Digital presentation / talks page added


Since I became a freelance photographer,  I have been visiting RSPB, Wildlife trusts, nature groups and camera clubs presenting my work in the form of digital slideshows.
I have just updated a new page for this blog purely for details on my talks. 
If you know of any group within the UK (or abroad) who is after any speakers for your clubs then please ask them to get in touch. They can get in touch with me directly here: http://www.ianbutlerphotography.co.uk/contact.php
Details of the talks I offer can be found on my talks page at the right hand side of the header above or if you want to go straight to the link please click here:
https://ianbutlerphotography.wordpress.com/talks/

Looking forward to hearing from you. 😉

 

113/365 Little Grebe


I’ve been photographing/working over the weekend at the London Wetland Centre as they had a big event there called London Wild Bird Watch. Its a great place for photography and the next couple of posts will show some of my favourite images.

First of all is this Little Grebe.

Little Grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis, London, April, 2012.
Canon 1D mkIV with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens.

 

090/365 Little Grebe


On the theme of low level photography, image 90, is of a Little Grebe, taken from a fishermans platform that was about 12 inches above the water. 

Little Grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis, West Sussex.

Project: Marsh Fritillary Euphydryas aurinia

Project: Marsh Fritillary Euphydryas aurinia


Just a quick blog to show what I’ve up to today.
A friend of mine tipped me off to a site in Gloucestershire where there has been a mass emergence of Marsh Fritillaries.   An hours drive away from my home in Malvern, I set out at 6.15am to get there before the temperature started rising.  Well… I arrived on site and it was 3 degrees above freezing with a light layer of frost on the ground.  Couldn’t believe I had to wear my gloves!
Due to the temperatures plummeting and the wind still quite strong, it was an hour and a half before I found the first Fritillary as they were well tucked into the long grass.
With the temperatures warming up, luckily for me they showed extremely well and I got some great photographs for my portfolio.  I counted at least 70 on site within a smallish area.  The warden had said there has been up to 120 counted in the last few days and a possible 500 estimated over the entire site! I think its going to be a very good year for this little butterfly.
The image below was taken with my usual macro setup; Canon 1D mk4 and Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens.   I’d noticed this individual basking on this grass stem and after shooting with the sun behind me to get the usual front on image, I decided to shoot with the sun in front of me to get this backlit shot. The background is a distance woodland partly in sun giving this very camouflage type pattern.
Settings for those interested:
1/250sec at f/7.1, -2/3 exposure compensation, ISO400
Subject distance- 43cm
More to follow as I process them so please keep checking back for more pics.

 

Flight photography – Canon 800mm f/5.6


I had a few days off last week and had the chance to try out the new Canon 800mm f/5.6 L IS lens with my Canon 1D Mk4.   I’ve used it already photographing around my local areas but thought I would have to put it through its paces by taking it to Slimbridge WWT in Gloucestershire for flying wildfowl and Gigrin Farm in Powys at the Red Kite feeding station.   At Gigrin, with over 300 Red Kites in the air at once, there were no end of subjects to photograph and Slimbridge was equally effective with  small  flocks of Pintail, Mallard and swans filling up the airspace.
I can honestly say it is a fantastic piece of kit that I would love to have the money so I can add it to my equipment list (any offers out there!!?).  With an aperture of f/5.6, I was surprised at how quick the autofocus was at finding subjects.  It is very responsive (probably because the subjects are so large in the frame!!) and locks the subject in focus consistently.  It is even quicker when the range distances are correctly set on the lens.  I often found when photographing subjects at different distances it took a while for the lens to track from minimum focusing distance and then to infinity, but once focused on the subject it didn’t want to let go.  With the lens itself being 4.5kg in weight, on several occasions I found myself handholding this lens without any problems.  A big plus for those situations where tripods can’t be set up quickly enough. 
With mixed weather at both Slimbridge and Gigrin, the presence of dark snow clouds mixed with sunny intervals allowed me to get some interesting photographs with atmospheric results.  I love photographing in these conditions as photographs have an extra depth and edge to them compared to the usual all blue or white overcast skies that are usually present.
Below are some of the results from my trips.  Hope you enjoy.