Northern Gannet Morus bassanus


Last weekend was supposed to be a weekend of fast action and quick reflexes with a boat trip booked to photograph the diving gannets from the sea at Bempton Cliffs. Unfortunately, the 30mph westerly winds put a quick stop to that and the boat trip was cancelled for safety reasons. Up to the top of the cliffs it was then!

With Bempton Cliffs being an extremely popular location with photographers, I wanted to take some more unusual images and this is one I really liked of two Gannets in a courtship display against the rising sun.

Northern Gannet, Morus bassanus
Canon 1Dx with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS with Canon 1.4x converter.
1/4000s at f/8 at ISO200

Please click below for larger image.

Gannet_IB06158567

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Article: How to photograph Black Redstart


I have just finished an article on how I photographed a pair of Black Redstarts in a Hungarian garden in June.  Lots of information and details included for those who are interesting in setting something like this up from start to finish.

The pdf can be downloaded by following this link to my website:

How to photograph Black Redstart

Black Redstart

228/365 Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax


Using a prime lens will always have its advantages and disadvantages with photography.  Sharpness, focus speed and lens quality is a great factor to have but with closer subjects focal length and minimum focussing distances comes in to play.  This was the case with this juvenile Night Heron.

This individual came within the minimum 4.5m focussing distance of the 500mm f/4 lens I was using.  Attaching a 25mm extension tube (giving me 25% closer focus), this brought the subject back in focus again.  The Night Heron was still huge in the frame but I wasn’t able to zoom out or move further back.  Keeping the focussing point over the eye and creating the best composition was all I could do in this situation.  This is one of the images I achieved.

Night Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax, Hungary, June, 2014.
Canon 5D3 with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens with Canon 25mm extension tube.

 

228/365 Night Heron

 

 

227/365 Hoopoe Upupa epops


Often referring to this bird as looking like a ‘pick-axe’, in my opinion the Hoopoe has got to have one of the best latin names in the bird world… Upupa epops!
After successfully raising the first brood this little gift was for the female for the start of the second brood.

Hoopoe, Upupa epops, Hungary, June, 2014
Canon 5D3 with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens.

227/365 Hoopoe

226/365 Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus


It’s great when everything comes together for an image.  This Green Sandpiper had spent most of the time feeding against a muddy bank offering limited photo opportunities.  I was lucky that the light was really nice when it walked into this clear area of water and started to preen itself.

Green Sandpiper, Tringa ochropus, Hungary, June, 2014.
Canon 5D3 with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens.

226/365 GreenSand

225/365 Black Redstart Pheonicurus ochruros


Wildlife photography at best can be very frustrating and this was one of those times…  Black Redstarts in Hungary are a very common bird but trying to get an image of one that matched the one in my head proved to be a bit more difficult.

With several pairs of Black Redstarts feeding young within a 200m radius of my perch I was expecting a lot of activity but the different pairs have very confirmed feeding boundaries. I did witness 2 individual males singing from the same chimney proclaiming territory so this must have been the boundary between the two territories.

Eventually my patient paid off with the male sitting on the perch and having a preening session. Using a slow shutter speed (which was due to low light conditions) I was able to get a few frames with the head sharp and the rest of the body blurred.

Black Redstart, Phoenicurus ochruros, Hungary, June, 2014.
Canon 5D3 with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS with Canon 1.4x III teleconverter., car as hide.

Please click for larger image.

225/365 Black Redstart

195/365 Green veined White Pieris napi


I have a love-hate relationship with my Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro lens. It produces stunningly sharp images but the focus is soooooo slow!! I’ve yet to try or read reviews of the new version of this lens so hopefully they have rectified this. Here is an image of a Green-veined White butterfly nectaring from a thistle head.

Green veined White, Pieris napi, Warwickshire, June, 2011.
Canon 1DIV with Sigma 150mm f/2.8 lens, 1/1250sec at f/7.1 at ISO400.

195365GVWhite