New Square Greeting Cards

New greeting cards just sent off for printing including 10 new designs! Will be available to buy from next week. Watch this space!
All greeting cards will be square and 148mm in size.

New designs include (from top left to bottom right):

Yacht at Sunrise
European Bee-eaters
Great Malvern Priory in snow
Mute Swan with cygnets
Poppies and Cornflowers
Robin in snow
Tawny Owl
Whooper Swan in snow

Please contact me if you are interested.

New Greeting Cards

117/365 Mute Swan with cygnets

With all of the new ducklings around reservoirs and lakes at the moment I thought I would show this image of a Mute Swan with her cygnets taken in the late afternoon light.

Mute Swan, Cygnus olor, Staffordshire, June, 2010.
Canon 40D with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS.


081/365 Pochard against sunset

It is difficult to get sharp images of flying birds against sunsets purely due to the low light levels available. Pushing the camera ISO to 1000 I managed to get 1/1000th sec to get these Pochard silhouetted against a colourful sky.

Pochard, Aythya ferina, Norfolk, November, 2010.
Canon 1d MkIV with Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens.

080/365 Whooper Swan on pink

Image 080, is a request off a friend who wanted an image with pink in it… so here it is… a Whooper Swan flying against a very pink wintery sky ūüėČ . The sun was just about to set at this point, and due to there being heavy snow clouds covering the sky, the last rays of the sun sent everything this strange ethereal pink colour. Im just glad the Whooper Swan flew past!

Whooper Swan, Cygnus cygnus, Norfolk, November, 2010.
Canon 1D mkIV with Canon 800mm f/5.6 lens.


Image 011 is of an adult Whooper Swan flying against some nice fluffy clouds.  I was at Slimbridge WWT in Gloucestershire when I took this image, and expected the white bird with a yellow beak flying towards me to be a Bewicks Swan as Whooper Swans are quite scarce here.  I later realised, after editing my images that this indeed was a Whooper Swan.  Unexpected bonus!!

Whooper Swan, Cygnus cygnus, Slimbridge WWT, Gloucestershire, October, 2010.

Canon 1D mk4 with Canon 500mm f/4.0 L IS lens.



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.