‘Tis the season to be rutting.

I went out into the field to try to catch some action shots of the Red deer and Fallow deer in Calke park, Derbyshire, as the males begin to demonstrate sexual fitness in autumn, select mates/mate and defend harems. I didn’t manage to catch any rutting on this occasion, although there were a couple of individuals with obvious wounds from fighting, and plenty of strutting about and bellowing taking place. I did find some sleepy individuals who were obviously not interested and for whom it all looked like far too much drama and effort! Other individuals were busy practising locking antlers with low hanging branches of trees and rolling in mud, and running around a lot looking quite magnificent.

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Iris

With the way the garden is changing so rapidly, with flowers blooming and fading within 24/48 hours, and the fact we’ve had some rain, I thought I’d  capture the Bearded Iris while they’re in flower.

I love the way raindrops on black Iris look like fat, juicy droplets of blood…

Noise

Having read up a little on noise in close up shooting, today I kept the ISO to 400 or below and shot some images. I noticed that it was almost impossible to get a really sharp image (suspect as I was handheld only, but I can shoot sharp close ups by hand normally). I’m guessing this is the pay off somewhat with close up settings.

 

IMG_8084_edited_smHand held: f/5.6, 1/320s, ISO 100, 47mm focal length.

Later on I took this image – handheld, but changing the settings to f. 8.0, 1/640s, ISO 1000, 35mm. Still a low aperture to isolate the subject, faster shutter, sharper image. But look at that background noise.

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Still, that’s why we have PS – to reduce noise, amongst other things! See below.

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The background in the above image has been subjected to noise reduction in Photoshop. It looks less grainy (noisy), but the object loses some of its sharpness too. It seems to be all about pay offs between settings. I guess I’ll use a tripod more often and stick to a low ISO.

Roses

I’m a keen gardener and even keener when it comes to growing roses. David Austin roses are some of the best. During the summer months, I took a number of photos of my roses (having built a special rose bed). I used close up pre-settings, mostly, to see what kind of results I could get. No macro lens – just the EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS lens that comes as standard with the body of my camera. Here are a few shots from the summer.

Plants

Being a horticulturist means I spent a lot of time with plants. There is a definite appreciation of nature, and the symmetry and beauty (and sometimes abstract nature) of plants for someone who works with them. It is only natural, then, that I enjoy taking photographs of them. I would love to purchase a macro lens and take close up images of plants – in the meantime, I utilise the close up settings on my DSLR and attempt some half-decent close ups. Otherwise, I’m on an ongoing mission to simply capture the staggering beauty and colours of a flower or a leaf. I haven’t managed to fully capture either yet.

Some of my attempts below.