One of the things which always lifts my mood is photography. The other is spending time in wild spaces with wildlife. Combining these two is awesome. I have spent more time in Calke park’s bird hide and attempted to get some slightly sharper images. I have, in the process, come to the conclusion that I need to be using a tripod all the time!
These images are still not sharp enough and, in some cases, the sharpness seems to have become distortion instead, where feathers look overly textured and spiky. I use Lightroom to adjust sharpness in places, where I think it is needed, but I try to keep sharpening to a minimum as it can look awful. I have left some of these without sharpening. I find photography frustrating and confusing at times, and close up bird photography is the greatest source of both of these for me!
Equipment used was a Canon EOS 5D Mk. III with the Canon 100-400mm f/4.5 Mk. I telephoto lens. Handheld. I set the ISO to 400 to avoid too much grain and stuck to using AV mode to gain a shallow depth of field. My shutter speed is often fairly low, and I need to try again using TV mode to increase the shutter speed and capture in-flight images.
I found a new hide yesterday. Great little find nearby, with so many species frequenting the feeders – including two Great Spotted Woodpeckers at one point! I was excited, it’s true, and spent an hour or so with the camera trying to get some decent captures. However, I was limited in light levels as, by the time I found the hide, it was beginning to darken. To up my shutter speed meant losing depth of field, and I do like my DoF… so I left the camera in AV mode and did my best with low light.
Many blurred images later, I have concluded I need to visit this hide in lighter hours, and use TV mode more for wildlife shots to obtain the really sharp results I want! I managed to get a few sharp(ish) shots, however, and have used LR to adjust the sharpness and shadows in the relevant areas. Here is a small selection – a Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus), a Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major pinetorum).
Precious little Simba came to us from a cat rescue after being found as a stray. He is smaller than the other cats, with the loudest purr. It was a rainy day when I caught him sitting looking wistfully out of the window. With my nifty fifty lens, I managed to catch some nice bokeh too.
As part of my Advanced Method Zoology module, we undertook some imaging coursework. This involved photomacrography, photomicrography and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) work. I decided to try the focus stacking at home instead, as I can focus much more in my own surroundings. The subject of my work was Odonata (dragonflies) and I had a few specimens to photograph.
I used the Canon 100mm macro lens, which is quite probably the best lens ever for macro work (biased opinion). I have learnt how to focus stack, kinda, and it’s so much fun. I recommend it!
Thor is a very large, heavy, fairly aggressive cat, adopted around two years ago. He came to me with serious attitude (and a different name). He still has the attitude, and it’s honestly what I love about him most. He has scratched my partner a few times.
Underneath it all, he wants fuss and attention, he wants to be talked to and looked after, and fed! This defensive, slightly damaged big ginger tom is the real deal; he is just what I was looking for when I walked into Cats Protection. Check out this cattitude!
Merlin is a friendly whippet. During the summer, I got a few captures of him running about in the sun. It was only a ten minute session and he does not stand still! I’d love to take some more of him as he’s exceptionally handsome and very photogenic.