appears crying your name for the first time.

Lord we talk to you daily so it’s not just when we need you or want you to save a life, it’s because your In us all in some way, so when someone says your name in vain why do I stand up for you and say not that’s not right to take the Lord’s Name in Vain.

I lay my head down at night and say thank:

Thank you God.

Swan Lake

The lake in Blackpool Stanley Park is a photography dream for anyone who wants to practice bird image capture either static or moving, it’s full of fantastic opportunity to practice your skills. I have been photographing birds there for 10 years and always find something to film.

It’s knowing where the certain species are but you can find many birds throughout the seasons. There is lovely light throughout the day but mornings are very bright and there is a harsh glare coming off the water which really makes photography hard. I often find a spot where I can observe the whole lake with the sun behind me. Knowing the behaviour of the bird helps and in time you begin to see signs that tell you something is about to happen.

The Swan is a classic example, in spring the lake is full of Geese and Swans, last year’s young and the dominant males who are very aggressive toward the young swans. This is a great time for me as I can tell when action is about to start. More action occurs at the end of the lake when groups fly together, and when e few fly to the other end of the lake most follow shortly after. 3 to 4 come low over the water, with a great chance to capture them as they gather pace over the water.

I can’t think of another bird that gives such a by brilliant action shot.

So when you know that 5 are giving signs of movement about to happen you get ready and wait. Then it happens.

The light shiny through the wings and the shadows, wings in all directions .

Sony A7r4 200-600 Birds in Flight

My goal to nail birds in flight continues.

I love to capture the action shot just as it is captured by the sensor.

You don’t see how these little birds like the Coal Tit come in so fast, twisting and turning just like a fast bird of prey.

So when you see the Great Tit coming in from the side, it’s a joy and just so interesting to see their ability.

Small Birds in flight

Capturing birds in flight is hard enough when they’re medium to large, but small birds that give you no warning they’re coming is even harder.

The skill is everything, plus getting the shutter speed spot on. For theses small birds I used Manual mode. f6.3 1/4000 ISO 2000 – the exposure triangle is something I take more seriously now, looking at my Histogram all the time in the viewfinder.

I know sometimes I can’t get it to go to where it should be, but just getting it to a position you know you can edit with is helping me get some better images in flight.

I find Sony Focusing Area very confusing, and after all my research I find that Zone + Multi Metering are the best for capturing birds in flight. Some say it doesn’t give you focus on the birds head and eyes but I find if you’re not out to win any competitions then it’s fine and gives you a good keeper rate.

There is still plenty of testing to do with both the Sony 100-400 and 200-600. Both my lenses are very sharp but like a lot of other people the 200-600 is the choice lens for birding. In my game the 100-400 just doesn’t have the reach if you like cropping like me with 61mp on the A7r4.

Saying that, in the right situation the 10p-400 is amazingly sharp. Take these baby Starlings visiting my garden back in June this year – light is good with a nice pale green background. The images speak for themselves

The Two Ronnies

When I was returning from the wildlife hide I came across two ladies called Jess and Kirsty; they were staying in one of the cottages in the site.

I was asking them how they were enjoying their stay when their little black dog started to bark at Daisy, my friends dog.

I asked Kirsty what the dog’s name was and she said Ronnie.

So we have to two Ronnies then.

I hope they found Bentham, as that’s where they were heading after a few directions from me and Mark.

I hope they enjoyed their stay at the site and come back to stay again.